13
$\begingroup$

As our recent question raising the idea of starting a blog showed, the community is interested in starting a blog with a variety of topics.

In this question, we will see what specific articles could fit within this blog.

Answers should propose either a topic for a specific blog post (such as a review of Universe Sandbox) or a topic for a regularly recurring blog entry (such as a monthly/quarterly recap of best answers and questions).

The answer should also contain an outline of how this blog post could be structured and why it is a good fit. People can then vote on the suggestions they like and dislike.

Posting a suggestion does not mean you commit to writing this blog entry.

Though you can of course express interest in writing it. Other people can also mention they would like to write a certain post, posted by another user by commenting on that post.

Keep in mind that the blog actually starting is not a guarantee, and even if it does start, it might very well be quite a long time from now. Even so, I believe this question will prove useful if we need want to start a blog at some later time.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Should we be posting one suggestion per comment or combining them all into one? $\endgroup$ – Bokai Nov 20 '14 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Bokai One per suggestion in this question. $\endgroup$ – overactor Nov 20 '14 at 21:05

16 Answers 16

13
$\begingroup$

One possibility would be interviews. Maybe once a month a community member gets interviewed about what brings them to worldbuilding, what they are interested in, etc.

Interviewees could be high rep users (both long term and newcomers with a high impact on arrival), moderators, etc.

Want to be interviewed? If so, leave a note there. Also leave a note there if you're interested in conducting interviews; they don't all have to be by Tim, who's happy to share.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I like this, I considered interviews more as a rare thing, but doing an interview every few months would be great. $\endgroup$ – overactor Nov 12 '14 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ I like it as well. If we can find a good way to protect peoples ideas we could even demo our worlds. $\endgroup$ – James Nov 12 '14 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ @overactor Lol, considering the frequency we ended up at this comment amused me :) $\endgroup$ – Tim B Feb 10 '16 at 17:25
12
$\begingroup$

Oh, I got lots:

Abusing the Kardashev Scales for Fun and Profit,

Economics of Space Colonization, or Why I'd Sooner Colonize the Gobi Desert

Why AIs Love Paperclips

Tropes, Subvert or Play Straight?

Lampshade Hanging for Dummies

Worldbuilding 101: Worldbuilding Or Why You Can't Have Oxygen-Hydrogen Atmospheres

Worldbuilding 102: How to Technobabble Your Handwavium Most Persuasively

Worldbuilding 103: How to write a lovable character

Worldbuilding 104: How to write a memorable character

Worldbuilding 105: How to write an intelligent character

Worldbuilding 106: How to write a super-intelligent character (when you're not a genius yourself)

Worldbuilding Like A Pro: How to Make Your World Setting Reusable

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Aren't you a boat-load of ideas :-) $\endgroup$ – JDSweetBeat May 4 '15 at 15:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Why you can't have a hydrogen oxygen atmosphere" made me laugh so so so hard. $\endgroup$ – Green Sep 24 '15 at 23:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't your 103 to 106 be topics more appropriate for writers.SE (assuming they have a blog)? $\endgroup$ – celtschk Sep 26 '15 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Serban, if you're still around, I'd be interested in writing that oxygen-hydrogen atmospheres post, if you haven't started in on it yet. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jun 29 '18 at 16:13
9
$\begingroup$

Masterclasses

TimB posted some great questions a little while ago around creating a realistic world maps.

These could be turned into great How To articles.

$\endgroup$
8
$\begingroup$

I would love to see an article on Suspension of Disbelief:

Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, fantasy, and horror genres.

It seems like it would be a little too broad and opinion based to tackle in our usual Q and A format, but it is a key factor in world building of any sort. The ability to encourage and sustain suspension of disbelieve can make or break a good narrative.

$\endgroup$
8
$\begingroup$

Deploying your world

A blog is a good vehicle for covering topics related to worldbuilding that wouldn't actually be on-topic on Worldbuilding.SE. We could have articles about writing, game-mastering, or theatre/scripting that focus on how to reveal your world in interesting, informative ways that aren't just visits from the exposition fairy.

That's kind of vague, but maybe it'll inspire some concrete suggestions.

Example: my Revelation for RPGs series.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Yes please. I could use those lessons. $\endgroup$ – James Apr 22 '15 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ @James what would you like to know? Can you suggest some specific topics? $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 3 '15 at 0:31
7
$\begingroup$

Selection of best questions and answers: What caused buzz in last month and some comment to that by author of such article

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ We had a few of these and then the usual editor got busy. But anybody can do these! Are you interested in doing one? $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Nov 29 '16 at 3:27
6
$\begingroup$

Another suggestion is to have a short blog post/story/description of a world the author has created. Describe your world in 3 paragraphs...

I'd be happy to write one about "Oss".

I'd describe briefly that Oss was a world I envisaged when writing about my character Delta Fay, I'd give a brief overview of how it's an archipelago of islands ruled by the Lords of the Isles, an Emperor and the rulers of the nine races.

I'd probably go on to give some nuget of information which isn't in the book, perhaps something I've planned but hasn't made it into the characters' storyline yet.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This seems to me more like a case by case basis, I would suggest you change this answer to be specifically about the world you created for your book. (Which I think would be an AWESOME blogpost) Though maybe people disagree with me there. $\endgroup$ – overactor Nov 12 '14 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @overactor but I know about mine! I want to read other people's :-p $\endgroup$ – Liath Nov 12 '14 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ @It's a good general topic, but I wouldn't describe it as a recurring blog post. Hence for the purpose of this question, your specific article would need its own answer. $\endgroup$ – overactor Nov 12 '14 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @overactor more about how I designed or more information about the world (which isn't directly referenced in the story?) $\endgroup$ – Liath Nov 12 '14 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ @overactor why not make that a recurring blog post? I'd love to see a broader post with a world that was developed with answers from our community! $\endgroup$ – Sheraff Apr 19 '15 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Liath FYI, we've (re)launched the blog in celebration of our upcoming birthday, and we'd love to have that description of "Oss" if you're still willing! You can check out what we've got so far and then pop into chat (or leave me a comment) if you want to contribute. You'll need to create an account there, which is as simple as signing in with Google or Twitter, and then we'll need to add you as an author. After that, you can contribute your post at your leisure! $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 3 '15 at 0:34
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio sounds good, I've signed up - same username $\endgroup$ – Liath Sep 3 '15 at 7:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Liath great! I added you as a writer, which should have generated some sort of notification (email, I think). You can now create a post ("create story") and then submit it to the "Universe Factory" blog when ready. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 3 '15 at 12:42
6
$\begingroup$

What-if questions and answers

This question asks about what-if questions, which tend to be too broad and open-ended to work on our Q&A site. (See the answers there for much discussion.) But these questions are popular with readers, and people here enjoy answering them.

Those posts don't fit our main Q&A well, but they sure would make interesting material for the blog (as Randall Munroe has already demonstrated). So my suggestion: if you see (or think of!) a what-if question that you'd like to answer in some detail, write it up as a blog post instead.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ We'll need to make sure that it covers different fields than xkcd. $\endgroup$ – Daniel M. Feb 13 '16 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielM. treating the questions in a different way would be sufficient. He has a distinctive style; we shouldn't be trying to imitate that. But that doesn't mean we can't cover similar topics. Also, a lot of the XKCD what-if posts aren't about worldbuilding anyway; his scope is broader. I think we can play well together. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Feb 14 '16 at 3:09
5
$\begingroup$

A workflow for creating the world

$\endgroup$
5
$\begingroup$

What about an article about when to stop?

Imagine that after having decided on the geography and atmospheric composition of your world, you rent a supercomputer to do a climate simulation, so you'll get a realistic climate on your world. I think everyone here would agree that this would be overkill.

On the other hand, you certainly don't want to just claim a climate without any consideration, or else people will object to your rainforest on a world without any water.

Those are, of course, intentionally exaggerated examples. But the basic point is: How do you know when you have spent enough thought on building your world? How do you identify points worth of further consideration, and points which you can simply claim as fact in your world without further research?

Note that the problem is of course not restricted to climate, but occurs for all aspects of your world. At what point do you stop research to make your medieval world believable? When do you stop worrying whether your creatures are really possible?

I think an article about this subject could be worthwhile.

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

I would love a blog about consistent worlds and trying to reason through the implication and culture of a world that you create. I sort of went on a small tirade to that effect in this question already: What would the world be like if humanity always valued gender equality?

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Write About Your World

Building off of Liath's answer, why not periodically have people write about their worlds for a period of time? Even if it is not regularly, it would still be interesting for people to go in and read about other's worlds. And it would be an opportunity for people to put out all of that information about their world that didn't come up in their story.

(Perhaps another question asking for volunteers would be in order, and the answers would be potential articles about worlds. The most popular ones would end up on the blog.)

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Why we worldbuild

Something like this would need a pretty poetic answer, though (especially if it's used as a standalone blog post).

Alternatively, this idea can be combined with interviews.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Have you read the already existing interviews? There are most of the time some question related to that point. $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin Feb 15 '16 at 10:08
2
$\begingroup$

I'd love to read an article about how to mantain the internal consistency betweeen history, culture and technological development. I'm creating a world and have many problems trying to be consistent. I think many people may have this problem and benefit from an article kike this.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Software surveys

This question about map-making software has 25+ votes, nearly 20 favorites, and several answers. It's obviously a topic of some interest. Would anybody who's actually used software for map-making care to write a survey of what's out there? No one piece of software meets all needs, so ideally you'd tell us a little about the strengths and weaknesses of the programs you survey.

We also have this question and this other question about planetary prototyping and modeling, respectively.

Also this popular one about organizing notes, of interest to worldbuilders, writers, GMs, and probably many others.

These all have the tag.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Something I'd very much appreciate would be an article on fictional classification systems. The real-world classification system, known as taxonomy or systematics (Either taxa (levels) or cladistic evolutionary grouped clades) is useful for grouping real-world organisms. But what about those fictional/mythical creatures? That magic plant? The high-tech engineered disease? Where does classification come in then? Should you build a new classification system to deal with these magical creatures?

$\endgroup$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .