WorldEmber Prep 2023 - Weeks 1-4 in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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WorldEmber Prep 2023 - Weeks 1-4

Greetings and salutations, and the blessings of the season upon all who read this. This is going to be my first Worldember, and what I'm most looking forward to is seeing what wonders shall be crafted as all the worldsmiths start getting busy.   But first, it's time to do the homework and get prepped for the challenge. So here's my homework!  

Week One Homework


Area of Focus

I've been intending to really buckle down and get the geography of The Million Islands written in detail. As the name would suggest, it is a world that is defined by its many islands, and as I'm hoping to start a campaign in this world in the new year, I'm going to use the next few months to work on the geographical details - mostly islands, but also various other geographical features of note such as mountains, rivers, and various waterways. Right now, I'm working through the Northeastern Region of the Great Ring; my plan is to finish here (for as much as anything is truly "finished") and then move on the the Southeastern Region. I'm excited to tackle these two, as I hope they will be the main regions where my campaign takes place (unless the players go off in a wild direction!). As a bonus, this dovetails nicely with the Unofficial MapVember Challenge that Wordigirl has put together and has some great prompts I'm excited to write for.  

The Pledge

And that brings us to the pledge. I've been trying to write at least 300 words a day for a while now - getting to 10k words in a month will be a little step up from that (~325 words), so I'm pretty confident that I'll be able to make that goal by keeping my pace. I don't think I'll be writing thousands of words a day, but I do think I can get there by following the 'slow and steady' method. So I'm going to be pledging for 10,000 words during WorldEmber.  
And that's it! My only other goal for the next few months will be to do as much reading, liking, and commenting as I can manage - I truly love getting feedback, and believe that giving it is one of the best things I can do to help support and encourage my fellow writers. Happy WorldEmber to All, and to All a Good Night!  

Week Two Homework

And so it was in the second week of November that I returned to my homework and prepped for WorldEmber. I must thank my 18-month son for finding me the time to do this homework, for he has woken me up in the delightful period between "too early to do anything else" and "too late to go back to bed". This is a gift he has given me for the last week or so, and thus I am going to be writing this in the throes of a long-standing sleep deficit - let's hope it works out.  

Mini-Meta for WorldEmber

So this is something I'm not quite sure how to write, so consider the following a very rough draft that I may revise and update sometime in the near future.   My plan for WorldEmber is to focus on the geography of a particular region of 'The Million Islands'. This region is key to the overall world meta, and is the location in the world most closely aligned with the original concept - to have a setting in which players can have adventures reminiscent of those found in 'The Odyssey' or 'Sinbad the Sailor'. The islands and cultures found here are inspired by those found in the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Persian Gulf, with a twist towards the fantastic and mythological. Over the year or so since I originally conceived of this setting, it has expanded and evolved to a much larger world, but I'm happy to be spending some time on the core seed that got it all started.  

Category Structure

Here, I got lucky - I had already put something in place back in September when I started to really structure how I was going to build the world. Before then, I was just throwing ideas at the wall (sometimes with the help of various prompts, as during Summer Camp), and had a pile of disorganized articles. But as the summer came to a close, I spent a chunk of time on my world's organization, specifically on the geographical regions. I had already decided that I wanted to do a review and expansion of the geographical elements of the world, and upon some reflection decided that I had eight functional regions to work with.   For those not familar with the million islands, here's a quick overview of the eight areas of focus from a geographical point of view. The titular islands are a series of archipelagos aranged in a roughly circular shape (which you will see referred to as the 'Great Ring' in many of my articles. All told, this encompasses an area roughly similar to Eurasia (for all the details and dimensions, check out my article on the Islands). The ring is broken up into six distinct regions, each of which have their own cultures, sub regions, and thematic elements. For example, the Northeastern Region is inspired by the British Isles and Iceland, and is intended to be fairly similar to the themes found in many fantasy roleplaying games - a medieval European culture with fantastic elements. I have been doing a lot of work here recently, as I think it is a good place to introduce players to the world, and allow them to explore the other areas from a more familiar base.   So, as I said, I've broken the world into eight regions to focus on - but the Great Ring only has six. The other two are: The Middlesea, which is the body of water within the Great Ring, and is intended to be a particuarly wild and fantastic location, where I can let my imagination play unfettered, and the Lands Beyond the Islands, which is the rest of the world.   So that's the categorization (at least as far as it applies to the focus). I'm going to be working through the articles already in the Southeastern region of the Atlas, with an eye to adding geography articles to stub in, and then looking for inspiration from folklore and mythology to expand on what's already there. I'm limiting myself to the geography for WorldEmber, so although I will be stubbing articles on settlements, organizations, and other topics, I don't intend to develop them until I've finished establishing the land under their feet.  

Worlds I like to Read

Inspiration comes from everywhere, and from every genre. There are a few worlds I'm particularly enjoying - here's a very incomplete list.  

Week 3 Homework

Revisiting and reviewing the homepage was a great homework assignment for me - it'd been a while since I looked at it, and it definitely needed some work. When I started building "The Million Islands" back in January, it was actually a project I undertook to learn and test ChatGPT and its applications for worldbuilding. I spent about six months learning the basics of prompt engineering, and there were a lot of articles (including the homepage) that were lightly edited machine-generated text. During that period, I found myself throwing more and more of the computer-created text away in favor of writing things myself, and I enjoyed writing a lot more - so much so that when Summer Camp started I decided I was done learning ChatGPT, but very much not finished with "The Million Islands". Since then, I've been expanding it a little bit every day, and going back through the older articles to rewrite them in my own words and voice. Without this homework, I might have overlooked the homepage, and I'm happy to have taken the time to revise it.  

Week 4 Homework

Getting this in just under the wire. I wasn't sure what I was going to do here, but I'm an obsessive completionist, so I am going to write something about the Last Minute Prep for WorldEmber. Here goes something!   The reason I didn't know what to do is because I am living the #ForeverWorldEmber life. Basically, I have been writing about 10k words a month for the last 4-5 months. This wasn't on purpose. I decided last summer that I wanted to write every day, as it was good for my state of mind, emotional balance, and general sense of well-being. This was around the time Summer Camp was getting started, and the articles for that had a 300 word minimum, so I made that my target daily goal. Most days, I overshoot it - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot - but it's rare that I end below 325 words, just because my thoughts ususally take a little more than that to get down. And as it turns out, if you write 325 words/day for 31 days, you get 10,075 words at the end. So the only thing I need to change to make it work for WorldEmber is to make sure I'm either working on brand new articles or stubs that I can update the creation date on. I have a plan for where I'm going to work (which is a continuation of my long-term plan of expanding and revising the geographical articles in the world), and I'm really just holding onto my existing momentum to carry me through WorldEmber. I'm curious to see how many words I do get by the end - as I said above, I usually overshoot the 300/word goal, and I don't really know by how much. I'm going to update my daily count to 325 to make sure I do get past that 10k target, but I'm not really worried about reaching it.    And that's all, folks. WorldEmber starts tomorrow, and I am going to roll right on through. Cheers!


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Nov 4, 2023 09:38 by Annie Stein

Welcome to worldember!   It sounds like you've got a solid plan, geography is an excellent focus. I hope you have a blast!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Nov 4, 2023 21:19

All the best for your first time! It will be great and fantastic. I´m looking forward of all the islands.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.
Nov 21, 2023 16:55

Oh, thank you very much for mentioning my world as inspiration here. This really means a lot to me.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.
Nov 5, 2023 20:43 by Elspeth

It's my first WorldEmber too! I love the dedication you have committing to 300 words a day currently, Have a great WorldEmber!

Nov 6, 2023 15:14

Thanks! You too!

Nov 10, 2023 13:02 by Nimin N

Great idea to combine the mapvember challenge with your planned WE focus. :)   Good luck on reaching your goal, and hope you have a great time!

Nov 18, 2023 17:42 by Melissa

Thanks for sharing my little world! I know your WorldEmber will be a wonderful success because you've gotten into a great, consist writing habit. Congratulations on the happy baby! Sounds like your players are going to have a fun campaign with plenty of islands to explore. Can't wait to see what you come up with next month!

Nov 21, 2023 15:50 by Mochi

Aaaaa thank you for the world mention! So glad you're enjoying the Yonderverse <3 I love to write and read about a good ol island, excited to see what you make in WorldEmber!

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.   Check out my new world, Ava Admira!