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2022 Reading Challenge

"In a nutshell, this January we challenge you to find 10 articles on World Anvil, give them some feedback, and then write about how each one inspired you, made you think differently, or taught you something!"

Analysis of 10 New Articles

For this challenge, I intend to focus on articles that are on my reading list! Most of them were added during World Ember, when everyone was sharing so many cool articles so fast, I couldn't read them all at once! Hopefully, I'll be able to knock out at least 10 of them this month.

Article 1: White Soldier

White Soldier
Species | Dec 3, 2021

This article describes a curious little mushroom that likes to grow in lines. It was very simple and straightforward! I especially liked the section on cultural perception. Even though it was simple, it added the perfect amount of detail to Etrea to make it feel more alive. I would like to be able to add more small and simple things to my world, too, to sort of fill up the "corners" and make everything just a bit more clear.

Article 2: All Light Day

All Light Day
Tradition / Ritual | Jan 8, 2022

This is an article about a holiday! I liked how the holiday was based both on a natural event (the Summer solstice) and a popular regional legend. It inspired me to consider some fairy tales and legends that the people in my world might create! It also got me thinking about what kinds of cosmological holidays might exist. With two suns and two moons, there's a huge realm of possibility.

Article 3: The Seven Day War

The Seven Day War
Myth | Sep 20, 2022

A dramatized retelling of the short, brutal war, that ended the gods and nearly killed all life on the planet

Wow! I'm cheating a bit by putting this article in here since it wasn't already on my reading list, but I found it just so amazing that I had to include it. This is one of the articles in the running for the Community's Choice Award, and I think it certainly deserves it.

It wasn't just the article that got me so excited, it was the entire premise for the world. I've always had a soft spot for giants, (megafauna, leviathans, colossi...) so the image of a world covered by the pacing forms of undead gods just makes my creativity machine go haywire. One of the driving inspirations behind SanZera is things that loom in the distance, though I went in the direction of natural land formations instead of wandering husks.

This article just got me excited about fantasy again! It made me want to add more fun, strange, and scary things into SanZera.

Article 4: Six Monochromes

Six Monochromes
Organization | Jul 23, 2019

This is another world that I love the premise of! This article detailed the six most popular gods in their world. I liked how each of the gods had a unique personality along with their domains. I also liked how it was written in a more prose-like style than just a list of attributes.

Article 5: Souls

Physical / Metaphysical Law | Nov 27, 2022

One half of a sapient species. Souls are the half of a being that does not enter the afterlife; instead, they float into space and make up stars.

This article was another short, straightforward one. I liked the idea that stars are created by souls. It made me think of how a "soul" could be perceived in SanZera. Souls (probably) aren't going to be physical entities, but the concept of a soul could certainly exist. It also got me thinking about how people could perceive the stars, and what kinds of stories they might tell to explain how stars were created.

Article 6: Ayakan Usami

Ayakan usami
Item | Aug 15, 2021

This article was just so delightful! All of the cute art and the very interesting cultural descriptions made it very engaging. I liked how, even in such a seemingly insignificant item, the article still managed to share lots of details about what the world is like!

Article 7: The Last Free City

The Last Free City
Generic article | Dec 28, 2021

I cheated again and jumped off the reading list again for this one, but I don't regret it! This was a prose snippet, and I loved every second of it. I loved the main character, I loved the supporting characters, I loved the city... it was all just so amazing! It reminded me how powerful prose is, and how useful of a tool it can be for worldbuilding. It made me want to write some more prose for this world. I don't know why I insist on writing everything like it's from Wikipedia... it can be fun, too!

Article 8: A Fly Caught in a Web: An Introduction to the Web

A Fly Caught in a Web: An Introduction to The Web
Generic article | Aug 4, 2022

Here There Be Monsters...

The quote at the beginning of this article really sells it. All of the imagery and matching terminology is excellent, too. The whole article really does an excellent job at setting the mood and explaining the basis of what the world is. I've always been pretty jealous of world introductions, and I still am not certain where to start with mine, but this article is a great inspiration for when I finally try attempting it.

Article 9: Weaving Magic

Weaving magic
Spell | Jun 8, 2022

Weaving magic is magic applied to textile (raw material production, spinning, weaving, sewing and embroidering), resulting in the creation of everyday clothes with wear-resistance and temperature-control magic or fancy items like invisibility cloaks.

This article was quite fun! I enjoyed all of the images. I was impressed with how it managed to keep me engaged, despite the sheer amount of information it presented! I think the quotes sprinkled throughout were part of what kept me going, as they made me motivated to find out what happened next to the character. I'm really a big fan of those miniature stories people put in articles with quotes!

Article 10: The Eyes of Samara

The Eyes of Samara
Myth | Jul 14, 2022

How the goddess of Knoweldge lost her eyes.

This article was beautifully written, and accompanied by some lovely art as well! It really felt like a myth I could be told by an elder, or over a campfire. I liked all of the characters, and the symbolism, and the different interpretations. I still haven't tackled any of the theology of SanZera, and this article reminded me that I should really get on that. There is a wealth of interesting things to explore that have to do with gods and religions!

Conclusion and 2022 Resolutions

I really enjoyed partaking in this challenge. I am a believer that reading is just as important as actually writing when you are an author or a worldbuilder. It's so important to have new sources of inspiration! This challenge helped me throw a few more logs into my creative blaze. It also let me spread lots of love and encouragement to other worldbuilders! I loved commenting on their work and seeing how excited they got.

As for those resoluions...

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's resolutions. I don't think there has been a single one that I have completed. Setting goals like that... doesn't work for me.

This year also has many, many terrible things already looming on the horizon. It makes me anxious to even think that far, much less set a goal somewhere out there.

So, I'm not sure what kind of resolution I could set for my writing other than write. I just want to continue to write more things this year. I don't have a number, or a specific thing I want to write about (though there are many avenues to explore!), I just want to try my best to write something. In a way, that means I've already accomplished my resolution, because I'm writing something right now!

Thank you to anyone who is reading, I hope that you may accomplish your goals and/or enjoy the journey leading to them. Good luck in 2022, and in any terrible things that may be looming on your horizon. Thank you for being here with me.

Until next time!

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11 Jan, 2022 12:22

That's a great collection you've assembled! Those are some real gems :D   I sympathize on the whole "New Year's Resolutions". Instead, I tend to go for "what healthy, productive daily habits" can I adjust and maintain. Those work a bit better for me.   And write! Yes! Also read!   With writing, I remember something Neil Gaiman said once about word count and writing:  

I wrote Coraline at 50 words a night.
— Neil Gaiman
  At least for me, that was inspirational with regards to trying to form a daily habit.

Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
11 Jan, 2022 15:23

That's a lovely quote. I love Neil Gaiman!! Thank you for your kind words :D <3

11 Jan, 2022 15:42

Gah. More articles for my reading list D:

The wisest person I know once called me a glorious pinnacle of human mediocrity. I feel this is more or less accurate.   (Ignore what my username says. I am far from grand, let alone a master).
Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
13 Jan, 2022 03:58

I know! I used the challenge to try and eliminate a bunch from mine, but now that everyone is posting their challenge articles, I'm going to have 3 times as many as I had before!

11 Jan, 2022 19:34

It was really really nice reading everything you had written about each article here! I like what you've taken away from each one, and I definitely agree with the conclusion that reading is as important as writing for an author :D   Thank you so much for including me on this list, and here's to an excellent 2022!

Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
13 Jan, 2022 03:59

You're welcome! Good luck in 2022 to you as well <3

12 Jan, 2022 06:40

Thanks so much for including me! I didn't even intend on submitting much for WorldEmber, but that prose happened to be finished at just the right time. I'm also glad that you reached a similar conclusion to myself when I started writing prose bits in my world: that while wikipedia-style articles are fun and very lore-dense, prose is very fun to write and can have just as much worldbuilding in it. I certainly still enjoy writing wiki-style articles, especially for new topics I broach when writing prose, but I've had a much easier time writing characters in this style than trying to list out their achievements and motivations and personal history. I can't wait to read any prose your write in your world!

Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
13 Jan, 2022 03:59

You're welcome!! I'm glad you decided to share you work; thank you for inspiring me!