World Ember 2023 Reading Challenge & New Year Resolutions in Independent Short Stories | World Anvil

World Ember 2023 Reading Challenge & New Year Resolutions

Table of Contents

Authors mentioned in the reading challenge:
  • Species & monsters: Rin (Those2nerds), Spleen (Notahumanhand), Barron, Mochi, Drunkenpanda, Rumengol, CrazyEddie, Hanhula
  • Conditions: Barron, Hanhula, Nnie, Ademal
  • Characters: Ninodonlord, Thedumbowl, Awsmchimera, Kitopoy
  • Prose: Solarcat, Rin, JacobW, Stormbril, Spyglassrealms, Kefkejaco
  • Magic/tech systems: Solarcat, TJ, Strixxline, Catoblepon, Skye, ShadowPhoenix
  •   See at the bottom for a brief summary of my 2023 and my plans for 2024!  

    Reading challenge


    Species & monsters

    This article is about a terrible swarm of insect that's very dangerous for infrastructure and machines. They're terrible difficult to exterminate, multiply quickly and can give bad bites. Real terror, even without taking into account how exterminators like to plant eggs to increase their business...
    I love Rin's world and even more how they write and present their article. Everything is so nice and pretty and has great css! What caught my attention with this article is both the animal itself and the way the lifecycle section is presented.
    I love the few articles Mochi has written about the planet Daglaci which is made of ice, and how there are terrible monsters living in the sea under all this ice and that are regularly surfacing to eat people. This is one of my favourite trope, and I was delighted after reading this to find an article about the tradition of hunting those monsters! - which of course does not go very well for most people, although surprisingly this is not only because of the monsters themselves but also because of terrible nobles!
    I always love when Mochi does a series of articles centre around a planet and we get to see its geography, fauna & flora, and the culture of its people are interlinked! Also, special mention to another of Mochi's article: super cute kitties that live in space and plummets through the atmosphere like in some magical girls anime XD

    This article presents what happens when a population of monster surges and attack the nearby cities, and it's focused on measures taken to warn and protect the population during them. I love the way Barron has presented this article and the focus on signalisation and alert levels, with the use of some nice icons, with a great piece of prose at the end to bring it together!
    This is some very cute animals that live among the clouds. I love the idea of those big animals up there and of people rising their had seeing their shapes in the clouds rather than just imagining what clouds look like XD It was also interesting to see the terrible tourism developing around the animal.

    Very creepy hills that eats people. Very mysterious as there is no visible danger, but turns out it's all because of a horrible moss that creepily covers people during the night. I always love creepy plants and this one stood out for not bing a classic carnivorous plant!
    A horrific version of sirens/ mermaids. I love how Eddie describes them and make their biology different from a simple human upper half. This article also made me read more about the Masters, terrible Eldritch Horrors living under the sea, with humans only saved by their infighting. Seems like this world has quite the horrific sea life! XD

    Here Hanhula describes a mysterious region that's very difficult to access and filled with unknown things. When one expedition finally brings back some information, it turns out that the dangers start to spread and contaminate people from their notebook... especially love how her very evocative description and the big reveal at the end of the article.
    I always love how Han weaves a story through what appears at first more like some encyclopedic style writing. She always grabs my interest and force me to continue reading entire articles right now even when I did not entend to do so. Special mention to Influence of the Shards which is a great presentation of one of the major dangers in Han's world.
    Rumen has made a fascinating new world! My first contact with it was a great short story in French so I'm very invested now! In this world, a great people was punished by the gods for being "too arrogant", and they were cast away in a hellish desertic landscape to do some unknown ordeal to pay for their crime.
    I love that despite not being able to curse the gods aloud everyone still stays super defiant. In this article, Rumen introduces the world, the dangers, and how it all centers around gigantic bug monsters that can attack people but that can also be domesticated to serve as mounts.


    An article about a terrible disease, with spores infecting about wounds and making scale-like patterns appear on the skin. I love the little bit of prose going with the article and how enthusiastic the surgeon was about having an occasion to learn how to do an amputation XD
    Another article about changing your body to make it looks exactly how you want! Here Ademal focuses on furries wanting to give themselves animal attributes. I love how they present the different types of alterations that can be done and the cultural reactions they cause.
    Nnie has written a lot of amazing articles during WE, and I had a lot of fun scrutinising all her artwork to look for clues for her treasure hunt unofficial challenge article (and I love all those great secrets she revealed to those who solved the puzzle!). I also always love how she writes her articles and make them looks neat and streamlined and still super evocative, and she's influenced a lot the way I'm now writing my articles on WA!   I kept wanting to share everything I read from her (special mention to Patrician and its terribly antiquated political system), but the article that stood the most for me in the end was this one. One of her people are plant-like and can change their appearances by going into chrysalis. I absolutely love this idea and I'm horrified by the idea of those people plunging themselves in acid to dissolve their body and regrow it however they want. This is an extremely visual idea that is going to stay with me XD


    Written by Nino in the form of letters, it presents the mysteries and myths around the character of Lord Traesh, someone who may or may not have lived long ago and gotten mixed up in some dubious magic. I always love articles that are told through an in-world POV and something different from a straight encyclopedia-style, and here Nino did a great job in sparkling my interest with this mystery and by adding some spooky elements at the end.
    An extremely funny version of a horribly bad santa! XD I always love TheDumbOwl writing style, the fun little doodles they use to illustrate their articles, and the way they take silly ideas and run with them.

    A lovely character from Chimera! I love how she's both a very serious politician and also a writer of trash romance under a pseudonym xD She also seems like a fun and headstrong character with her specific mannerisms XD
    A serial killer targeting soul-forged/ androids! I love this idea and the tone Kit has used to contrast the emotions and danger faced by the targets and the lack of care of the authorities. I also love the secrets behind what's happened and this tie in with the rest of the world :D


    This little self-contained short story was very moving and beautifully written. I love the toxic relationship portrayed now that the "romance is dead" and how Mercy is pursuing vengeance and Silas is just letting her. There was a perfect balance between sharing a few details of background/ worldbuilding (I love what we learn about Silas) and the big focus on the relationship and the confrontation portrayed.
    A great series of 3 flash fictions from the POV of 3 different androids. Each starts with the directive that govern them and it was fun to see how this influence their thoughts and what actions they can possibly do. Together the 3 sections form a short story that shows how their owner left no choice but for them to revolt, and it was a nice progression.
    Rin wrote this as part of the treasure hunt unofficial challenge, and love how this hunt was rather easy but made me look through the world to read more article and that the results was to unlock pieces of the story. This looks like a format I could take inspiration from.

    A heist from Jacob's pirate crew! It was very fun to read a little self-contained adventure and to see them in action. I always like how Jacob write these little short stories and assemble them to build a larger picture of his characters and their adventure.
    As part of the treasure hunt unofficial challenge, Storm hid a lot of trinkets through Cathedris and left hint regarding their location. This was a lovely way to test my knowledge of the world and to learn some bonus information about the world from the objects gathered during the hunt.
    Very nice narrating of humanity discovering other species in the universe and how it was both amazing and disappointing and did nothing to satiate our thirst for finding more. I love the variety of "first contacts" in there and how it's beautifully narrated.
    (Not really prose but I'm still sticking it here XD) I love Kef's alternative Roman history world and to compare and contrast the choice he's done compared to mine in my own Roman world. It's always fun imagine how little change can impact historical development, and I love what Kef's been doing.

    Magic systems

    A few very interesting magic system articles providing either a full overview of the entire system or focusing mor eon a specific aspect. I won't comment on each one individually because I would only repeat myself, but I really love how Solar, TJ, Strix, and Cato have worked out all the mechanisms of their system and how they share them here.   As an engineer and scientist, I always have a lot of fun looking at the way people make their magic system works and what are all the implication for the world, its culture, and character living their daily life. It's also always nice to see people taking rather common idea and making them entirely their own and end up looking different from classic magic systems.

    (A "tech system" rather than a magic system but I'm still sticking it there XD) I've loved how Skye has been writing a lot of spacecraft/ aircraft articles and how she's always been making them more interesting than a series of specification by talking about all the constraints that interfere (material, politics, money...) with just making the best ship possible (special mention to Cyklopes SSF-9).   This article builds up on all of that and present what warfare looks like between planets and speculate on how this could evolve given the recent events in Solaris. It's a great article to make the world come together and to present the challenges and rules that will lead the story. I especially loved the little section that present each planet's priority and all the hints that are shown about future conflicts.
    Another "tech system", and this one a real one! Shadow present the real history of processors and made it both informative and super fun to read thanks to a lot of little anecdote about the historical events or by making a direct link with stuff that we can see in our life/ interaction with PCs.   I didn't expect to be so interested by the subjects, but I ended up finding this 10k word article too short and looking up more info myself XD This is a great example of what we can do on real-life topic on WA, and maybe something I should take inspiration from for my world of Academia Romance, where I've started drafting articles about what working in academia is like.

    My 2023

      I haven't had a lot of time for worlbuilding and novel writing in 2023. I started a new job in January and I had to move to a new city. Being back in France in close distance with my family rather than being isolated in another country during a pandemic has also eaten up a lot of my free time.   To compensate for this stress and lack of time, I created a new world, Imperial Soulmates, in February and wrote a bit about it in a notebook. Just writing simple notes without worrying about how to present things and without sharing them with anyone was very relaxing and allowed me to have a lot of fun with just coming up with worldbuilding ideas.  
    What I did in 2023
  • February - Bestiary challenge: The Ascalabos, deadly flying lizards guarding the Mages-Kings' mausoleum in Soul Jars
  • March - Architecture unofficial challenge: The Mages-Kings' Mausoleum in Soul Jars
  • April to June - Fauna, Corronation, and Artisan unofficial challenges: Taboo magic and the dangerous mutated animals it creates, The selection and coronation of a new emperor, and The Emperor and his soulmates + a series of articles on basic concepts in Imperial Soulmates
  • May - Mermay unofficial challenge: an article about a standalone mermaid world I created for a short story
  • July - Summer Camp: further development of Dark Lord Seduction Plan to complete my work from WE 2022 (list of SC articles; 2 of my articles won: The Royal Protector's pearls and The Dark Lord's evil army)
  • September - Companion challenge: Noéline Rihour in Challenge of Magical University Life
  • October - novel revision: new round of editing in my first novel Courtship to cut 10k words before the next round of querying
  • November - Nanowrimo: first half of the first draft of Dark Lord Seduction Plan
  • December - World Ember: mainly Imperial Soulmates + 3 articles in Dark Lord Seduction Plan (list of WE articles)
  •   85k worldbuilding words in 87 articles
    50k novel words for Nanowrimo
    revising 20/24 chapters in Courtship, bringing it from 119k words to 112k words.

    2024 plans

      January - novel editing for Courtship: finish the revision round on my Courtship novel and go back to querying   First half of the year - novel revision for The Magical University of Lille: I've put this novel aside since 2019 while I was thinking about a particular plot point. I think I've finally found a solution! The novel is otherwise rather polish, so I'm aiming to revise it quickly and to share it with beta readers this year.   2nd half of the year - Nanowrimo: I'm going to rewrite one of the 3 other novel drafts I have. This year I need to start preparing in August; my last 2 Nano were messy because I didn't do enough preparation and so I still don't have workable drafts of these novels.   Worldbuilding: All my worlds are well developped and only require: 1) one or two articles on an important concept, 2) a lot of work on secondary characters, 3) developping the plots of the novels.
    Instead, this year I'm tempted to work in a newer world, either The City of the Hundred Fiefs or The Magical University of Lille to go with revising the novel.


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Jan 27, 2024 15:25 by Chris L

    Thanks for including the Can Opener! He's my new favorite secret larval Kaiju!

    For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

    Jan 27, 2024 16:15 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks! That was a fun article XD I'm looking forwards to see what's going to happen with that moon :p

    Jan 27, 2024 15:46 by E. Christopher Clark

    Fantastic selections. I also really love the bit you added at the top to let folks know who's going to be mentioned in the article.

    Vote for the Clarkwoods Literary Universe as Best World in the Worldbuilding Awards
    Jan 27, 2024 16:15 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks <3

    Jan 27, 2024 15:51 by spleen

    good luck on your 2024 plans! thanks so much for mentioning my article - i'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a wonderful 2024!

    Have a wonderful day!
    Jan 27, 2024 16:16 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks! I wish you a great 2024 too <3

    Jan 27, 2024 16:39 by Mochi

    Thank you so much for featuring two articles!! I am so glad you enjoyed my Monster Hunting (and orbit kitties >:)) Hope you have the BEST 2024 and I can't wait to see more from your countless worlds!!

    I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
    Jan 27, 2024 16:49 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks a lot XD Your articles were really great during WE and I also look forwards to see what amazing stuff you'll write next <3

    Jan 27, 2024 17:17

    Good luck!

    Check out the worlds of Starhome and Magic Earth
    If you are looking for my Worldember articles check Magic Earth or My Worldember Progress Page
    Jan 27, 2024 18:31 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thank you! <3

    Jan 27, 2024 22:56 by Rin Garnett

    Thank you so much for the double feature! So many good picks here :D   How rude of family to fill up all your writing time :P I love it when you finally come up with an idea to fill a plot hole or other sticking point, it's so satisfying. Best of luck with all your goals this year!

    Jan 27, 2024 23:56 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thank you! Best of luck to you too <3

    Jan 28, 2024 11:13

    Thank you for the feature, I'm so glad you liked this new-ish world :D I'll have to postpone it for the time being to work on my webnovel's worldbuilding, but your words make me really motivated to further develop the Divine Ordeal!   Best of luck for your edits and revision, it looks like publication is just around the corner!

    Hoo~ Hoo
    Jan 28, 2024 12:12 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    Thanks <3 And don't worry about postponing Divine Ordeal, I always love whatever you choose to write XD

    Jan 28, 2024 15:57

    Aaaah Thank you for including my little masterpiece! I'm so happy, and also slightly concerned :P, that my 10k article is too short. xD

    What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
    Jan 28, 2024 18:06 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

    The solution is obviously to have a world filled with articles like that :p

    Jan 28, 2024 18:09

    Hahaha, I'm working on that! ^^ But if you already want to learn more, there's also the processor article :P

    What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
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