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World Building -- Does it matter?:

 51 nrjxll, Wed, 28th Sep '11 12:16:48 AM Relationship Status: Not war
massive world building with barely any stories is useless

I have to qualify that: getting bogged down in world building when you plan to write a story in that world is bad, yes, but world building for its own sake - something never meant to be a story - can be fun and interesting.

 52 annebeeche, Wed, 28th Sep '11 12:46:50 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Does it matter, say, that someone writes a town that could never actually economically last?
It depends on the work. If the story involves the world (say the story's got a political edge to it) then an economically plausible town would really help. Otherwise, if the town's just a backdrop, then it doesn't really matter that much.

Does it matter, say, that every town has an inn, even though it makes no logical sense?
There's probably at least one inn in just about every town in America. It'd be weird if there was separate lodging in like every little village and hamlet in a rather low-tech world, though.

Is a book still just as good, even if the superficial details are all that's really touched upon in a world, and even then, don't always make sense?
Yes it is! I don't see why this question even needs to be asked. The setting doesn't have to be important for every single story.

Or is it a talent that must be honed, just as character and plot building must be honed?
If you're going to write about elaborate worlds, then you're going to have to hone that talent. If you're going to write elaborate plots, you're going to have to hone that talent, and so on. It depends on what you're focusing on.

What is the absolute minimum world building one can get away with?
Well, you need a place for your story to take place in, for starters, and then depending on how long your story is, you'll need just a touch of local color to make that setting come alive a little, so just some description when it's appropriate to elaborate on the surroundings of the characters. That, I feel, is the bare minimum.

When does it go from world building, to sheer obsessiveness / a vanity project?
When your name is JRR Tolkien.
Okay, just kidding—when world-building gets in the way of your personal life and it's all you ever think about.

edited 28th Sep '11 12:49:46 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
Raven Wilder
On The Simpsons the geography and economics of Springfield make little sense (it's a small town, yet is home to numerous world-famous celebrities and headquarters of international corporations; has only one road out of town in one episode yet has more in others; is bordered by Maine and Nevada simultaneously), but no one seems to mind so long as it's funny.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
 54 Mr AHR, Wed, 28th Sep '11 6:22:53 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I don't see why this question even needs to be asked.

Quit the condescension. Just because something is obvious to you does not mean it's obvious to everyone else.
 55 Noaqiyeum, Wed, 28th Sep '11 7:53:00 AM from out of the night from pole to pole Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
the it-thingy
3) he got some things wrong. He invented so many of his world's details that he wasn't able to keep track of them himself and left some glaring logical errors.
This is really much more of a problem with the haphazard let's-throw-lots-of-Author Appeal-together style mentioned earlier. Which, if my sources are correct, is more or less the foundation of Perdido Street Station.

Not a criticism of the methodology, because it can work wonderfully in some cases, but I just don't think it's quite the same thing as the Tolkien style I thought was being discussed.
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
 56 jasonwill 2, Wed, 28th Sep '11 11:40:09 AM from West Virginia
[up]

who is the author/verse' they are talking about the quote you quoted?
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
 57 Nomic, Wed, 28th Sep '11 12:55:12 PM from beyond the Void
Exitus Acta Probat
I'm the kind of person who'se liable to do worldbuilding purely for the sake of worldbuilding. I have two settings that I've thought up but haven't thought any stories to set into eighter one, and have done a lot more worldbuilding regarding the netherworld (which is seen in the first chapter and has little to no importance later) than the primary setting in Forgotten Lore (because the primary setting is "like reality exept when not" so I don't really need to come up with many details, while with the netherworld I had to come up with what the place is like and how it works, even if it's largely indifferent to the plot).

 58 annebeeche, Wed, 28th Sep '11 2:22:32 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Quit the condescension. Just because something is obvious to you does not mean it's obvious to everyone else.

I am not trying to be condescending.

You've been sarcastic and almost rude towards me multiple times recently. Have I been rude to you before? If so, then I apologize. There is no need to be sarcastic and confrontational, however, regardless of whatever I may have done in the past. That is either holding a grudge, or giving the appearance of holding a grudge, and neither is going to help you or me.

Why don't we both take a deep breath and start afresh before either of us gets upset?
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 59 Mr AHR, Wed, 28th Sep '11 2:31:03 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
If you are not trying to be condescending, kindly do not dismiss my questions. No one likes to be told "this discussion doesn't matter, this is a not an issue worth asking, why would you ask that" etc. etc.

edited 28th Sep '11 2:33:05 PM by MrAHR

 60 annebeeche, Wed, 28th Sep '11 3:08:12 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Okay, I'll try to refrain from that.

I just have difficulty wrapping my head around the belief that every story requires detailed and in-depth world building in order to be good, because every story is different—some will need good world building if that's what the story focuses on, and others won't.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
 61 lord Gacek, Wed, 28th Sep '11 3:32:04 PM from Kansas of Europe
KVLFON
All stories require a world to be set in, not all need a world fully fleshed out before they are written.
"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
 62 Noaqiyeum, Wed, 28th Sep '11 9:29:01 PM from out of the night from pole to pole Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
the it-thingy
Jason: China Mieville, author of Perdido Street Station (a work of his that I've heard of) and something called Embassytown (a work of his that I haven't).

He's been on my to-read list for a while, as I understand his genre of preference is something like Urban Fantasy Kitchen Sink Cosmic Horror Story (like a few other works that I enjoyed because of their similar qualities); any works that prominently feature Genre Kitchen Sink / Planet Eris / World of Chaos are going to feature that kind of 'jigsaw worldbuilding' - it's practically part of the appeal. And at any rate it's not the same kind of worldbuilding as I thought was under discussion.
We dance around in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
- Robert Frost
Shadowed Philosopher
Worldbuilding isn't always required. I am perfectly capable of reading something like Harry Potter which runs into all kinds of little inconsistencies as the story builds and enjoying it; I don't have the compulsive need to nitpick, or at least where I do nitpick I don't let it ruin my enjoyment of the story. On the other hand, a well-thought-out and deep world adds quite a bit to a work; that's at least half the appeal of Lord of the Rings to me, and that's easily on my top ten things I've ever read.

Personally, I really like worldbuilding; it's fun. Most of my actual worldbuilding is in stories that have nothing written for them yet, so it's basically just a mental exercise, but it's a fun mental exercise. (On the other hand, the only thing I actually have a decent chunk of written right now is a Naruto fic, and I keep having to retcon things as I make decisions about how I'm spinning the Narutoverse. It doesn't help that it's a serial format and I'm morally opposed to Orwellian Retcons.)
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
 64 USAF713, Thu, 29th Sep '11 5:44:13 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I've managed to do a project where worldbuilding for it is not enjoyable. It's rather odd, actually.

Mostly because none of it is extraneous, so I have to figure out how to weave all of it in. It's also recent history, so it has to be minutely detailed. It's turning out to be a lot more of a nightmare than I'd hoped it would be...
I am now known as Flyboy.
Shadowed Philosopher
Yeah...I have a fic idea that I've been procrastinating on because it's so much bloody work, mostly doing research to actually figure out what major cities in Japan are like, and partly trying to integrate ninjas into the modern world under The Masquerade. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm just starting college and simultaneously working on another fic, but you know.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
 66 Bensen Dan, Thu, 29th Sep '11 9:59:40 PM from Sofia.Bulgaria
Daniel Bensen
[up]putting your ninjas in your hometown would solve a lot of problems. :)
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Total posts: 66
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