Sunday Worldbuilding – The Joy of Worldbuilding

August 11th, 2019  |  Published in Sunday Worldbuilding  |  2 Comments

I often list writing as my primary hobby but while it’s certainly in my top two hobbies it has a rival. Worldbuilding. Most people who write fantasy will start with a plot idea and worldbuild just enough to make their world believable. Others – like JRR Tolkien – start with languages and worlds and the stories grow out of them. I am kinda in the middle on this, though leaning strongly towards Tolkien’s end of the spectrum (though I do not have his conlanging chops yet).

Some of my stories start out as story ideas and I create the world around it – though the initial idea rarely survives contact with the worldbuilding as I amend it so much as I build the world. Dragon Wars and Haventon Born both fall into this category.

Other times the seed of a setting appears out of the blue and I just have to build it and then as the world grows the characters and their stories appear. This is by far the more common way I get stories. Lawgiver’s Blade and Tales of the First are both this kind of story. So is Whisper to a degree because it started with Ishtar, the world of the Kska and Tkin, and its sulphuric acid seas and went from there (I am enamoured of alternative thalassogens and I do not care how unlikely they are).

It’s probably not a surprise, then, that I have far more worlds than stories.

So I thought that, instead of talking about the worlds that relate to my stories – which carries with it the risk of spoilers – I’d do a series where I show one of my seeds that has been sitting on my hard drive for a while waiting for me to develop it.

For today I will just be introducing it.

I call it the drying world and what I know so far is that over many millenia the following happened as a result of some sort of Supernatural disaster:

The Drying World – 60% ocean
The Drying World – 30% Ocean

I made these maps in Fractal Terrains which is a useful piece of software that generates complete worlds from fractals. However you should take these with a grain of salt as I only every take the coastlines from Fractal Terrains and I usually amend them slightly as well. So next time (which may or may not be next Sunday as I go on holiday on the 17th August) I will show you how I start to make my own maps using the unfortunately named but free and open source GIMP and the not free but excellent Campaign Cartographer.

See you then.

2 Responses to “Sunday Worldbuilding – The Joy of Worldbuilding”

  1. White Tiger says:

    This is so cool. I have to admit, there are a lot of stories I really like but all the ones I love all have fantastic world building. I love having the wider context of the world it’s set in and it fuels my imagination. Looking forward to seeing some of your worlds!! 😊

  2. torvawk says:

    Wow, thalassogens is a new word for me and looking up information about it was very fascinating. It led to tidal heating and tidal acceleration. Looking up information on those related to the earth and the moon suggests that the moon is escaping earth maybe a couple mm a year and our day is getting longer by a couple of ms per century. It is crazy to think of such constants in our lives are actively changing but on such a comparably small scale that we cannot notice readily.

    I mean, imagine today setting up a lunar colony and sometime in the future, the moon takes them on a wild ride as it escapes earth to maybe be captured by another planet.

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