Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Thoughts on Creating a Fantasy World Part 2 - Populations and Not Planning Enough

Edit 9/16/04: I didn't want to write a whole blog on this so I'm adding it here. Johnny Ramone passed away yesterday afternoon at age 55 due to protate cancer. The Ramones are a favorite of mine and it's sad to know there is only one member of the band left (Tommy Ramone). Punk fans the world over will miss him including me.

I've been going through this list of world building questions written by author Patricia Wrede, in order to get a more organized view of Diona. They are very detailed and really get you thinking about what you need in your world. Tonight I was going through the first world section that deals with the basics of geography and populations. And this is actually a very basic vital part of creating a world since without places and people you haven't got much but it an easy thing to overlook. I've been working on Diona for four years and reading that list of questions I realized that I had left out some very important stuff like population sizes.

Organization is something I'm not very good at so without a detailed plan of what I need to do I'm likely to overlook very vital things without realizing it, because like I said in my previous blog I tend to move from one thing to another as my chain of thought progresses rather than following a plan. I realize now that this was a big mistake. After reading the above list of questions and rereading the Rivan Codex I realize how incredibly unstructured my work on Diona has been and how it's hurt the progression of the world.

A good example of me really messing up and not planning was made apparent by this question on the list:
"Are there non-human inhabitants of this planet (elves, dwarves, aliens)? If so, how numerous? How openly present? What areas do they occupy (examples: dwarves in mountains or caves, elves in forests, etc.)?"

I know I want non-human people on Diona but with the exception of a handful of demons I really have no clue what I want for non-humans because they just haven't come up in my writing so far. This was my answer to it, you can see how very basic it is because I really don't have it planned enough:

"Yes. There are demons (not all are malicious this is just a catch-all term for peoples who live between the spirit worlds and the physical world) there are also people fully of the physical world who are not human. Humans are by far the most numerous intelligent inhabitant of the world due to higher birth rates. Non-human peoples have their own lands though some have traveled and lived among humans and with only a few exceptions they are not hostile towards humans and vis versa though there are occational clashes. Pretty openly present, they don't hide themselves but most people never see them because they tend to travel mostly to the cities and other trading centers so villagers wouldn't have contact with them unless they either lived near the lands of a non-human people or traveled."

What I should have is a detailed list of all the non-human peoples and what their populations are and where they live, etc. I'm planning to fix this quite soon but I need to do a little more earth mythology research before I start writing them up.

In general I've learned I really need to plan more. I fully intend to spend the next little while going through that list and answering every question I can, and then start working on answering those I can't. If you'd like to see the questions I've answered so far you can check it out here.

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