I am seeing alot of questions that are very broad like in case of X what would happen, or if the world were made of X then how would life evolve?

I think we need to be extra careful to ask more focused questions like:

Population range for a booming/dying frontier town

This question is focused wants to know what would be an approriate population for a former boomtown that is now just hanging on.

Compare the focus of that question to these:

What effect would elemental magic have on the work force

What and how main technological breakthrough we have today could be replaced with magic?

If technology allowed for instant brain to brain transmission of knowledge, how would society change?

I hate to have an outright ban on hypothetical situations when our problem is too broad of questions.

Should we be trying to salvage these too broad questions? If so How?


1 Answer 1


I know it is too early to speculate, but…

The biggest "problem" I see on this site is when an author throws out a very broad premise and asks folks to brainstorm the many possible story lines and outcomes that could result from their initial thesis (e.g. "What would a world/town/people be like if {x}?")

While plenty entertaining, that's not really what this site is for.

Like any area of expertise we cover, a writers' site shouldn't start from the premise of "write a storyline for me." Instead, an author should focus in on a very specific problem they encountered in their day to day work. This site can become be a fantastic resource where writers and designers tap into the expertise of technology/physics/geography/history/sociology/ecology to make sure their fictional world is at least plausible.

I understand that much of the content here revolves around interesting thought exercises. But if you find yourself asking "what would a world/people/place be like if {x}?", you may simply be too early in the process for a site like this.

If you can stick to issues of very specific problem-solving writers and world designers encounter, this site will do fine. But if questions continually veer too far into soliciting boundless story lines and roundtable discussions, I'm afraid this subject may be be better served by a discussion forum than a Q&A site. I'm not conceding that, of course, but it's something to consider when asking your questions.


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