Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Building a World: Week 3

((so yeah, this is not at all formatted.  no images.  no attachments.  I'm going to spend a day this week going through all of my entries and fixing them up.  Sorry!  - jkeezer))

The point to creating objectives is to use them. Last blog entry, once of my objectives was creating a personal reference for my world. Specifically, this was the objective I created.

Creating a hard/soft copy of my world as a personal reference in order to maintain an accurate and consistent portrayal of the world during the writing process.

Right now, I'm working completely from scratch. I have some reference sheets that I've downloaded from the internet. I have some documents that I have created. But as far as world building is concerned, I do not have any sort of system in place for the process of world building except for when it comes to my Elders and even that system is a big fat mess that needs to be cleaned up. So today, I'm going to focus on creating my first system for organizing my notes.

I'm going to be focusing specifically on settlements. Today's work will be considered a rough draft system. As time progresses, I very likely will have to make changes to this system. As long as I'm improving the system, it is okay. I just need to avoid scrapping the system and starting over. Entropy is my worst enemy.

What information do I need to include in my document:
Settlement name
settlement size (approximate)
political structure
important figures
important landmarks
major imports/exports
road networks
demographic information
military/enforcement abilitiy
history (brief)
general notes
(looked up CIA Worldbook here
Geographic location

(looked up wikipedia)
climate (general information, not detailed)
Cityscape (Districts/Architecture)

(This is a cover sheet)

In the case of my world building, I opted not to use area or the break down of the land use. This choice was because I feel that the information gets too detailed oriented. I don't want to get caught up in the details or I'll be lost forever in world building. For you, you might find that this information is more useful. However, this is why I include general notes, if it is something that is important, such as a really large city, I can highlight it out there.

Like with my objectives blog, I started clumping together the related pieces of information that I needed for my city information. I created headers for each category of related information and sorted them out. I deleted a couple of the entries. This was the updated list:

_Basic Information_
Settlement name
Political Structure
major imports/exports
military/enforcement abilitiy

important landmarks
road networks

Settlement Population
race/gender composition
important figures

History (brief)
general notes

Next, I'm went through the list and made a few cosmetic changes. For example, I'm merged the political structure and the leader(s) section together. I removed notable structures, because I now have a section on architecture, and I moved culture to demographics after removing the race/gender composition. In my world, the races are significantly segregated to the point that it isn't worth putting into world building notes without it being identified elsewhere. For your, it might be significant enough to include.

With my final list, all the remains is making a template. I prefer to use Open Office because the program is free and after having used it for a while, I can work my away around to make templates and other fun little forms. You can use whatever program you prefer, or if you happen to own Scrivner, like I do, you can simply include your work in there.

After laying out the information as a template, all that remains to begin making the documents. You can print out blank copies for when you are away from your computer and save the template files for each of your settlements as you go along. I've included the template for Open Office here as well as a PDF version of one of my settlements using this template. Feel free to edit the template as you see fit.

Next week, I'll be using the template again to get into more meaty aspects of worldbuilding.


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