Note — Nov 20, 2022

Worldbuilding, Pt. 1

At Dirt, Terry Nguyen starts a promising series on worldbuilding with a bit of history and a number of example from the recent past. Worldbuilding as always be around—even The Iliad and The Odyssey are given as examples—but she makes a good case that increasingly worldbuilding is the thing people start from, and the stories are then set in that world, instead of constructing the world in the service of one story. Also shared for the mention of R. R. Martin’s architects vs gardeners, which I hadn’t heard before, and for the conclusion (last quote below), which is something seen around this newsletter before, though not regarding worldbuilding. I think it’s an intriguing connexion to make.

“When I first started, you would pitch a story, because without a good story, you didn’t really have a film. Later, once sequels started to take off, you pitched a character because a good character could support multiple stories. And now, you pitch a world because a world can support multiple characters and multiple stories across multiple media.” […]

More people, increasingly dissatisfied by these corporate offerings, are compelled into creating their own virtual worlds. The future of the internet, as some have theorized, might consist of micro-communities, enclosed worlds with fewer but more engaged members.