Spectra's WorldEmber 2023 Homework
It's November, and that means WorldEmber is right around the corner, marking my third year participating in this challenge! This annual event challenges writers and worldbuilders to create 10,000 words of original worldbuilding content in one month. I'm excited to once again participate and further develop Eivrall.
Over the past year since my last WorldEmber, I've learned that while these events can be great motivation, it's important not to let the competitive elements overwhelm my natural creative process. My aim this time is to work at a comfortable pace focusing on the areas of Eivrall that are most relevant for my upcoming book series, without putting undue pressure on myself.
Eivrall has progressed significantly since I first conceived of it, but there are still many blanks to be filled in. My goal is to use this event as an opportunity to expand the world in ways that support the stories I want to tell, rather than tackling every possible area of worldbuilding just for the sake of competition. The magic of these challenges comes from the thrill of discovery in creation, not from arbitrary word counts.
While I will still be participating in the WorldEmber community as much as I'm able, I also need to grant myself patience and understanding when real life demands my time elsewhere. My aim is to strike a balance between enjoying the motivational energy of this event and maintaining a sustainable creative process.
While this WorldEmber may look different for me than in prior years, I am still eager to see what epiphanies and breakthroughs it brings for Eivrall's development. Though my participation will be guided more by quality than quantity, my aim remains to kindle creativity's flame and illuminate new possibilities for this world. Even a few hundred words can make all the difference if focused in the right direction.
Each step forward is progress, no matter how small. Rather than straining to reach some arbitrary finish line, I will embrace the journey of gradual creation and meaning found along the way. The true spirit of worldbuilding lives within our imagination's sparks, not external metrics. Wherever inspiration strikes, I will nurture it mindfully. The flames await, and I am ready with patience and care to feed their glow.
Make a Pledge
While I aim to participate in WorldEmber at a comfortable pace guided more by quality than arbitrary word counts, my goal remains 10,000 words over the course of the event. Last year I was able to greatly expand upon key areas of Eivrall's development, and I anticipate continuing that meaningful engagement this WorldEmber.
Rather than outlining rigid goals or pledging to specific metrics, my focus is on cultivating inspiration in a sustainable way. A few areas I envision exploring organically through my creative process include deepening the calendar and history, crafting character representations, refining the setting and map, and imagining daily life on Eivrall.
As the inhabitants of Eivrall seek meaning and purpose in the continuous flow of time, a framework is needed to order their days, months, and years. In crafting the calendar, careful consideration was given to balance continuity with innovation, preserving essential traditions while reimagining outdated symbols and roots no longer resonant in the modern age.
With timekeeping standardized, yet sensitive to evolving sensibilities, the citizens of Eivrall gain a framework on which to build shared memories and forge new traditions. The calendar's design emphasizes the shared dignity and potential of all peoples, a vision hoped to nurture greater unity across differences as Eivrall's story continues unfolding through the passage of time.
I've spent the past year thinking about my calendar and system of timekeeping. I think I've finally decided that the Eivrallan calendar will be much like our own, centered around the cycle of the moon. I aim to document how it evolved across different eras. Since the world history remains unestablished, this is an opportunity to map out pivotal events that shaped civilization.
I will research real-world calendar systems throughout history as inspiration. Potential sources are ancient Egyptian, Mayan, and medieval calendars. This can inform how days, months, and years are structured in relation to cultural events. I will identify 2-3 pivotal historical events to anchor the calendar, like the founding of a kingdom or period of technological advancement.
Visual References of Main Characters
Each character's visual reference will tap into their cultural aesthetic and personal histories. Evelynn avoids extensive cyberware due to its interference with magic. Her affinity for spellcasting is reflected in sleek, high-end, external tech, and underscores her former corporate life. In contrast, as an arcanix, Julius fully embraces cybernetic augmentation, with scars and technology turning his skin into a topographic map that tells the story of his traumatic life.
Other possibilities include:
- Julius is shown in training gear on a stormy beach, his determined gaze focused on honing his combat skills to withstand any threat. His clothing bears signs of extensive wear and repair, reflecting his self-reliant nature.
- Evelynn's portrait depicts her in a pristine white lab coat, utilizing sophisticated technology while maintaining an air of mystery. Enigmatic artifacts and diagrams in the background hint at her insights into anomalies science cannot explain.
- Iethre is pictured overseeing operations from his expansive Command Center, displaying the exact standards and strategic mind that have served him well. His enviable position speaks to his unique abilities despite factors beyond his control.
The visual references will tap into each character's cultural aesthetic and backstory. For example, Evelynn could be shown utilizing magic tech reflecting her aptitude as a spellcaster. Julius' portrait can depict his determined gaze, focused on honing his combat skills. The images will aim to provide character depth and worldbuilding context.
The map will highlight key locations tied to main characters like Julius' storm-swept island home, Iethre's network of intelligence outposts, and landmarks of historical significance, providing anchoring points to the unfolding narratives.
Along with anchoring story locations, the map can juxtapose different races/factions through symbols of technology vs nature. I can use colors to highlight tensions and allude to looming unrest. Areas can be labeled in conlangs to further emphasize culture.
I'll envision how technologies like neural implants or advanced AI manifest in daily routines, exploring the dichotomy between utopian convenience and ethical dilemmas. The ubiquity of surveillance systems and digital manipulation paints an eerie backdrop.
The disturbing backdrop of mass surveillance could involve things like drones tracking citizens. Advanced AIs managing infrastructure according to algorithmic logic rather than ethics could create moral dilemmas. Neural implants may enable direct mind-to-mind communication but with vulnerabilities open to exploitation.
Prepare your area of focus
Welcome your readers!
Thinking about my homepage this week got me thinking about my styling - something I've wanted to work on all year. It has forced me to start thinking about modifications and style changes and I have already started to come up with some mockups!
Last minute prep!
Prep month has led me to really focus on the things that are most important for my book. It's so easy to get sidetracked and then forget the things you need to do, or think that you did them already! Going through all my notes this month reminded me of the things I have yet to do and helped re-orient me.
But there are good things, too! Because of the prep, I was able to start planning one of my big articles for next month. Not just plan it, but start working out some of the CSS for it!
I really look forward to another Word Ember with the community and I wish everybody the best of luck!
Assignment Reveal Streams
Proposed Category Structure
- ├── World
- ├── Information
- ├── Eivrall
- ├── History
- ├── Timeline
- ├── Eras
- ├── Important Figures
- └── Mythological Creatures
- ├── Magic
- ├── Rules
- ├── Foundations
- ├── Ranks
- └── Applications
- ├── Deities
- ├── Xoxtris
- ├── The Mother & Father
- ├── The Engineers
- ├── The Mechanics
- └── The Children
- ├── Sapients
- ├── Bestiary
- ├── Regions
- ├── The Continents
- ├── The Islands
- └── Bodies of Water
- ├── Organizations
- ├── Academic
- ├── Military
- ├── Business
- └── Religious
- ├── Science & Technology
- ├── Illnesses & Medical
- ├── Augmentations
- ├── Technologies
- ├── Vehicles & Transportation
- ├── Professions
- └── Materials
- ├── Electric Sanctuary
- ├── Plot
- ├── Characters
- └── Prose
the before and after of this idea.