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  1. #1
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    ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    people: obviously
    special stuff: magic in fantasy, technology in sci-fi, "powers" in comics
    rules: superman - "even though I'm invincible, I still have to follow them damn rules"
    bad guys: lex luthor - "my aim in this life is world domination & to kill superman; the one is not seperable from the other."
    some sort of functional (or disfunctional) society:
    but you gotta change the titles of the positions - doctor = healer, parliament = council, boss = chief, girl = fair maiden or very aesthetically pleasing feminine android, etc...
    improbable geography - have as many mountains and lakes; planets and asteriods, as you can fit in one small space.
    very long plot - must take several volumns to finish and plot must be so tangled up that people forget when the last plot twist took place.
    purpose - must have a completely pointless quest, world shattering event driving the plot.
    protagonist - must have a (usually) very sympathetic protagonist who gets hurt all the time (physically/psychologically/emotionally/you name it he's got to have experienced it) - this is a must.

    and if you follow the above you will have yourself a well rounded fantasy/sci-fi book that has absolutely nothing to do with real life or with anything else for that matter. lol.



  2. #2
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    Now I know why I stay away from those, lol.

  3. #3
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    I can't fully agree with this statement in the OP. What you have described is a cookie-cutter world, perfect for an elementary student's English paper. Maybe this post is supposed to be a satire on epic fantasy, but regardless of the purpose you have written this, I believe that the most important thing for writing fiction is to have an elaborate world. Thinking of the intricacies of its operation, one can then develop problems with their new world, adding in the creation of plot, characters, etc from the world itself.

    Fantasy is essentially moving away from the "normal perspective" we conceive as reality. The fictional world is the backbone in this, because as you stated, it sets the new rules. It's also true that the more in depth and immersible the world is, the greater depth you can create for your story. However, when you say:

    bad guys: lex luthor - "my aim in this life is world domination & to kill superman; the one is not seperable from the other."
    some sort of functional (or disfunctional) society:
    but you gotta change the titles of the positions - doctor = healer, parliament = council, boss = chief, girl = fair maiden or very aesthetically pleasing feminine android, etc...
    improbable geography - have as many mountains and lakes; planets and asteriods, as you can fit in one small space.


    I feel like you sell the genre short. Why wouldn't characters be dynamic enough to follow psychology? Why does the villain have to destroy/control the world? These are preconceived notions that I feel take away from the genre. I will admit that by following these rules you established, you can mimic several good authors, but there is much more to any genre than that.

  4. #4
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    Having read your opinion, Christopher, I must admit that I greatly enjoyed Douglas Adams' Trilogy (or did there end up being 4?). "Life, the Universe, and Everything", "The Restaurant at the end of the Universe", and " ....{something about fish..??"}

    Having said that I am sure that Good Morning was trying to amuse us with his satiric (is that a word?) sense of humor. And I think he did.

    P.S. I think I am also punctuation challenged. So if you see mistakes in my posts, please feel free to point them out. I won't be offended.

  5. #5
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    Sabina, as far as satire is concerned, it was good for a laugh. I decided that adding some substance to the thread for those who were looking for help/opinions.

    PS: I am also grammatically challenged.

  6. #6
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    I should clarify here: I was being sarcastic.
    deary me, irony & sarcasm died with pride and prejudice, lol

    In all seriousness, although I greatly admire fantasy & sci-fi authors and their works. Cannot seem to write speculative fiction convincingly myself (and that's not for lack of trying).

    For reading/viewing, I prefer "modern" speculative fics if u will, by this I mean stories that are semi set in the real world but with additional benefits, hard to explain it, things like the Harry Potter books and X-men come to mind. They are at least partially set in modern society.

    Stories that take us completely away from the present day & to far away lands that no one's ever heard of, I can't stomach because I just can't keep up. Half the time I am struggling over the pronunciation of place names & surnames.

  7. #7
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    I am currently working on my first book, still a rough draft and written like a fifth grader to get the plot line out. I can't even consider it a serious work yet because of that fact. I'm writing cyberpunk/fantasy, and the plot is just running loose on wild tangents. I'm having trouble pruning it and keeping it on course, but I'm having a blast with it. Its always exciting as you think of a different way you can turn the story.

  8. #8
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    You're referring to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy:

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant At the End of the Universe, Live, the Universe and Everything,
    So Long and Thanks For all the Fish, the fourth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.


    And,
    Mostly Harmless, the fifth book in the increasingly inappropriately named Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.

    I might add, BTW, that the comments at the end of the last two titles aren't my additions but how they're written on the book's covers.

  9. #9
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    That is interesting. I have similar criteria for the books I read, or movies I am willing to watch. Drives my friends crazy!

    But yes, it has to play in present tense (well, go back 50 years if you must, but no more), there can be NO magical figures or goblins, Vampires,etc. in it. No excessive violence that is not needed for the plot. If it is needed, then its okay. If its comedy the humor better be dark or sarcastic, if it nears slapstick I will simply walk out... there are a few other criteria I have, but I can't think of them right now.
    Did I mention that my friends rarely invite me to see movies with them??

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Re: ingredients for world creation in speculative fics

    For those of us who love SF and grew up on it, very few SF books are that hard to follow. The first SF book I read (I was ten) was Heinlein's, "Space Cadet." The second was C.J. Cherryh's, "Hunter of Worlds." Both books set me up to love science fiction and solar systems other than our own.

    SF is also a great way to challenge our way of thinking, of how we look at people different from us, politics AND science (like the morality of genetic manipulation in Frank Herbert's "The Eyes of Heisenberg" ), and continues to inflame our curiosity about space travel and what's out there (like it or not, it did have a big impact on our early space exploration).

    I don't like to see people dismiss SF/F as inconsequential, it's had a dramatic impact on our life, and will continue to do so as long as we have imaginations.

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