My Summer Camp Reading Challenge -
I am a recent WA subscriber, just joined in May and my purpose was to help me get my hands around my world building for my fantasy novels that I write in my spare time - the Adenshur Kenghym Scrolls. This was my first event and really introduction to the community. I got a late start (didn't even realize what was going on at first) and did not start writing until the 20th, but I got through copper which was a big deal for me. I met all my goals, establishing a new story arc and fleshing out a historical period and culture that is important backstory for my novel. AND I engaged for the first time with the WA community AND I learned my very first CSS (I can now change font styles and size).
I tried to tie my article creation together to create a story around a central event (a military conflict in the distant history of my novel's main character). My personal objective in this reading challenge (Since I did not get to diamond or even try!) is to read 3 pieces in every prompt I wrote. (I think the reading challenge should be to read 2 articles in every prompt you write - or at least 1!)
When I picked articles for the Reading challenge I was looking for:
- an article that had few reviews at the time I went to pick cuz everyone should have someone review their stuff
- an article that had an interesting sounding mouseover text
- an article submitted by someone who is a leader in the WA community (just looked for articles with lots of views)
- an article written by someone who uses WA to write (an author) because that's why I got WA
I noticed that though the reading challenge explicitly says leave a comment on the articles you review, I don't think anyone is doing that - BUT I AM A RULE FOLLOWER, AND I LEFT COMMENTS CUZ THAT WAS THE RULE! Also, if you are taking the time to read, writing the comments helps you look for the lessons each article has for you to learn - at least it did for me. Even those articles I didn't love, and maybe I sounded critical on, I appreciated. They will all make me a better world builder.
My Selected Categories to Read were ones I decided to write in! I have put them in the order that I would want someone to read my prompts in and provided a link to my prompt just in case you want to follow my story and read it too. Here are the Prompts and articles I read:
A species considered monstrous by some:
(Because Dark Elves are the race of my novel's protagonist and my interpretation of their world is unlike classic romanticized stuff out there, their lives just really really suck)
My Lessons Learned
from this group: I don't like the templates! I read a lot more than these four, but I consistently found that the best articles were the ones that discarded the templates and explored the world in thread-like way. I also ended up massively insecure about my articles. I know my world has a compelling story to tell, but the art of pulling someone into the world through a single article like leviathan did - well, I don't know if I am that good... yet :-) !
A military conflict that was resolved through Excellent Leadership:
(because my SC writing was inspired, wrapped up, and tied together with this prompt - the Uprising of the Dark)
- Forsaken Lands Incident by MJ Tremblay: I liked this article a lot - it built a story and was styled consistently with the content. It was hard for me to get into because my brain kept going - "that can't happen", but that's not the article or author's fault, I'm a special case! Sci Fi is particularly hard for me...https://www.worldanvil.com/w/parastellis/a/ForsakenLandsIncident
in this group: Wow - this was definitely good material. I really want to work on styling my world. It adds a lot to the engagement experience. Some of the articles had interactive pieces. I think I will go back and record "The Loss" and add the audio file to the site. I think it would be even more compelling...
An Explorer, Researcher or other character motivated by discovery:
(Egiten Aizuain - a fun young woman who ties the past of this battle to what happens because of it in the future)
from this group: It's fine to let bad things happen to your characters. You can even let them DIE for stupidity! Bring on the Darwin Awards!
A lost or discovered artifact of significance or power:
- which drops the other side's - the Dark Elves - perspective on the Uprising of the Dark) I This is hands down my favorite article of my own...
from this Group - Clean clear writing - SHORT - I think thoughtful content. I hate horror, and my favorite article in this group was a horror article. Go figure. I really liked the "Read Next" buttons - will have to figure out how to add these to my world (I think I am going to learn CSS no matter what I want). I picked Devon as my style because I didn't want the background to compete with my articles, but that makes me put a pic on every article which gets overwhelming at times to do. I may rethink that decision, but not now.
A profession associated with leaders in your world:
(Consorts - Because this is invariably a dynamic that happens around people with power... and life sucks a lot as a dark elf, it really sucks bad if you are a male, old, or a kid - so enter ways to make yourself useful to people in power and get ahead...)
- Priests by DA476 I picked this article because on the surface it is almost diamterically opposed to my own selected profession article! The description is good, but I would have liked a cross link into other places in the world to see the impact of not teaching of history and moral behavior on the society at large. When no one teaches that stealing and lying are wrong, how does the monetary system survive? How does a merchant do business? I would have liked to have explored that question in the article or on linked articles. It would make an interesting story... https://www.worldanvil.com/w/caerdonel-da476/a/priest-profession
- Commodore by Columbus So... there is a continual problem in world building that is the struggle between what people know irl and what you are building. The question always comes up to me as "how hard do I want to work at redefining this?" This article walked right into that question. When you redefine a word that has an established meaning you create cognitive dissonance for your readers, make immersion harder, and you have to fight to get your meaning accepted. A lot of times it is better to manage your resources and spend your cycles on the things that make your world unique. You can actually use completely new or different words too and that actually helps your readers go where you want them to much easier than trying to redefine a defined word does. https://www.worldanvil.com/w/the-colossuss-galaxy-colombus/a/commodore-profession
- Luminary's Eye by Melior This article has an interesting premise - and describes a position that you KNOW exists in some form or another in every single government and leader of a government ever, and one that usually flies below the radar. I really liked the impact of enterprise and economics (not enough supply to meet demand so you get amateurs entering the market, and the government coming in to regulate (and profit) off it. So big kudos to the author on this one! https://www.worldanvil.com/w/Melior/a/luminarys-eye
Lessons Learned from this set: I didn't do an extra credit on this set because there was so much learning going on for me. It made me think about and articulate the entire Trade I do subconsciously on when to redefine words and second how to flesh out story in an article. And there was a very modern cool effect of sliding the content text over the cover pic that I would like to use - I have it for my website, but it would be cool in WA. Deep sigh. I am really afraid that I am going to have to learn CSS...
An ocean, desert, plain, pocket dimension, or other large expanse:
(Ur Hilgarria because the dwarves couldn't afford to have the dark elves hanging around so they sent them across the great expanse)
: Not every article has to insipre. Sometimes we are just building a foundation for the world to rest on. And that's good too.
A settlement that was lost or discovered:
(Novum Domum - because at this point you know the dark elves have a new home, and you're mildly curious about it)
: Ok - so I just said it's a trade to know when to make a new word, redefine an old one, or use something as is. This group illustrated the Goldi-locks problem. They all had it to some extent, and that makes me want to go re-read all my articles and ask myself if I need new words or have too many.
Α culture who lives by, near or within an ocean, desert or other expanse:
(The Latenes Sunt - you know they made it but - I mean 30 soldiers on a deserted island - what happened to them?)
this group: a couple articles in this group used rollover links to other articles - I am going to go figure out how to do that and go through my world articles and incorporate that technique. It was really great for the reader.
A title that commands respect from those in the know:
(if you've read along in my story you go, "of course" - Vincere)
My Lesson Learned
from looking at these - this prompt for me was done at the end of SC - last day - and shows it. It needed more style, and it needed to be tightened - of course it's harder to write short and well than long and well, and I was in a rush, but I think I can fix my article when they let us edit again.
A great leader of their people:
(Vincere Callidus Iratus - when you get resolution on the story - how they made it, and the answers you were wondered about - and a couple new questions to speculate on)
A new art source and a good solid standard for how to put a high quality character description together.
This was a great experience. I am very glad I did this!
If you got this far - THANK YOU FOR READING MY SUMMER CAMP READING CHALLENGE LOG!
So... Now my fingers are twitching and I want to go edit all my summer camp articles! How about you?
For jollies - my summer camp submissions page although you don't need it: