The question You are a minor character in a fictional story. How do you get to be the hero? has been drawing some auto-flags (not a bad thing in itself) and the more I looked at it, the more I wonder how it can be on topic.

The question specifically asks:

Can you suggest long-term strategies to -

(a) get yourself promoted to be the main character of the book

(b) for extra kudos, get your name mentioned in the title. Note: At first your character may not even have a name. What would be a suitable one to give yourself?

Especially in combination with the title, I simply don't see how this falls into our scope of worldbuilding. Rather, this seems to fall squarely into actions of individual characters which we list as an example of types of questions that are off-topic and as such not welcome on the site.

Yet that question is currently voted +33/-1, with no close votes.

Is that question even on topic? And if it is, then why is it on topic, when we specifically disallow questions about actions of individual characters as being not about worldbuilding?

  • $\begingroup$ I agree, looks like it might be a better fit on Writers. Why do all of our non-worldbuilding questions get so many upvotes? $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Jul 27 '15 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ The question is now on hold. By the way, my excuse for not voting soon after the question was posted was that I saw the question once in passing and didn't read it. That was a mistake; I should have. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jul 27 '15 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 Far be it from us to expect everyone to take action every time. However, 33 people obviously read through the question enough to find it upvote-worthy, yet it never received any close votes until I brought it up here. That's what I still find somewhat confusing. $\endgroup$ – user Jul 28 '15 at 7:42

I agree that it focuses a bit (too much?) on the plot part. But in a way the life of a character within a book, who knows he is a character of a book is a world as such. We have many questions that are related to the plot, but we kept, due to, IMHO, the world in which those take place. But I can understand the motivation to VTC.


As the originator of the post in question I'm a little surprised by the closure. Now that I understand the purpose of the community better, I always make the effort to include a substantial 'world' component. In this case it is a fictional world with its own peculiarities. For example there are blank areas reflecting the authors lack of knowledge. The answerers have picked up on this.

Just because I mentioned an individual character doesn't mean that all the other inhabitants of the world weren't involved - in fact they specifically were included by me and by others. The main character just provided focus.

I don't intend to point the finger directly but if I wanted to I could find many questions that have far less world-building than mine do. Yet they seem immune.

My own preference would be to relax the rules somewhat. I think that sooner or later the possible worlds will run out. There are only so many zombie apocalypses we can have. Details of interactions within a zombie infested world and discussions of which weapons to use present a much wider scope.

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    $\begingroup$ Note that the purpose of my meta question was to see how the community felt about this, not to directly effect closure. It would have been much easier for me to close by mod hammer as a case of "not about worldbuilding" based on my reading of the question, rather than compose and post a meta question seeking input from the community about how it should be handled. $\endgroup$ – user Aug 7 '15 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ You are most certainly welcome to make your case for why your question should be on topic (in fact, I'd argue that should be a part of the process), but "there are other questions which haven't been closed, and if mine is, they should have been too" does not hold water. Existence of counterexamples simply means that for whatever reason, if they should indeed be closed, enough users with enough reputation and opinion simply haven't found them yet. Each question must stand on its own, and be on topic on its own. $\endgroup$ – user Aug 7 '15 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling - I appreciate your explanation and it makes sense. If I want to make my case, does it count that I have done so in my paragraph above or should I make it again, back on the original question? $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Aug 7 '15 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ I'm honestly not sure I fully understand what you are referring to in your comment. But if you want to make a case why this type of questions should be on topic on Worldbuilding, you need to do so without saying "I could find other similar questions (which I am not pointing out) which remain open". Note that the original phrasing for the relevant bullet point showed up in the first help center article text proposal, and a closer variant was added soon thereafter. $\endgroup$ – user Aug 7 '15 at 7:58

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