What do you think of this outline for creating a setting from scratch

#1Mal_FetPosted 8/4/2012 5:55:25 AM
Trying to flesh out a fantasy setting from and just came up with this format to organize my ideas. Comment and/or critique

[NAME OF WORLD]

I. World History

II. Geography

A. Continents

1) Name of Continent

a) History

b) Countries/Kingdoms/Societies/etc.

- History
- People of importance
- Culture
- Crime
- Ruling body
- Language(s)
- Religions
- Architecture

c) Races

d) Geographic Features

B. Oceans

1) Name of Ocean

a) History

b) Islands

c) Inhabitants

d) Geographic features

III. Flora and Fauna

A. Animals

B. Plants

C. Fungi

IV. Unnatural elements (optional)

A. Magic

1) How it works

2) Applications

B. Pseudo science

1) Possible/Not possible (time travel, breaking light speed, alternate dimensions, etc.)

2) How it works

3) Applications


That's it, of course some stuff is probably unnecessary to fill in, like flora and fauna. Any other categories that need to be added?
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Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error.
#2dark lancerPosted 8/4/2012 9:35:56 AM
Most of those things are unnecessary when you are writing your first book. In your first book you will want to describe things which are important to the plot of the story or otherwise significant to the characters, in which case less is more.

If you're going to spend a lot of time covering history, geography, architecture, or culture and it is not seriously important to the plot, then cut all of it out. Why bore your audience with all of those details if they are not immediately important? If your characters travel across an ocean, then by all means do describe it. If they attend a festival to a local demigod, describe the festival and the importance of that demigod to the locals.

If you're going to use this for your own reference as part of the storyboarding process, then that's one thing. But if chapter 2 is a long survey of the history of Lethasgetranebel, sixtieth Oberslyardingdong of Pantylopoloticus (whose flag is an actual panty) and then chapter 3 is all about the different islands and regions of the Sea of Bylospitalicorolicusita, then you need a rethink.
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The greatest injustice of our time is motivated by the irrational fear of children.
[Papal Crusaders]
#3Mal_Fet(Topic Creator)Posted 8/4/2012 9:57:11 AM
dark lancer posted...
Most of those things are unnecessary when you are writing your first book. In your first book you will want to describe things which are important to the plot of the story or otherwise significant to the characters, in which case less is more.

If you're going to spend a lot of time covering history, geography, architecture, or culture and it is not seriously important to the plot, then cut all of it out. Why bore your audience with all of those details if they are not immediately important? If your characters travel across an ocean, then by all means do describe it. If they attend a festival to a local demigod, describe the festival and the importance of that demigod to the locals.

If you're going to use this for your own reference as part of the storyboarding process, then that's one thing. But if chapter 2 is a long survey of the history of Lethasgetranebel, sixtieth Oberslyardingdong of Pantylopoloticus (whose flag is an actual panty) and then chapter 3 is all about the different islands and regions of the Sea of Bylospitalicorolicusita, then you need a rethink.


Of course. There's no way all or even half of the information in an outline like this would come into play in one 200-page book. However the point here is to allow consistency and cohesiveness, much in the way an actor would flesh out a character he's portraying by making decisions about the character that don't necessarily have anything to do with the part.
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Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error.
#4WstonefiPosted 8/4/2012 5:49:30 PM
Looks pretty good. I did a similar type of outline for the book I'm currently working on, and it's worked out pretty well so far. Of course most of the details won't make it into the actual book, but it's still nice to have an outline like this as a reference. That way if you ever need to include a detail, you'll have them all written down already!