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EDIT: If you like this journal entry, check out The Sarcastic Guide to Writing ebook www.amazon.com/The-Sarcastic-G… for exclusive content on world-building, character, and dialogue!

World-building, for me, is one of the biggest things about fantasy.  It has, in many cases, saved a book from sucking.  Conversely, poor world-building can drag a brilliant plot and excellent characterization down.  What is world-building?  It is consistency of logic and the new rules that you introduce as part of the story.  Easy to say, hard to do.  World-building, in good fantasy, more often than not, provides some kind of critical plot point.  (If it doesn't, that's okay, but really good fantasy usually takes an established rule and gives it story stakes.)  
Examples?  Phillip Pullman establishes the rule of daemons in his His Dark Materials trilogy, so that by the end of Book 1, when someone grabs another character's daemon, it horrifies the reader.  Because it was so heavily established that touching another person's daemon was anathema, forbidden even in battle, a betrayal of a cultural value.  Another, different, example is in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy, with the seven bells of necromancy consistently behaving as they are described: the bell Ranna always puts someone to sleep; it never does anything different.
This is a two part series, but the first part will be an overview.  For the most part, I build my races and worlds through a series of questionnaires.  Over the years I've narrowed things down quite a bit, to about 10-15 questions.  But if you're looking for a good place to start, Googling world-building questions will help you discover more about your race/culture than you ever wanted to know.

1.  Laws and boundaries need to have some kind of ramification for the characters. This rule is at the top, because it's the one I see broken the most often.  People take the time to establisha brooding council, an evil king, a cadre of badass soldiers, or what have you, and the characters skip right past them.  A country that cuts the hand off of every thief?  The hero steals indiscriminately, without fail, every time, and always has.  A mansion guarded by the biggest, baddest bunch of guards the world has ever seen?  Well, the hero and friends send a grappling hook over the wall and climbs on up.  Mostly, this happens because someone is giving detail to a
world, but not willing to explore it further because it's inconvenient to the plot.  After all, you want your heroes to confront the evil chancellor in the mansion, because that's a much more interesting scene than killing guards.  As tempting as it is to write an anti-hero who plays by his own rules, please keep in mind that societies have rules for a reason, and it's very, very difficult to survive on your own outside of them.  A sub-problem of this is having a very strict society, like, say Victorian England, and having a product of that society flout its rules without consequences.  If a woman decided to throw off her corset, get drunk, and cavort nakedly in the street in Victorian England, I can't even begin to tell you how badly she'd be beaten.  But a lot of people write the sassy heroine with a smart mouth because it's more fun.  This bugs the crap out of me.  I hate seeing an established society that a "speshul" hero is allowed to give the middle finger to.  Not only are you moving into Mary Sue territory, but you're also passing up a prime opportunity for conflict.  Show me a hero struggling to operate within a society he doesn't necessarily agree with, and I'll show you a hero with reader sympathy.

2.   If "Oh, my God" exists, I want to know why. Religion is one of the major driving forces in the real world, especially the further back in history you go.  It's influenced politics, war, and economy, whether you like it or no.  Examining religion and its place in your fantasy world is very important, because a world made of atheists is going to have just as many rules and regulations as a world of a thousand gods.  Whether your God or gods exist isn't necessarily important, but the way the culture treats them is.  Even in our world, an atheist says "Oh, my God" when he's freaked, because there is a cultural backdrop behind the exclamation; our culture has religion in droves.  If there are no established gods, talk of an afterworld, or even a chat about metaphysics, and someone says "Oh, my God", it makes my brain short circuit.  Where did this God come from?  Is it just the one?  Is he mad at you for taking his name in vain, or just his priests? Are there priests!?  Either find something else for them to say, or establish that there is religion somewhere.  Religion is so closely tied with cultural values that to overlook it, whether because you hate it or are attempting to be PC (see Rule 3), odds are that someone, somewhere, in your fantasy world looked up at the sky and said, "Why are we here and what happens after we die?"  Differing religions, naturally, make for great conflict.  Especially if the gods are real.  Keep religion in mind when you're world-building, because it's a massive piece of the puzzle.  This doesn't mean you have to go on author tract about it, or even make it a major part of your story, but allow it to be part of the backdrop.

3.  Politically correct is not a necessity. Pressure from contemporary cultural norms encourage things like equality, fair trials, and not being racist.  Unfortunately, it's only been in
the last hundred years that crap like that has actually become the norm.  Women could vote before black people could sit in a restaurant next to whites.  Before that, you could put up a sign
that said "No Irish", and before that, you could work children in factories for 16 hours straight for ten cents a day.  Before that?  A lord owned your ass and the asses of your kids and great-grandkids, and could throw you off your land to starve for getting mud on his doublet.  Before that?  Well, you were just on your own to keep marauding barbarians off your mud farm.  Even Ancient Greece and Rome treated their woman pretty bad, and don't even get me started on stuff like the handicapped or mentally disabled.  The Middle Ages are looked upon with a highly romantic air, and don't let that stop you from writing in it, but do a tiny bit of research, please.  I love the Middle Ages because it was so different; I love how they made bows, and glass, and built cathedrals.  I don't need to see peasant women being treated as valuable member of society, because they weren't; I know it and you know it.  Again, that these societies, by our contemporary standards, were unfair gives a lot of opportunity for conflict.  Don't skip over it.  You need not emphasize in the other direction, like in Monty Python, but show us your world, the dirty and the clean.  The good and the bad.  It'll make it more believable, and if you don't, odds are you're in cliche' territory with all the other morons.

4.  Warfare drives technology; in fantasy, magic would do the exact same thing. A lot of people seem to forget this.  If there are people out there who can throw fireballs, I can just about
guarantee you that there's a king out there, with a lot of gold, that he's willing to throw at their feet in order to burn his enemies.  And if the fireball throwers refuse, well, they have families, don't they?  Or, if they're too dangerous to be allowed to live, a king with an army wouldn't mind trying to wipe them out.  And maybe capturing some of their kids, so the kids can be raised to be fireball-throwers for the king.  It applies to just about everything.  Invisibility?  Shapeshifting?  Talking with animals?  Espionage.  Teleportation?  Flying?  Sneak attack.  Energy blasts?  Dragon-summoning?  Head of the army.  I never understood how Paolini's so-called golden age of Dragon Riders wasn't really some kind of military junta, especially since punishment for things like murder and theft would be meted out by flying, scaly death tanks.  I mean, maybe your wizard is the one in charge.  Magic and what it can do has to be considered very carefully, because it has huge ramifications.  Magic is power, and power is everything.  Just ask businessman and politicians, and look at what they do with it.  I hate seeing heroes with super-awesome destructive powers, who A) never get blackmailed, bribed, or asked to do some fireworks by the folk in charge, B) never get mobbed by people or towns who are
terrified of what they can do, or C) imprisoned for blowing shit up.  This goes double for someone whose powers haven't been seen in a thousand years, were responsible for the death of a civilization, or mentioned as having a hand in the end of an age/world by a prophecy.  Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series treats very powerful magic in a realistic way, because the main character becomes embroiled in squabbling factions that each want part of her power.  Same with the concept behind X-Men.  Don't just give your hero abilities and go with it; examine what kind of ramifications that kind of power would have.  I mean, if people freak out about a gun in an office building or high school, imagine how they'd react to fireballs ...

5. How people get food must be examined. Many fantasy writers overpopulate their worlds, not just with a human and elven and dwarven populations, but with massive, immortal dragons, marching orc hordes, and perverted centaurs.  First of all, starving people = not fun.  Ask anyone who saw or wrote about the French Revolution.  In fact, riots in Rome were a big reason why bread and circuses was developed to keep the people happy.  If a populace is well-fed
and entertained, it's less likely to riot on you.  Conversely, a town under siege usually breaks because it runs out of food, in many cases after they've eaten the horses, dogs, cats, rats, and the dead.  One such town gave their guy in charge to Genghis Kahn, because he wanted to keep fighting and they didn't because their families were starving to death.  Long story short, I have no
idea how Sauron kept all those Uruk-Hai fed.  Conversely, if you have a so-called evil king, who is willing to let Urgals- er, I mean, orcs, march all over the place raping and burning, pretty soon you're going to have a pissed off population.  And I don't mean an indignant population, I mean a "I'm so hungry I'll throw myself on a knight in plate mail for the chance to eat his horse" population.  Same goes for dragons, who, if they're bigger than elephants or even some whales, would have to eat meat.  Meat was a rarity for peasants, who saw it maybe a couple of times a month if they were lucky.  Sooner or later, if no one has anything to eat, it all breaks
down.  The ones in charge may live, but a lot of people are going to die.  The aftermath of the Black Plague saw famine on a scale so massive that harvests literally rotted in the fields.  So, if
you have marauding hordes, tectonic plates shifting in a matter of seconds, reality torn asunder, earthquakes, or dragon attacks, you'd better show me what kind of aftermath occurs.  Again, story stakes and conflict come in here, but don't just have it for the sake of the hero.  Show us the world the hero is defending and why, and we'll be much happier.
  • Reading: Widdershins by Charles De Lint
  • Watching: The Colbert Report
Add a Comment:
 
:iconstarhorse:
Starhorse Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2010  Professional General Artist
pah! Of course not! But I don't think my parents would appreciate a three hour long distance call -more- than once a week.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2010
Oh, right! Because I demand that you talk to me for 3 hours at a time!
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:iconstarhorse:
Starhorse Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2010  Professional General Artist
don't be ridiculous. of course it's you.
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:iconsnaphance93:
Snaphance93 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Droemar, you have become the next Limyaael :D

No, seriously, these things are useful. It's good to know I'm not alone in this world when it comes to world-building and research.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010
Hey, I remember her! She was on Livejournal, if I recall. She did some hilarious crits of Eragon.
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:iconsnaphance93:
Snaphance93 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Her rants are awesome. She updated her InsaneJournal in December, but I dunno if she's still around.

Kippurbird - [link] does also have some hilarous Eragon-reviews - chapter by chapter, at that.

By the way, would you mind sharing the world-building questionaire? And what books/websites do you use for research? I have some books, but I like asking around.

Wonderful journal. I, as many others, wish it was possible to fave them.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010
As far as books:
On Writing by Stephen King
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont
The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy by Darin Park and Tom Dullemond (I have an older version of this, that I think was vanity press, but it gives really good advice. A lot of experts on various subjects like warfare and religion, etc. all contribute to the chapters.)
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
The First Five Pages and The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life, both by Noah Lukeman

I don't use websites, unless I'm Wikipedia-ing something real quick. Like, the other night, I need to know how to use a bo staff, so I took notes and watched Youtube instructional videos. If I don't know about a subject, like at all, period, I usually tend to get a kid's book on it. Like: Nuclear Fission for Kids! Eyewitness books presents: ROCKET SCIENCE. But other times I look for historical fiction for character, context, and story references, and nonfiction on the subject just for knowledge's sake.

I'd have to post my questionnaire separately.
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:iconsnaphance93:
Snaphance93 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I own a few of those books (On Writing, How To Write Sci-fi and Fantasy and The Complete Guide), and now I really itch to go and look for some of the others.

I usually don't trust websites, for some reason xP Kid's books are very good, really. Thanks a lot!

Hehe. It would be great to see it, in any case.
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:icononyxdragonarts:
OnyxDragonArts Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
Thinking about it did women not sometimes follow an army in to war, they would stay at the camp and do well um womans work, and then there were the smithies amourers wepons repairers and builders, Tanners, traders cooks, seemstresses, ladys of free vertue. In fact I recon if those following the army for work or other reasons had joined the army wooww what a force! but then who would darn their socks? Livestock would also be brought by civilian workers for trading and such, oxon would be very importaint as food and transport. Theres just so much to consider. gosh my little brains buzzing now. Thanks for making me think.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
That's also assuming that every army had the funds and provisions for that kind of following! Sometimes a soldier just came in from battle and had to take care of himself. Also, a favorite tactics of the Danes in battle was to attack the women and children that followed the armies of their enemies, in order to split their forces.
But you're thinking! That = great!
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
re 1: couldnt' agree more. heroes aren't heroes because they operate OUTSIDE the rules/laws, but because they sruggle within them.

re 2: i struggle with this constantly! it's almost reflexive to write in, "My god!" "jesus!" "Lord in heaven" etc. troublesome because my hero might best be described as a militant agnostic!

re 3: here is the advantage of building our own worlds, far enough removed from earth history, to justify our transgressions. ;p

re 4: a very good point! i hadn't really thought about it! many of the authors i read address the issues with such finesse that it hardly registers! it feels absolutley natural in their universe.

re 5: an army travels on its stomach!! ;p definitely something that bears deep consideration.

thnx again for your comprehensive analysis! :wave:
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
Just about guaranteed: if a hero starts making his own laws, he stops becoming a hero and turns into a tyrant or worse. Especially when there's an "ends justifies the means" attitude, and it gets worse with informed ability! "Oh, yeah, Eragon killed a guy pleading for his life in cold blood, but he's a hero, I say! A hero!"
Depending on your background, even a militant agnostic could say "Oh, my God." I mean, if it's set in a real world, like an urban fantasy or something, or even a world where there is established religion and agnosticism. I always like how Bender in Futurama said "Oh. Your. God." or the Indian dude exclaimed "Oh, my various gods!"
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
heheheh. good point! but my 'hero' is far more likely to invoke profanities than deities. ;)

i miss Futurama, i'll have to dig some up. :)
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:iconkaxanthedragon:
KaxantheDragon Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Student General Artist
I totally agree... Kinda bothers me when one comment a co-author made was that he was the 'mastermind' of the whole story we were writing when he didn't even think of half the stuff that makes 'his' world tick... I have a natural knack for know these things and gave him several ideas... but w/e... He still thinks he's the mastermind... Learned my lesson with co-authoring anything... XP
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
It has been my experience that when someone wants to co-author, it's because they're lacking something intrinsic. Mostly that they're too lazy to sit down and write themselves, and want someone to hold their hand and motivate them to write. There's a reason that authors collaborate professionally: because both of them have complete works that impress the other.
Someone at one of my video game asked me if I was interested in collaborating; I asked him what he had finished, and as he started to sputter this idea he had, I was like, "Then, no."
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:iconkaxanthedragon:
KaxantheDragon Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010  Student General Artist
^^ You described him perfectly.

I even tried to get him to read these helpful journals of yours... But he didn't like them because he didn't need help and because he didn't like your blunt nature... Ah well... I find these very thought-provoking and helpful, so thanks so much for taking the time to create them! \o/
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
Yeah, the whole "I don't need help" thing tends to go hand in hand with a lack of discipline, or really, reeeeally terrible writing. ;)
I write these for those who want to write, listen, and improve!
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:iconkaxanthedragon:
KaxantheDragon Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2010  Student General Artist
Wow... You're good. You've got him down pat. :lol:

Well thanks for all that you do! I look forward to your next journal!
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:iconredmagesalyre:
Redmagesalyre Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
This is the reason why journal must be faved!

I like the second point in there, especially when you get to a lot of sci-fi or fantasy written by people who don't give any achknowledgement to their own creations. I tend to hate athestic societies in fiction, they tend to be either the perfect, technologically surperior society of Mary Sue love, or they are suppose to be morally surperior to everyone else (as a part of an Author Tract). I had to take two classes in relgion, one of them was a class about Christianity in America, which is a really eye-opener for anyone who's never really read anything about the various Great Awakenings in American history, or the effects it had on politics. Especially when you consider how religion plays a significant role in every society that has ever been on planet Earth, a detail that actually gets played with in Avatar with how the Na'vi react to the concept of Eywa or how religion and religious orders are treated throughout the Crown of Seven Stars series.

Oh and the third rule is a pretty good one to take in mind, even if your society is an athestist society of crystal spires and togas, there's going to be some kind of unfairness (perhaps to people who still believe in an afterlife or believe in God(s) or maybe to people who question the reasons behind the whole society).

Fourth rule, very good points made there, in fact it's perhaps one of the most important rules ever to be put forward here. I've heard people complain about certain societies that they explain should be very advanced if they're so peaceful. A peaceful society, or at least a society that has never experience too many wars wouldn't build extremely fortified walls, unless there was a need to do so. I've actually came across a story in which a person had a peaceful kingdom create a very fortified wall and asign knights and generals to protect them, yes defense is not offense, but in all reality, how does defense become necessary? To protect. For the whole superpowers thing, I actually decided to make a rule that has those who have certain magic powers are to be treated as living weapons, especially those with Fire related magic are believed to be REAL living weapons, since there is a group of people who have the belief that Fire Elementalists are born evil(this is proven to be false), which has the main character in a very dangerous deliemena, since she's a Fire Elementalist by birth, she just never known she was, and to protect her, she has to live in a mostly isolated village, and be protected from the supersistion by living on the other side of the fence so to say. Elementalists of other elements are treated like weapons or healers, in fact Water Elementalists are treated soley as healers, even though they are as capable of outright destroying entire villages if they wish. In another story I have, people with magical abilities are required by law to go to a higher education, and certain abilities literally are sought after by various kingdoms for various wars.
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:iconallmadland:
AllMadland Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I liked your second point there on the phrase "oh my god".

I agree that that phrase bothers me too sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly nit-picky.

The phrase has such a long history and is so pervasive that even atheists exclaim "oh my god", even when they're convinced that there is no such being. People use it out of habit, mostly, and because the phrase has sort have lost its meaning over time and with use, no one ever bothers to think about what they're actually saying. I would argue that the phrase is overused to the point of being invisible or subconscious.

The thing I'm wondering is, would saying something more realistic in the contexts of the created world be too distracting to the reader? If "oh my god" is so meaningless a phrase that even atheists use it without a second thought, then wouldn't it suffice? Because when someone says "oh my god", they aren't talking about God(s). What they're saying is that they're surprised or scared. And really, that’s what the writer is trying to convey with such a phrase—emotion.

In my experience, description is best written as clearly as possible—not necessarily simple prose, but clear prose is best. And so I wonder if using a different expression, which is foreign to the reader but which makes sense within the fictional world, would be too roundabout and therefore unclear.

Would it jolt the reader out of the story more than a well-known phrase such as “oh my god”?

Sometimes I solve this problem by simply shortening the phrase to “oh my!” or simply “oh!”, but I wonder if I even need to.

Short of writing the entire story in the applicable fictional language, there is probably no way to write it one-hundred percent accurately. There will always be English words that don’t make sense for a fictional world. English was developed on this world, and so it describes things pertaining to this world—this culture, really.

For instance, the word “disaster” is Latin for “ill-starred”, from dis- ("away, without") and astro ("star, planet").

People used to believe that bad things happened because of a misalignment of heavenly bodies. Few people today truly believe that the positions of the stars control fate. Likewise, a fictional culture may have any number of theories on fate and stars and everything else, and “disaster” would therefore be a nonsense concept to them. However, the fact remains that the word “disaster” is concise enough for the reader to understand, regardless of the fictional culture’s beliefs, which may very well be difficult to explain to someone who has never lived in this fictional world.

So, in short, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I agree, “oh my god” is probably a non-sequitur in some worlds, but what sort of phrase would you replace it with without sounding like you’re trying too hard?

:twocents: These are my two cents. You make some really good points. I look forward to seeing Part 2.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
I think you have to establish your world well enough to justify a different kind of phrase. Scott Westerfeld, who wrote the Uglies series, talked about new words and phrases needing to be easy to remember and easy to say. I personally find the Warhammer 40k cry of "For the Emperor!" too difficult and long to be a catch phrase. Not that it stops White Dwarf from using it, but that's their business.
If, for example, you had something like "By Kakaros's mighty horn!" as an exclamation, you'd better have established who Kakaros is and why his horn matters so much. (Not that it would save you from being in camp territory, but whatever.) I find saying things out loud helps to establish whether it would catch on as a swear or an exclamation. "Oh my God" is fairly simple to say.
In my high fantasy world of The Dragon Rose, there's an established legend/understanding that the Gods made humanity from their bones. So their swear is "God's bones!" or "Bones of God!" (which is actually derived from an old British saying "Bones-a-god!"). Not too complicated, but still different enough to be unique.
Bottom line: if you feel like you're trying too hard, you probably are.
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:iconallmadland:
AllMadland Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm so used to seeing things like "By Kakaros's mighty horn!" and I had always thought that "oh my god" would be such a simpler way to go, correct or not. But I like "God's bones!". It makes sense with your explanation, but even without it, I still get the gist of it.

That's the trick then, to explain the origin of the expression and make that explanation relevant to the main plot. But it also has to be fairly simple. Sounds reasonable. Though it's probably easier said than done. :)

You've mentioned The Dragon Rose in your previous journals and I was wondering, is it published? Because I'd be interested in reading it. I just can't seem to find it anywhere. If not, I think an excerpt of it would be really nice. You do a fair amount of journals on writing advice, and I was curious to see what your writing actually looks like. :heart:
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
The Dragon Rose is not published, but it was a finalist in the Writer's League of Texas Manuscript contest. I haven't really tried to market it since then. More fool me, I suppose, but sooner or later I'll get around to submitting to agents/editors.
Sometimes I look for Ideal Readers, people that I think would be able to give me good feedback because what I'm writing is what they want to read, so I can keep you in mind for my next rough draft.
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:icongoredguar:
GoredGuar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is fantastic, thanks SO much for doing this!
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:iconpaperiapina:
Paperiapina Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
This was pretty interesting, your text got me to think about my own comic. Specially that part where you talked about war, I realised that pretty much everything in Wurr happens because there has been a big war in the past.
Most characters, who are "hellhounds", are missing family members who died in battle between the hounds and dogs. The war and the loss of huge amounts of capable hunters caused serious famine that forced some packs to join together to help each other to gather food for survivors who were mostly sick, injured, old, pups and mothers. The pack of the main characters first got to know each others while their former packs joined to better hold on in the time of need. And like Morri's mum, who had lost her whole pack in the war, and who's mate was killed in a hunting accident (the two of them just weren't enough to kill large prey, smaller prey was pretty much gone back then) had one of her two pups starved to death before she joined Badjaw's pack.

But I think the most visible effect is the attitudes. There are gateguards at every possible place where people can get out or in the Crater, the land of the "hellhounds", and the "leaders" of the whole Crater, the so-called Old Ones are so afraid of a new war, that they are almost paranoid in how they want to guard the border mountains, which has shown in the story in a way that there has been sent a pack of warriors ("cliff hounds") after just three hounds recently got out. And there is a HUGE tension between the hounds and dogs when the main characters get out to the lands of dogs, as the dogs sure haven't forgotten the huge monsters that invaded their land and killed their people. And there's no way to easily shrug it off, as one of the main characters is a huge monster, at least three times the size of an average dog, with seven fiery red eyes. That's not something to make friends with the first time the dogs see him.

I think that war is pretty interesting story element; it can have a huge affect in the story without actually having any war going on exactly.

Umh, sorry for the big text, I got exited...
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
No, it's an excellent of example of good world-building! Folks should read it, because it outlines how you can have an event as a backdrop, instead of something actively going on. Not everything has to be an active element; sometimes it can be passive and still have story stakes and impact.
Which is, of course, why I love your comic so much.
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:icononyxdragonarts:
OnyxDragonArts Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010
awsome great to see someone also thinking about these things. I often wondered how the big armies got fed on films since they ransacked the land and burnt things? As for dragons i recon they eat anything cause of their strong stomac acid so like the people of the land meats a treat, perhaps the people don't sacrifice a madien girl but a maden cow??? when they have one spare? Please keep it up and i look foward to reading more of these.
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Student Digital Artist
OR maybe they sacrifice a maiden girl instead of a maiden cow because the cows are worth more than girls? I mean, humans can breed like rabbits anyway, so why not give a few of those excess girls to calm a dragon instead? :D
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:iconkaratails:
KaraTails Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Hear Hear!
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:icononyxdragonarts:
OnyxDragonArts Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
More meat on a cow though or maybe a cows weight in rabbits?(those giant ones) they are easy to breed all you need is one!hahaha there are so many other food out there as well, like stoat sofflay, and you know the only reason cooks went mad on spices and herbs was to make rotten food taste good. so tecnicaly a dragon could live of a cities rubbish heap and have rats&rotch suprise for pud. They could also be the population control for evil people. then the cities would not have to waste money on prison and could spend more on agriculture. it's a win win situation.
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Yeah, until the dragon gets greedy...
That's the problem of deals with dragons- they will step on the humans' advantages before long. If, of course, we suppose this is a traditional dragon we are speaking of. :D

If a city had a pet-dragon, they could arrange very showy executions by feeding the evil peeps to the dragon... The problem with that is, after a while people either get so good they don't get caught or stay on the right side of the law.

*babble*
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:iconbrozain:
Brozain Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
Ha!!
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:iconumbbe:
umbbe Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010  Student Digital Artist
BWAH.
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:iconmonochromecrystal:
MonochromeCrystal Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ohhh! I cannot wait to see the next part. Writing a book myself and I worship these journals for guidance and tips.
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:iconsenkaaudra:
Senkaaudra Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010   Writer
Love you for thes, danke<3333
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:iconutaunna:
Utaunna Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010
Having read this (and the subsequent comments), I want to make a world where the people have cows manifesting daily, but they still eat dirt because they can only manifest enough cows to feed the local dragon population. Lest the people, themselves, be eaten. XD
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
Wow, that's, like, weird but awesome justification. And your story stakes could be: what if the magic making the cows suddenly stops working?
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:iconutaunna:
Utaunna Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
YUS! Or whut if the COWS go on STRIKE?! :O j/k (or am I?!)
<.< Man, that would be even MOAR confusing. XD

Lol, this sounds like an interesting endeavor, indeed. :p I'm getting this strange itch in my brain and my arms and my fingers...wonder what that could be?!
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
Inspiration. Or an aneurysm.
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:iconutaunna:
Utaunna Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
Mm, I don't think I'd be responding right now if it were an aneurysm...it must be the former! :o
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:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
The third paragraph brought to mind something also often overlooked: up until Victorian times, in European cultures, children were treated like mini adults – not special, not worthy of special treatment, not particularly loved except by their parents, and even there, "motherly love" is a relatively recent invention.
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
That's very true! I forget sometimes that children's rights are a relatively recent invention. I mean, it goes with package of everything else getting a higehr standard of living.
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:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Professional General Artist
Awesome as usual! :thumbsup:
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:iconyoski:
yoski Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's wonderful advise!! Thank you!
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:iconmaria-mar:
maria-mar Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010
Aaand you did it again. Thanks so much for sharing, i can't wait to see the second part ^_^

I'm wondering, did you ever had writting classes? Did you major in literature or something? xD
Or do you just bring this stuff out of your own analysis? Cause each time i read you journal, i wanna fave it. You should post this kind of text on the tutorial's section :)
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010
I may well do that; I've had a couple of people tell me I need to make it a literature piece.
I haven't majored in literature, no; I've formally studied Fine Arts and Video Game Art. I just read a lot and write a lot, and spend way too much time at TvTropes.org, which is kind of a Wiki for studying storytelling motifs. (And hilarious to boot.) So I guess I'd be in the second category.
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:iconmaria-mar:
maria-mar Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
Well, literature or journal, please keep posting!... :D
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:iconlaughingfacade:
LaughingFacade Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you thank you thank you!! Another infinitely helpful journal entry for aspiring writers!
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:icondroemar:
Droemar Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010
You're very welcome!
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:iconfelineflames:
felineflames Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010
THANK YOU for bringing this stuff up. Especially the starving thing. If I see one more story where the characters are or have eleventbillion dragons in a 20 mile radius, and each dragon eats at least a cow a day, I'm going to scream. Physics, people! Meat doesn't just manifest itself in the grocery store.
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