Whats the first thing to do?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Galido, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Galido

    Galido Member

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    I'm writing a story. Fantasy off course. But when i begin to write, i have created a little world with names and cities. Is it important that you have a world all ready worked out with mountains, sea's, rivers, trees... or can you do that also when you write and discoverd new places?
     
  2. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    IMHO world comes as the story goes.... usually... But as a kid I loved making maps, so at that time it was first world, then story. In general, I guess you can start with anything... Like we did in our shorth story contest: there magic system was the starting point...
     
  3. Galido

    Galido Member

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    I like it also. The difficilt part was searching names :) That i hate every time when i came to introduice a character or place. In the begining you find easly names, but after that, its darkness in my head :)
     
  4. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    names... yeah that's tough... I still think my dudes have shitty names
     
  5. Galido

    Galido Member

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    I have the problem with: a name for example a river you can it also used for a person :) So, i think then. Is it a great name? No? Its a river you diescribed ones ;)
     
  6. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    hmmmm so far I never named a river :D
     
  7. Galido

    Galido Member

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    If you have a naturelle landscape like the earth, its logic that there are rivers ;) If you want take time for creating 25 rivers for ex, just must give them all a name ;) But, i have not lots of rivers ;) but lots of cities and countrys and a lot of houses :)
     
  8. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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    i don't think a detailed map is necessary to start, but it helps having a general idea wher things lie
     
  9. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    All writers are different. Experiment and find out what works for you.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    All writers are certainly very different and many stories don't need a fully developed world set to make a start on the actual story. That said I think its important to always keep writing world building notes as you write the story itself, and to also keep track of the kind of world that you are building. The last thing you want is to get lost in your own world or mix up your own references.

    Also I often feel that a world feels more complete if subtle hints or comments are made earlier in the story which related to events and places which appear more critically later in the book. It helps to bind things together rather than having the author always getting that feeling in the back of their mind, that the author is only creating the world as he goes along and adds in new thing as they are needed.


    When it comes to names and languages that is often a tricky area, however one way to cheat your way around this is to base your world upon a specific region and time span of the real world. This lets you pluck out place names and character names from a real world source and means that they will hold relationships with each other which have a realistic feeling; as opposed to feeling like things are randomly being invented without much structure.

    Of course you can also go more intensive and construct your own world with its own naming rules and define your own names. This will require more work and its more world building work that the readers often won't ever see, but it can certainly work very well for providing a rich and detailed world.
     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I second what Greybeard said: every writer is different and does things differently. There`s two main groups writers fall into: outliners and discovery writers. Outliners plot everything out a head of time: background, characters, plotline, geography etc. where discovery writers figure everything out as they go along. There are some who do a combination of that: plotting some things out and then discovering the rest. There`s a really fantastic series of free lectures by one of my favourite authors on creative writing posted here: http://writeaboutdragons.com/ if you want to check it out. :)
     
  12. Galido

    Galido Member

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    Thank you for the link ;) And i know the writer! Cool man. What have i done for beginning my story. Little question, is it story or novel? I have creating a world, i think to big :s, and created lands with their capital. Then, where the story begins, i created landscapes with names. When this is done, i begin writing. A prologue. When writing, off course, i speak off other places. Then a go to my map and think: Good, you wanne write about a new city, where can you put it? And then i think: is it in the mountains or forest? You need lots of time for creating a new world, but its exciting :)
     
  13. c_nebbia

    c_nebbia Fantasy Author

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    I can tell you what my experience is. Maybe because I'm an engineer, I tend to proceed by steps and always to be very consistent.
    So, after writing, say, the first twenty pages of my first book, as soon as the main character left his home I felt the urge to sketch a map of the world where he was living, to become later "Norrland and the Seven Lands".
    So I drew mountains, rivers, hills placing towns, mines, ports and fortresses.
    This in turn defined the behaviour of the peoples who inhabited the Seven Lands. People living in a region surrounded by mountains were closed, fierce and warriorlike, while the ones living in marshes close to the sea were fishermen and traders and so on and so forth.
    Eothian, the main charachter, was the son of a lesser lord, living in a keep controllin a gorge wher the road to the sea nad the river engulfed themselves, a key strategic position that sealed his family fate.
    The more I worked to the map, the more I found myself becoming part of that world and the more inspiration I got.
    This is my story, I can't pretend is a recipe good for everyone.
    By the way, there is no one forbidding you to add in future a new portion of the world.
     
  14. Moonlance

    Moonlance New Member

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    As S.J. Faerlind described, both methods are usable; and also is the combination of them two.

    However, there is a contemporary collection book published from Robert Louis Stevenson's supposedly little known litterary critics texts, called "Essays in the art of writing", or "Essais sur l'art de la fiction", where he himself explains logically how important it is for an author of fiction stories to know profoundly well about the world he is working on (let's say, the treasure island area itself); how much time does it takes, by feet, from this spot to this in the crafted map? And all such sort of technical questions, are put emphazised by this intellectual master, in one of his essays in that book. I strongly suggest you read it. Good luck. :D
     
  15. Galido

    Galido Member

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    Ok, first, finding the book ;) Thats all ready a quest for me :)
     
  16. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    Here it is.

    If you have an e-book reader, download your required format. If not, what I would do is pick HTML then copy and paste into your word processor. You might want to reformat it then, and either print or read onscreen.
     
  17. Moonlance

    Moonlance New Member

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    Great job, Greybeard! :D

    I'm not used to e-readers, so thank you for the link.


    I've searched through it and I strongly believe the essay I was talking about is the following:
    MY FIRST BOOK: ‘TREASURE ISLAND’ (he talks about the map he has done)

    But note that he also wrote about REALISM later on.

    This is huge...! Everything this author-critic wrote in there might be devoured! ò.ó
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  18. TheDarkFrontier

    TheDarkFrontier New Member

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    It depends on what you feel is necessary to flesh out the story. If you're writing a high fantasy, where the world is entirely based in a fantasy realm, then I think its a good idea to have a rough idea of where everything is and their names. If anything, you can just mention them in passing to make the world seem more real. You know how in our world we'd say; "Oh to get to this place, you first go to Castle Hill, take a left on the main highway and carry on till you get to Lincoln" or something like that, it allows you to flesh out small details that help with the immersion. My advice would not be to flesh out anything in considerable detail unless you really intend on using it. For example, I created a basic language for one of the Elven races in my story - which took about a month to work out all the details. Don't do anything like that unless you really intend on using it quite a bit.

    I think it helps if you have an idea of the world you've set your story in, as I said before - it helps with the immersion. The inner details will emerge as the story goes on - for example I did not get down to really fleshing out the landscape with dozens of different towns and cities until I really needed to - where it became somewhat necessary for the story. If your story involves a lot of moving around - journeying to distant lands or different cities, then I think it helps to have a more detailed map.
     
  19. Hiram Webb

    Hiram Webb New Member

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    I think someone mentioned trouble with naming rivers
    Just a thought - I love the way Tolkien used a lot of names that made sense. Sure, a lot of bizarre language-names too, but especially among the hobbits, names make sense - names like Underhill and the Last Homely House. If I go to name a river I think to myself, "If I lived there, and had to wake up every morning and look out my window and see that river, what would I call it?" The result can often be reduced to something as simple as 'Wanderwash' and for me it's the simple things like this that really draw me into a story.

    Another method I've used is simply punching my keyboard (softly of course) and see what comes out. Rearrange letters as necessary to form real words. Usually you end up with rubbish, but once in awhile you can get a real dozy.
     
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