The Reading Challenge: WorldEmber 2021

I hope everyone had as much of a nice and steady WorldEmber 2021 as I did!
I certainly would have had a much harder time with it without 's amazing Worldbuilding Planner (Go get it! It's free/pay what you want!) which kept me wanting to make the numbers go brr every day.   And now the month of Swimming (Look! I now have a calendar article to link to :D) has come and it's reading time Let's see if I can keep the notifications under 800.   Here is my reading challenge, with 10 of the articles I found most interesting or inspiring. Hope you found some of mine inspiring as well!  

1: Ashy Baby by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

The Ashy Baby (Such a cute name) is a compact article about a mushroom, of course. It provides a very analytical description of it, but not at the cost of humour or readibility.   I learned how to be more efficient on the description of a species without turning the article into a massive block of text.

2: Yellow Gnat by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

"[This article is] only worth reading if you're following Lady Merisse's adventure" said Amélie when sharing it, yet I just had to click in it even when I have no idea who Lady Merisse is.   Yellow Gnat is a short, cute article that describes this insect, in part, as a way to link it to the story of the aforementioned lady.   This article taught me about using unlikely articles to progress a story and, to be honest, about the potential of a cute header image to drive people to click on it.

3: Common Calendar by

Oh gods this circular calendar. I could not keep my eyes out of it as it spinned. I know at least three people that made calendar articles because of being inspired by this one, which is awesome!   It taught me how interesting is to add several standards (of counting, calendars, etc) to give the world depth and space for the development of the its international politics. I hope I get the mental strenght to do so in SoP one day!

4: The Seven Days War by Stormbril

I have to say I love every single Cathedris article I read. It is in itself is an amazing concept, and Stormbril's writing style and visual storytelling make it very easy to read for my short attention span.   This great read is divided in a day-to-day narrative way with short easy to digest snippets, especially for a story with so many characters.
The use of greyscale vs coloured pictures on the sides to indicate the outcome of each day is clever and useful, and proof of how Stormy's ingenuity goes far, far beyond "pretty css".

With The Seven Days War I learned about clever ways to divide long articles that I will need to investigate further, about using visual tools to aid the narrative in not-so-obvious ways, and how to keep a narrative with lots of characters easy to digest and compelling.

5: Karés by

Ynar's articles may look a bit intimidating by their lenght, but are surprisingly easy to read. Their worldbuilding is incredibly grounded, making each article feel authentic and realistic.   I personally suck at writing settlements, so this one taught me... A LOT! Which information to add, how to keep it compelling, and the usefulness of trivia to give a lot of depth to the lives of people in there.

6: Hottest Spices Living Quarters by

I find Hislariya's articles to be very soothing to read. They are written in elaborate detail, painting a clear mental picture of places and people. It's a world about healing, and it feels like it.
I liked how the quotes give it depth and life while, opposite to most articles, being "unrelated" to the actual article and not developed further in it. It makes you want to know more about the people talking in them.   I want to learn from it the way to set this calming prose for some of my articles.

7: Lunan Kordi by Ezra Aldrich

Ahh, chickens. I hope I can raise some one day.
This is a cute article about a man, his chickens and his husband.   It reminded me of not neglecting the little snippets about likes and dislikes, than can tell lots about a character with just a word. Funnily enough, it reminded me of the one article I talked in depth about a character's likes and dislikes, who happens to share names with Lunan's husband.

8: Mordena Funerary Rites by

Writing about the funerary customs of a culture turns even more interesting in a world where dying is a temporary nuisance.
How do things change when you go from mouring a person to disposing of someone's old body?   The scavenging nature of the rituals tells a lot about the culture of the Mordena and their values, and the article also shows how this is not an universal view on the topic.   This article inspired me to write more about the funerary rites in my world, especially in Stunveldt. I should be working on extending my death article already!

9: Alpex by Luca Poddighe

Cute stocky goat with a fat rear. What's not to love?   This article describes a mountain-dwelling species concentrating lots of information in few words. The descriptions are detailed and paint a very clear picture of these creatures and their lives.   I take from this article the excellent physical description, a thing I usually struggle with to not make it look like a grocery list of body parts. Luca manages instead a paragraph with a great flow without it turning into a different thing.

10: The Time of Pleasure by Melu (NSFW)

The Time of Pleasure tells about an exciting yearly tradition held in defiance of the morality views on sex, and about the person that created it.
It is a very wholesome read, and it contains many snippets with additional details and curiosities.   It taught me that "traditions" don't need to be old, and how they can be used as a counter-culture response to the changing society.
The apprentice historian by Naelin

The Challenge

This article is based on a challange posed in the blog post "Reading Challenge: Up Your Writing Game!" in the WorldAnvil blog.   The challenge's prompts (summarized) consited in:  
  1. Read 10 articles written by someone else, and leave a comment on them.
  2. Write in an article a paragraph about what you learned/what inspired you from it.
  3. Include at the end of the article a few new years' resolutions for your creative projects.

Goals for Year 8

  • Keep translating the old articles
  • Move SoP to Bootstrap 5 and maybe create a theme for it
  • Delve on these old concepts and characters that are waiting there still unwritten
  • Write some short stories and more adult articles
  • Draw more character portraits

    Some Additional Articles I've Enjoyed This WE

    It's ok to cry with this one. It's a good cry I promise.

    Dear Niwokael
    Prose | Dec 28, 2021

    An important letter from Jake.


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Jan 9, 2022 01:53 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

    Aww, you have such nice things to say about all these articles. <3 I love the little bit about what you learnt. And thank you for including me! <3

    Jan 9, 2022 14:03

    You're welcome, the Ashy Baby is a really good article!

    Jan 9, 2022 08:23 by Luca Poddighe

    Thank you so much for taking interest in my work, I really appreciate it more than words can tell!

    Jan 12, 2022 00:44

    You are welcome Luca, It is a really nice article! (And I think I already told you, but I love the aesthetic of Phaldorya)

    Jan 12, 2022 17:15 by Luca Poddighe

    Yes, you did but don't worry to repeat yourself... I always need reassurance :D

    Jan 9, 2022 08:56 by Simo

    People finding my world soothing is the best prize I can ever get. Thank you for reading and for the nice comment <3 You have a very nice selection of articles (I need to check Dappy's work more often).

    Jan 12, 2022 00:45

    I hope I can get more time and focus soon to read everything there is to read in Hislariya <3

    Jan 9, 2022 13:41

    Aww thanks for the feature :3

    I wish you a nice day!   Also feel free to visit my current world, Tevakari
    Jan 12, 2022 00:46

    No u, for all the nice nods to make to my stuff <3

    Jan 13, 2022 17:14

    Couldn't be any other way :D

    I wish you a nice day!   Also feel free to visit my current world, Tevakari
    Jan 9, 2022 15:43 by Ezra Aldrich

    Again, thank you for the feature! I'm glad you enjoyed my cute chicken farmer. c : I too wouldn't mind raising my own if I ever had the space and financial means to do so. Gotta love those fresh eggs, hehe. Overall nice challenge article and I liked the bits you had to say about each article and it has definitely made me at least a bit interested in some that I'm not familiar with myself.

    Jan 12, 2022 00:51

    Thank you Ezra! Raising chickens is definitely one of my goals in life :p

    Jan 11, 2022 03:53 by Stormbril

    Oooo thank you for the feature Nae! You have such wonderful things to say about all of these, and I'm really honored to be included :D <3

    Jan 12, 2022 00:52

    I went a bit overboard with the amount of text for The Seven Days War's review, but it was too good to describe in "an articleblock's length" of words ;p

    Jan 12, 2022 02:01 by E. Christopher Clark

    I shall wear "The Definition of Angry Like" as a badge of honor. :-)

    Track my progress on Summer Camp 2024!
    Jan 12, 2022 05:59

    Wow. This a great write up and makes me rethink almost everything I had done for my write ups on the Reading Challenge. Identify the key features, and what is learned as well as enjoyed. You use CSS well, something I have no skill at in the least.

    Jan 12, 2022 20:28 by JRR Jara

    Naeee <3 I'm so grateful to be on this great list! You know how much I admire you and your worlds so this means so much to me. And this whole article looks so pretty. I love it!

    Creator of Hanzelot and many more.
    Jan 12, 2022 22:49 by TC

    Really nice selection, and I really enjoyed reading what you learned from each article!

    Creator of Arda Almayed