Worldbuilding 1: A Radiating Background

by johannespunkt

Last post in this series: worldbuilding-0-intro/

This is a world about monsters. I’ve decided to have this be a fresh new world, not linked even a little to any of the old worlds. This means no baanklide, even though I love the baanklide and it is the best monster ever. (The baanklide even has a fangirl.) Please bear with me in this post, as I don’t really do segues, but everything in this post relates to all the other things, I promise.

Today I was reading from The Rediscovery of Man (Cordwainer Smith) and it was amazing and I noticed a trend: the stories in this collection seemed to all be about space-travellers who travèlle space and fall in love. This got me thinking to how I would write such a story and then, springing forth like a jack-in-the-box came the idea of something I will call the Great Onebyone. I like to name things.

Recently I had half on an idea called the Ritual of Ophoboshekin. This idea, while alright, doomed itself to fail, in my opinion. The basic idea went: sometime, somewhere, someone is going through a ritual that symbolizes a hangover, because their utopia knows the meaning of fun and pain. I only got a couple of paragraphs in before hitting a halting point.

For The Ritual, which I did not assign a world, got a couple of paragraphs. For The Great Onebyone, set in the Anyverse, I’ve got almost two handwritten pages after about 2 hours of working on it. Maaaajor contrast, right. This is how I arrive at the conclusion that for stories to work for me, they need a world or it’s a lot more work. And that’s why I’m not going to try to figure out a story here when I write these posts, the best of those will only happen in a whoaflash, because that’s how my head works. I will describe the stories afterwards!

With that in mind: Monsters. Humans? Civilisations? Uncivilisations? I’ve been using the word ‘poison’ lately to describe a lot of things, most things of these not actually being poison. So, how about: humans are dying, there is poison everywhere. The poisonbeasts have graciously stepped in to gasmask humans, but everything has a price. They are taking over the biznaz. Like some sort of otherworldly mafia.

Yep. Join me next time (sometime next week) for figuring out how this world relates to our world, where the point-of-departure is and so. Also for maybe understanding what a poisonbeast is, and how they can gasmask humans.