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I'm putting together an effort on Science Fiction & Fantasy to give users guidance for when they should migrate1 a question from SFF to a different site on the network.

World Building doesn't have too much overlap with SFF, however, we sometimes get questions seeking input on worlds they are creating and how to do stuff with them. This means that we occasionally get questions that should be more applicable on World Building.

It would be helpful if the World Building community could put together some guidance on when they would like content from SFF migrating over here. Things to think about:

  • Do you ever want it suggesting?
  • What sorts of questions do you want migration suggesting for?
  • Are there any topics to avoid?

Once the World Building community has an idea of what guidelines they have for migration, could you post an answer to the linked post with them? If not let me know in the comments when it is ready and I can post it there.


1 Here migration means anything from formal migration to suggesting in a comment when to migrate content to a different site.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you link to the query on SF&F you thought ought to be migrated? $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Aug 25 '20 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas This isn’t about a specific post; it’s general guidance for users to look at in the future for what to think about when suggesting to migrate here from SFF. $\endgroup$ – TheLethalCarrot Aug 25 '20 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ No worries. When I read "I have seen a question on the main site..." over on SF&F meta, i thought maybe you had something specific in mind. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Aug 25 '20 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ Highly relevant SFF meta post (answer from a WB mod) on when and when not to migrate from there to here. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 29 '20 at 20:19
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Towards an Answer

I think this is a good idea!

If you think a query needs to be migrated to Worldbuilding, check out What the Worldbuilding Forum is All About as this lays out, in proper manifesto form, some basic expectations as to what we accept and prefer not to deal with.

Some key points for consideration, I think, would be the following:

  • if someone is actually asking a query about their own worldbuilding projects, we want those questions! Kind of obvious if they say: "I saw XYZ movie and I'm trying to make my own world now!..." Send em our way! Sometimes folks will couch their own work in terms of a well known property: "So I have a world kind of like the Wizarding World where XYZ happens..." This is okay, send them our way as well. Main thing is that the question is about their own fictional world, not about someone else's fictional world.
  • On the contrary, if someone is asking about how a phenomenon works in a commercial property (we often refer to these as "third party intellectual properties"), then we don't accept those, even if the asker is building a fictional world. A question like "So, I'm building a world and I want magic in it, but I don't know how magic should work. How does magic work in the Wizarding World?" When these kinds of questions get asked in Worldbuilding, we generally refer them to SF&F or one of the other forums as appropriate.

Those I think are the major points.

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Adding to what @elemtilas said...

  • We regularly suffer from people who are suffering from writer's block. They're here, not for help to build their worlds per se, but to get a bunch of spaghetti thrown against the proverbial wall so they can pick-and-choose a path our of their conundrum. Those kinds of questions (usually called "storybuilding") are actually off-topic here. We expect people to be focusing on their worlds, not their stories, and to ask specific (not open-ended) questions.

  • Speaking of storybuilding: worldbuilding is the process of developing and consistently using the rules and systems of a fictional world of one' own design wherein an infinite number of stories may be told. Storybuilding usually focuses on plot, circumstance, and character actions or choices. You'd be surprised how many storybuilding questions masquerade as worldbuilding questions.

  • Finally, we allow real-world questions, but only when asked in the context of building a fictional world. We'd ask F&SF to consider that if a real-world question is being asked and there is no obvious and expedient worldbuilding purpose, that it be redirected to the more appropriate stack (often Physics or Astronomy).

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