2023 World Ember Homework in Iron Horizons | World Anvil

2023 World Ember Homework

Week 1 Homework

I have returned in force to Iron Horizons after a dismal Camp NaNoWriMo attempt a few years ago that burned me out.   I made a brief return for World Anvil Summer Camp, but lacked focus and any really purpose beyond just worldbuilding for worldbuilding's sake.   However, that has changed, sparked by the most extensive summer camp article I have ever written. It gave me ideas, and I finally had a nice, manageable story. So, for this year's World Ember my focus is on the regions and events surrounding the Kais Independence War. I'm going to write a series of novellas, inspired by Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels, C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower, and so on. To do, I need to focus my efforts more narrowly.   My to-do list for this year include the following:
  • The Kais Colonial Sector
  • The Aldottorai Republic
  • Diskward Marches
  It's a much smaller list than my last attempt, which will be invaluable, as I am a very in-depth writer, so I think focusing on depth rather than breadth will be more effective this time around. It will give the geography, characters, and some frameworks for events that I can use to build the series around.  

Week 2

Category Structure:

I'm not great at organizing or project management stuff. So, this one was a bit more of a challenge, without even thinking about the mini-meta yet, when I've barely started the full meta. I really should, though. But, I've gotten more granular in the categories and expanded beyond the primary four, primarily in organizations. I've added polities, military formations, military philosophy/structure , and moved a lot of draft articles into parent articles rather than categories. In locations, I've broken it down into sectors, star systems, and worlds/moons. So, hopefully, that will help people more easily navigate the actual locations by what they're looking for. I also added discussion boards because why not?  

Mini Meta and Inspiration



I'm limiting the scope to two sectors for this specific challenge- the Aldottorai and the Aldottorai Colonial sector/Kais Sector, including the Aldottorai Republic and the Aldottorai Colonial Trade Company. It sounds like not very much, but the Kais sector has twenty-four star systems. So there's plenty of things to write about.


The themes for this one are nautical fiction... in space!; the destructive combination of greed and fear; the cost of colonial exploitation; the erosion of trust and respect for authority; and dieselpunk or mechanical/analog technology in space.


I split mood from theme for this one, which I think the mini-meta mentioned. But one of the main moods is perilous, grimy, but resilient, with a sense of gritty hopefulness. It's a grim setting, but it's not grimdark. Space travel is dangerous, and humanity doesn't understand it as much as they use it, so there's a lot of that sense of defiance and gambling with fate (which comes into play later on in the timeline).


This project's goal is to create a part of the setting that can sustain a series of novellas or short stories, a springboard for later novels, and a small tabletop RPG campaign setting primer. I don't know if these will ever get published or if it's something I want to aim for with these ones, but a lot of what I'm working on right now is to help develop a writing process so I can figure out what works.


Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Horatio Hornblower, Master & Commander, and the other nautical fiction series are all big inspirations. I don't know if there's anything specific that inspired this one. But it's a retrofuturist vibe that incorporates a lot of historical elements from the Hanseatic League, the Revolutionary War, and other little niches.


Week 3- The Homepage

So, this one was embrassing, because I had never actually gotten around to adding a world description to Iron Horizons. Whoops. Never got very far on the meta as well, but the mini-metal will help. I've also added some more of my socials and the Discord comunity invite, especially as I've been in the process of getting my website and Amazon author profile up and running. I could definitely add more, especially a shorter, more concise hook and call to action to the homepage, linking the WA forums I had set up and the Discord server more clearly.   

Week 4- Last Minute Prep

So, this one's easy. Next week is vacation so any last minute prep will have to wait until after December starts, or what's most easily accessible while on my phone.


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Nov 16, 2023 19:42

In my experience, narrowing efforts helps :) Maybe you can also just pick to either work in the meta or just do the mini-meta that applies to your to-do list?   In either case, good luck and have fun!   It's interesting how beautifully the pledge image fits in your world's theme, btw.

Nov 20, 2023 02:21 by Kaleb Kramer

Yep! And the mini meta combined with the to do list has been super helpful. Granted, the one sector has two dozen star systems which should be plenty!   And it’s definitely a surprise to see how well it matches!

K.C. Kramer- Tales From Beyond the Horizon
Nov 19, 2023 08:41 by Elspeth

Narrowing things down sounds like a great idea. I also really like the term "gritty hopefulness", it's very evocative and gives a really good idea of what you're building. Have an excellent WorldEmber. :)

Nov 20, 2023 02:16 by Kaleb Kramer

Thanks! I appreciate it! And yeah, it’s an interesting phrase I saw on tumblr once, I think? It adds a different take to how it usually gets phrased!

K.C. Kramer- Tales From Beyond the Horizon