If you were to write one novel...

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Aevas
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If you were to write one novel...

Post by Aevas »

... that was set in your conworld or featured your conculture, what would it be about? What story would you choose to go with? In what way does this story represent and show the world/culture that you have created? Why would you want to specifically showcase the things and characters that appear or happen in this story?

(Or maybe you are already writing or have written such a novel. The same questions apply!)
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Pabappa »

When I was 11 years old I tried to write a science fiction novel involving child superheros who fly around space winning battles against ever more impossible odds, but I never finished it. Looking back I think I was better suited to the Choose Your Own Adventure format, and perhaps even a simple point-and-click video game, than to writing a novel. As I mentioned in the other thread, I at one point actually did put two stories online that I had written when I was even younger, and I got a few people to click through and say that they enjoyed them. (There were two stories, but they could be combined easily enough into one branching plot, even if the reader made different choices in the first book.) So in that sense I've written a novel set in my conworld, but I think of it as a game.

My current writing is completely different .... I'd call it fantasy, but I'm not sure that's quite the right word .... in any case, my planet is similar to what most people are writing about ... I dont really know if it's still considered fantasy if everything is intended to be realistic and there is no magic.

I've started work on a scripture for my planet's religion (yes, the whooooole planet has only one religion) but I did most of the writing a few years ago and the only improvement I've made since then is deriving names for the angels. If I were to write a novel now, it would be a story perhaps somewhat like the book of Job, detailing the events in the life of one person, full of lessons aimed at the people living on that planet. It would *not* be intended to provide moral lessons for people here on Earth, because the morals of this planet are in fact quite twisted from our perspective, and I've long since abandoned trying to create a "good" religion for my people.
I'll take the theses, and you can have the thoses.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by elemtilas »

Aevas wrote: 06 Sep 2020 13:51 ... that was set in your conworld or featured your conculture, what would it be about? What story would you choose to go with? In what way does this story represent and show the world/culture that you have created? Why would you want to specifically showcase the things and characters that appear or happen in this story?

(Or maybe you are already writing or have written such a novel. The same questions apply!)
In my case, I did write such a book (a novella only).

It's a YA adventure, obviously set in The World. It's set in one of the smaller, more out-of-the-way Denê queendoms of the East. As an adventure story, it's a there and back; there are vicious beasts and eventually intelligent foes that have to be overcome; some puzzles and new friends to be made; the discovery of a hidden realm and the taking up of ancient & fabled weapons.

Funny thing is, I didn't choose this story. I knew nothing of the place it happens in, though I know a little of neighbouring Mentholatum. My nephew challenged me to write a story about Denê and we settled on five (rather random) elements that the story had to contain. I'm afraid that even as I wrote it out, I didn't really know what lay ahead or how the adventures would be overcome.

I n that respect, at least for me, it shows one very characteristic aspect of the World, and that is you just don't know where you're going to find just over the next hill or what adventure awaits once you turn the corner. I introduced the Denê as a people and a little bit of the local culture. I also introduced the fact that there are òther Denê who live on Yeola's twin-world Camay.

In looking back, I think it could be a fair introduction to the World in general. Certainly, the myths, folktales and in world stories that I usually write are horrible introductions to the World, because they, quite naturally, assume that you either already know the basic elements or else those elements don't happen to figure. Example: stories that I've written that take place just about anywhere to the west of the Eastlands, won't ever mention Camay, simply because that planet can't be seen. I suppose a traveller could mention in passing how Camay has disappeared from the sky, and the locals could respond that he's a real nutter.

As for specific characters & events, I based the two main characters on my nephews, and their pal on my Little One. The events are typical of the kinds of adventures that occur in the World and leave some space for a further story or two!
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Curlyjimsam »

After several false starts with other settings, I've now finally written a novel set in the "past" of my conworld, which I'm currently releasing in installments here. It's set in a period technologically and socially similar in many ways to early nineteenth century Europe, and I've gone for very much a "Victorian novel" approach to the style of the thing. This is partly because this is one of my favourite genres to read, and partly because I haven't worked out how to successfully set a story in the "present" (when things are technologically and socially much more similar to our own time).

Because this period in the world's history wasn't so well worked out when I started writing, there's a lot I've had to flesh out, which has been fun - it's been very much a two-way process, the world helping in the development of the story and the story helping in the development of the world. In that respect it's a bit like Tolkien setting LOTR in the "future" of the world he'd already created for the Silmarillion.
Pabappa wrote: 06 Sep 2020 15:50My current writing is completely different .... I'd call it fantasy, but I'm not sure that's quite the right word .... in any case, my planet is similar to what most people are writing about ... I dont really know if it's still considered fantasy if everything is intended to be realistic and there is no magic.
This has very much been an issue for me, the fact that stories set in my conworld don't really fit into established genres due to the lack of overt "fantasy" elements (and not being futuristic enough to count as "science fiction"). The online novel just keeps things "realistic" (as much as the sort of story it aims to be can be), though I've also toyed with introducing magical elements into stories from the world's own folklore, or writing the sort of fantasy stories that people in the world itself might write (again set in versions of the world with magical elements added in).
The Man in the Blackened House, a conworld-based serialised web-novel
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Glenn »

When I was about 13 or 14 years old, I attempted to write a short fantasy novel called The Seven Gems, inspired almost entirely by the movie The Dark Crystal, which had come out a couple of years previously (and by the movie novelization, which I had read prior to seeing the movie). It was set in a fantasy world inhabited seven races/species, paired with seven magical gems, one for each color of the rainbow. None of the species were human-like in appearance, although most were at least semi-humanoid. While I did not create any languages for the setting, I had been exposed to the idea of language creation through the works of Tolkien and the pages of Dragon magazine, specifically a 1983 article by Katharine Kerr on naming languages that included basic information on phonology and morphology (like a much shorter version of Zompist’s LCK), and I used Kerr’s article to help inform the phonology of my characters’ names. Unfortunately, I only managed to complete a couple of chapters before abandoning the attempt. (I lost my manuscript of the story, found it again only a few years ago, and unfortunately lost it again, probably for good, although I still hope it will resurface some day).

In my “current” conworld (that is to say, the embryonic setting that has been kicking around inside my brain for some 20 years now), I have an idea for a novel stemming from a idea that dates back even longer. The starting point was a desire to see a story, not about a war (a theme which I had seen often enough before), but about diplomats attempting to prevent a war (one which I had not). When I encountered the world of online conlanging and conworlding a few years later, I was inspired by the idea of trying to create a world of my own, and, a bit later, married the two ideas by placing my story idea inside the emerging world. The final notion involved two countries formerly at war, and a diplomatic delegation from one to the other; the main character would be a junior diplomat or translation in the visiting delegation, and the main plot would concern a conspiracy aimed at rekindling the war, and the protagonists’ efforts to uncover and stop it. (Like the idea for my first “novel,” parts of this one were heavily inspired by my reading at the time, including works by Ursula K. Le Guin and Guy Gavriel Kay, as well as cribbing from real-world history and geography.) Unfortunately, even after all these years, both the setting and the outline of the story remain unformed and unsatisfactory, and I fear that even if I am able to move forward, my current writing skills may not be up to a work of this size. (In the meantime, I have started some shorter works over the years, none of them related to either of the settings just mentioned; most have fallen by the wayside, but a few have been completed, or many soon be completed – I hope!)

Like Pabappa and Curlyjimsam, I find that my ideas for my current setting deal more with the down-to-earth than the fantastical. I think of my conworld as “fantasy,” since it is a premodern setting on an Earthlike world (but not Earth); however, while my initial plans for the conworld included ideas about magical beings and spirits, it turned out that few of them had much to do with the stories I wanted to tell there. (The spirits may be “real,” or they may only reflect cultural beliefs – I can see things going either way, or the magical elements could wind up being transposed to a different setting.)
“elemtilas” wrote:In looking back, I think it could be a fair introduction to the World in general. Certainly, the myths, folktales and in world stories that I usually write are horrible introductions to the World, because they, quite naturally, assume that you either already know the basic elements or else those elements don't happen to figure.
Personally, I have found many of the bits about the World that you have posted here to be very effective; they may leave some questions unanswered, but they are certainly quite evocative of the setting (and I am sure that your novella would be as well).
“Curlyjimsam” wrote: After several false starts with other settings, I've now finally written a novel set in the "past" of my conworld, which I'm currently releasing in installments here.
I followed the link and read the first few chapters; I think it does invoke the “Victorian novel of manners” atmosphere, while simultaneously poking fun at the same style (which I assume is part of the point).

More generally…hello everyone! I have been a member of the ZBB since its inception in 2002 (and briefly of the Virtual Verduria Message Board before that), and a registered member of the CBB since 2017, but I almost never post on either one (although I still lurk regularly). I am more of a conlang/conworld admirer than a creator, having produced very little work of my own (although I have come up with a few tiny bits and pieces, like the ones mentioned above, and may yet try to develop some of them further). This my first time posting in a very long time, and, although I doubt I will ever be a frequent poster again, I hope that it will not be my last. [:)]
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Salmoneus »

Glenn!!!!!
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by alynnidalar »

I've written a fair bit, actually! The dalar world (where my languages Tirina and Azen are spoken) is urban fantasy; the dalar live alongside modern humans (albeit with most humans being largely unaware of their presence--it's not a total masquerade, but your average human would likely dismiss stories about supernatural abilities as being exaggerations, and would totally reject the idea that there's an entire other subspecies out there).

I've written in a few different subgenres, but mostly I've stuck to thriller/spy--the magic system of this conworld is all about manipulation of space and perceptions, so it naturally lends itself to infiltration, acquiring information, hiding things, etc. It's surprising that there aren't more urban fantasy thrillers IMO--you've already got a whole group of people who are used to keeping secrets and manipulating information!

One of my absolute favorite things in fantasy is when the fantastical elements come in contact with mundane ones with realistic implications--not that it's "realistic" to have magic all over the place, of course, but that it's handled plausibly. A lot of fantasy cops out and says that "magic" and "technology" can't coexist (as much as I like the Dresden Files series, many of the plots would be resolved much faster if the main character carried a cellphone and could access the internet), but I love the worlds where people use magic and technology side by side. So that's something I try to maintain in my world and use as a point of focus in my stories--most of my protagonists are either dalar living among humans or humans from dalar lands, people who live at the intersection of the "normal" and the "fantastic".

(I call this kind of approach where the mundane and magical intersect "elves with cellphones". Some examples of what I mean--dalar are slightly prescient, so one of my protagonists usually knows who's texting her before she checks her phone. Dalar live longer than humans, meaning they have to switch identities now and again; as a result, the high-quality fake ID market is almost entirely controlled by dalar. Dalar can create portals from one location to another; a group of dalar criminals use them for untraceable human trafficking. Human governments are aware of the existence of the dalar and sometimes hire them as informants or spies.

And yes, they all have cellphones.)
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by elemtilas »

Glenn wrote: 08 Sep 2020 04:03
“elemtilas” wrote:In looking back, I think it could be a fair introduction to the World in general. Certainly, the myths, folktales and in world stories that I usually write are horrible introductions to the World, because they, quite naturally, assume that you either already know the basic elements or else those elements don't happen to figure.
Personally, I have found many of the bits about the World that you have posted here to be very effective; they may leave some questions unanswered, but they are certainly quite evocative of the setting (and I am sure that your novella would be as well).
Wow! Thank you very kindly!
More generally…hello everyone! I have been a member of the ZBB since its inception in 2002 (and briefly of the Virtual Verduria Message Board before that), and a registered member of the CBB since 2017, but I almost never post on either one (although I still lurk regularly). I am more of a conlang/conworld admirer than a creator, having produced very little work of my own (although I have come up with a few tiny bits and pieces, like the ones mentioned above, and may yet try to develop some of them further). This my first time posting in a very long time, and, although I doubt I will ever be a frequent poster again, I hope that it will not be my last. [:)]
I find this a Most Curious Coincidence!

The last time you posted here (which was, incidentally, the first time you posted here) was a little over three years ago in a thread in which yourself, myself and alynnidalar all responded within a few posts of one another!

In any event, welcome back! I hope your (fortunately minor) surgery turned out well and that you'll be able to check in more frequently!
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by eldin raigmore »

@elemtilas:
What Glenn said.

I believe I now have a feeling for what sorts of things would be characteristically Avantimannish; for instance, the organization of Parliament, or the fostering of lower class youth by upperclass families.
And that’s because of your fascinating stories!
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by k1234567890y »

I already have ideas:

for one of my conworlds, I gotta write about people a country fighting against invaders...pretty old school settings lol. The protagonist is going to be all-female though.

for another, I gotta write a girl who is ageless that witnesses the developments of new civilizations and changes of the world after the end of the old civilization.

for a less violent/historical and more daily life oriented, maybe a story between a foreigner and local peoples
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by eldin raigmore »

I think I should write about one of the only two conflicts I’ve made canon in my Adpihi-Reptigan universe.
Either the only world war — a religious war — that established religious toleration in/on Adpihi;
or the political conflict that made the Reptigan Union be a Union instead of an Empire, with roughly equal rights for all species and all types of intelligences (including AIs).

Also, all of my work with class so far has let wealth or income stand in for everything.

In real life social stratification includes power and prestige/status and wealth; and these are frequently out of synch because they have different origins and different sources. Also, fairly often the source or origin or definition of one of them will change, causing upsets.

In Reptigan, at least, prestige/status comes from being an explorer, not from wealth.
And while I’ve distinguished between income and wealth — basically the difference between equity and revenue, which might be boring to anyone but CPAs — I haven’t said anything about what wealth is or how income is earned.
And while I’ve said that power is basically from elections, I haven’t really done much with it either.

So I could have some conflict over the differences between power, prestige/status, and wealth/income; and over changes in one or more of them. At various times and places on Adpihi or in Reptigan.

I kind of wrote myself into a no-conflict corner.

But maybe there’s a way out.

.....

As for Ataivsh, the only conflict I’ve included so far is between the bigoted minority and the unbigoted majority.
I’ve set it up so that ocean-going professions and occupations are going to be uncomfortable for bigots.
Maybe I could do some stories about that. They probably wouldn’t be novels.

......

In either world I could write about hardships and lean times.

....

If I could write!
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Reyzadren »

The novel would be a story about a group of companions re-discovering or stumbling upon a known (magical) phenomenon of their world, even after several facts are shown throughout the book.
It needs to describe both fantasy and scifi facets seamlessly at the beginning, as well as ordinary and other unfamiliar scenes to the reader.

Note: I'm assuming the thread meant English novels about one's conworld.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Ossicone »

I've considered this (and even wrote one shitty intro for it). Starts as a mystery. Turns into first contact with another society. And finally turns into a war.

The two societies would be the Amjati and the Inyauk. It would be from the perspective of a low class Amjati citizen and would have a lot of focus on how extremely differently their societies are set up.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Khemehekis »

Ossicone! Have you revived your legendary Inyauk language?
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Ossicone »

Khemehekis wrote: 10 Sep 2020 15:17 Ossicone! Have you revived your legendary Inyauk language?
Nope. Still 100% dead.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by k1234567890y »

also I kinda wanna write novels in my conlangs xd or at least have dialogues of my conlangs involved
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by Salmoneus »

Oddly, I find that while I have occasional thoughts on novels, and many thoughts on conworlds, the two sets of thoughts almost entirely do not go together.

I think that's because when I'm thinking of a story, I need to feel free to follow it where it goes, both in terms of what happens and in terms of the nature of the universe around it. My stories tend to want to be set either in fairly basic, broad-strokes conworlds that let the stories speak for themselves, or else in more liminal, genre-ambiguous worlds where as much as possible is underspecified. Whereas my conworlding tends to want to nail everything down and create something alien and let lived-in and realistic. So on the one hand, it's hard to get a starting point - everyone in these concultures is not like normal Westerners today - an on the other hand I don't feel that sense of being able to go anywhere, because eveything's at least vaguely coloured in. Several times, in fact, I've thought of a story, then thought about the setting so much that I lose interest in writing the story... and when I have written stories set in my conworld, either I've had to ignore most of the conworlding I've done, making it feel more generic and lose the whole point of being set there, or else it feels like it's just turned into a sort of living-museum, illustrated-textbook history-and-culture lesson...
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

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Salmoneus wrote: 17 Sep 2020 15:46Several times, in fact, I've thought of a story, then thought about the setting so much that I lose interest in writing the story...
This chimes with me. I don't exactly lose interest in writing the story, I just get distracted by aspects of conworlding that are relevant to the story and dive so deeply into them the energy goes into that rather than into the writing itself.

I remember this great SF-writing guide "Wonderbook" has a section about this: basically knowing when to stop diving into detail, or you'll rarely surface to actually write.

However, it sometimes happens the other way up. I am writing a novel, slowly, and it came out of a calendar and numeral system (I often think of the two together as a "reckoning system") I was working on. Some detail of it interested me so much, that a couple of characters appeared in my head facing pivotal moments in their lives according to the reckoning system - and rebelling against what was expected of them - and somewhat miraculously I got 40 pages of scribbled notes that day loosely plotting what will hopefully one day be at least a couple of books.

In the first one, in short, a girl escapes an arranged marriage and bloody coup in her village, but in hiding endures an even more dangerous encounter with a ferocious winter.

I struggle so much to focus (ADHD is part of it). I have eleven separate novel ideas I 'want to write' - four so far in my conworld, four in a future Earth, three set on yer bog-standard normal Earth. It's kind of like fighting a war on eleven fronts. If one ever gets finished it will be a surprise to me. Still, I keep at it.
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Re: If you were to write one novel...

Post by rainbowcult »

I've had this one idea brewing for a while. Not particularly original, but I like it.

(By the way I use ey/em pronouns for MC for simplicity because we don't stan cisnormativity in this house)

The main character's family has one purpose: To care for the ship until it arrives at it's destination. Many, many generations of MC's family have lived and died on the ship, but MC and eir siblings are the ones to greet the long dormant passengers and live on the new planet. The new planet isn't all it was said to be, however. In the time it took for MC and the passengers to arrive at their new home, something happened. The once fertile ground was transformed into glorified sand, water is scarce, and every night one passenger disappears. Just to make the trip even better, the only people who seem to know anything speak some strange language that bears barely any resemblance to the language MC speaks (my conlang, I figured language would've gotten warped over 5 thousand years). MC decides to set off with eir siblings to try and find who - or what - is capturing the passengers. What ey find goes against everything they knew about eir new planet. The scans had been ridiculously advanced. Everyone knew that it would take at east 8 thousand years for anything resembling a sentient life form to develop. That basic truth went against what MC was seeing, which could only be described as a simian monster.

If you're wondering, the twist is that two scientists were left on the planet when the researchers intended to scan the planet. Turns out unfiltered sun isn't the best place to make a family, and they ended up rapidly evolving into a monstrous humanoid-thing.
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