Tag Archive: world-building


Okay, so yesterday, I posted about how there is a contest for a short science fiction story and how they want it to be inspired by a new science discovery or innovation. I wrote some yesterday and a character popped up, voice and all. His (yes, my character is male!) voice seems to be pretty strong, but despite that, right now he is something of an archetypes. God knows if it will last.  About the only thing I know is that it will be take place in the near future – about 10 or 15 or 20 years in the future. Probably 15 – it strikes me as a nice middle ground.

I don’t have an actual idea or even the bare bones of a concept yet, let alone a plot. I realized yesterday night if I use computers at all, it is going to read like cyperpunk. If I go the route of the social sciences, it’s going to turn into the type of story where you don’t know right off the bat if it is fantasy or science fiction. Not sure if I want that type of confusion in a short story. If I decide to use a biology based science, I’ve no idea what I will get.

I suppose it’s a good thing the character came first. I can develop him into a better character, but if the idea came first, the danger is that I might focus too might on that and leave the characters flat. On the other hand, this way there is the danger that I might leave my concept undeveloped. Not that there is much room to develop much of anything in a short story.

What I really need right now is a short, concrete plot.

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City and Country

So, in chapter 2, a new province showed up. I didn’t expect that; in fact, I thought a new country would show up. I thought it would be a country across a Mediterranean type sea. Not sure how the country turned into a province. But it did and it is filled with mountains. I am thinking there is a little strip of sea bordering the mountains, which eventually leads to the ocean. I don’t know too much about this place yet.

So, the main city itself. I am thinking it is going to be an island. A large island, smack dab in the middle of a place where the main river connects with a few other rivers. Some of the other rivers are going to be come off the mountains, I think. So anyway where the rivers and the original sea I had imagined (not the little strip that showed up with the new province!), where they meet, there is going to be a large island. There is my city.

In the beginning, I thought a large part of this country was going to be a desert but I think with a large river system, the large sea, most of the country can’t be desert. Some it, maybe, but not large chunks. I am disappointed.

I think I am going to have to draw a map. I suck at drawing.

Ziggurat

I mentioned ziggurats in my first chapter. Its existence in my story quite took my by surprise. I certainly hadn’t planned on it. Not sure I planned religion really. At least I knew it would appear in some form, but I thought it wouldn’t be all that important to the story. It remains to been how right I was about that.

In anycase, this is a picture of a ziggurat from Ur. Ur was an ancient Sumerian city in what is now present day Iraq. It was also a coastal city, but it well in-land now. I suppose the weather must have changed.

So . . . ziggurats? Why not a church or temple or something more familiar? Well, I wanted something different. I don’t recall much about Sumerian religion from my class on near eastern religions, beyond a creation story where everything came out of the sea and that all the cities had their gods and anthropomorphic gods. I am not going to use it, I will probably invent some for this world and a creation myth, too, maybe. But I like how the ziggurat looks and it fits with my vision of this city – there are no fluted columns, no arched ceilings, not many domes, but a clear angular beauty.

I might change the name eventually to avoid confusion with the real ziggurats, but I am keeping how it looks.