Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Emergency Worldbuilding Part 2

Death for NaNo failure!
Holly advises in worldbuilding to build only what you need, which includes:

  1. "Special physics"
  2. Organized terrain
  3. Defined inhabitants
  4. Uniform method of counting time, weights and measures
  5. Defined cultures
  6. Spoken and written languages
  7. Consistent technological level
  8. Cast of characters
My answers are:
  1. The special physics are a sort of cross between H.P Lovecraft's spells in the Necronomicon and Douglas Adams' Starship Bistromath.  If you understand math sufficiently and manipulate the equations correctly, given the right set of conditions you can perform scientific achievements so astounding that they are indistinguishable from magic.
  2. Pattell University is situated along the North Branch of the Chicago River.  It is situated so that it should have been consumed in the Great Chicago Fire.  I have a fairly good description of it and I will share that later.
  3. What she meant by this was races, or species.
    1. I'm not sure how much of this to tell without spoiling things.  I do have a sort of mythos and/or pantheon worked out and they play a significant part in the story since the "magical" science was not created nor discovered by humans.  It is alien "technology."
  4. Time, weight and measures are measured in the normal fashion in the US.
  5. The cultures are fairly standard except the cult.  I'd rather not spell that out here due to spoilers.
  6. English will be the primary language.  The aliens are incapable of rendering human speech sounds and we would be unable to pronounce theirs if they had an auditory language.  Communication is through mental influence and a constructed language provided by aliens at some point in the distant past.
  7. Modern tech other than what was provided by the aliens.
  8. I've shown the characters in the previous post.
That was probably less than satisfying.  I do have some behind the scenes stuff to work on, but let's go on to another list and see if it will be a bit more tantalizing for the readers.

Annalee Newitz has rules for Quick and Dirty worldbuilding:
  1. Do a little research
  2. Have a few rules
  3. Don't obsess over consistency
  4. Consider what's good and what's bad about your world
  5. Create characters who are plausibly the products of your world
My answers to Ms Newitz include:
  1. Given the time limit I've given myself, there can be only little
  2. Again, I'm forced to simplicity.  I will follow all known laws of physics in this story.  What physics doesn't know is where I will fabricate, stretch and BS.
  3. Okay
  4. This is probably the place where we can really sink our teeth in.
    1. Good
      1. There are good people
      2. There are brave people
      3. People do fall in love
    2. Bad
      1. There are evil people
      2. There are powers beyond our comprehension that is insanely dangerous to our entire planet and completely indifferent to our whole galaxy.  It isn't that the universe is out to kill us, the universe is just deadly and destructive period.
      3. Being good and brave will not help in the end
      4. Love may just be instincts, our genes driving us to procreate them, a chemical mix that has nothing to do with destiny or true love.
      5. Life is the result of random forces and will end as a result of random forces
  5. Certainly, I always do.  I feel that characters are a strong point for me.

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