Summer Camp Reading Challenge in The New Realm | World Anvil

Summer Camp Reading Challenge

Ah.... my first summer camp! It's been an awesome experience!

World building is fun... Well, for those who are geek minded, Comicon obsessed, or for those who love all things, RPG - worldbuilding is AMAZING! For the other ordinary boring folk (I shake my head in disgrace) however, they look at you like you have a horn growing out of your forehead! So for this reason, I haven't really bothered to explain to my family what I have been doing for the last month. It would take too long to explain. Even after that, they will still think there is a horn coming out of my forehead. Instead, what my family has witnessed is my intense typing with my eyes blazed with a fiery commitment, while they carefully walk backwards out of the room to avoid my rabid bite. I don't actually bite, but they avoided me anyway.

My husband has taken on the usual “look” that every partner uses when they see their spouse starting a new hobby. It’s a mixed look of, “Here we go. What new thing are they obsessing about now?” To, “What the heck is she doing?” This look is like a tossed salad of emotion that appears and disappears quickly. Then it forms into an amalgamated response of “Okay…” Still, though, he sweetly supports me regardless of his confusion and this is what I love about him.


So, without further a-dew , here are six take aways from my first summer camp!

#1. Take Away: Just start. Don’t worry about perfection.

I signed up to pre-camp planning with absolutely no idea of what I was doing. I still don’t, but I know more now than what I did in June. This is the beauty of just charging into something and learning to deal with things as they go. It’s intense, stressing, and messy.

In the real world, I have over 20 years in the food industry and part of my experiences have been opening and closing cafeteria accounts. Opening an account is like starting a new business. It’s expensive, chaotic and stressful. Days are long, often 12-16 hours, nothing goes as planned, staff turnover is higher during this point because of the stress, and at the sixth month mark, you cry. I have opened 4 accounts, which is a good number, and I have noticed similarities in all of them.

All of this to say is that I have become fairly good at starting something new without worrying about the process or my level of experience, because I know it will eventually work out.

  • I know things will not be pretty at first;
  • Mistakes will happen;
  • The plans will change; and,
  • I will adapt.

Yet, by starting off “clueless” means one is fresh with ideas, unique perspectives, and energy to tackle challenges. It also builds resilience and problem solving.

#2. Take Away: Planning is important. Participate in June’s pre-camp planning challenge.

You may picture me charging in as a renegade pirate, slashing through her victims with speed and accuracy, but that is Hollywood and real pirates plan their work. Real pirates also have rules (Fun Fact! Bedtime for pirates was 8pm while at sea!) So I knew that the planning part in June was an integral part of a successful summer camp. It helped get the creative juices flowing and set my mindset for success. There is, however, a serious caveat with this advice: Don’t over plan! If you over plan, you will never get started! The deadlines helped stop the over planning mindset trap that many writers, entrepreneurs and game masters fall into.

#3. Take Away: Create an easy and achievable goal(s) for your work.

During pre-camp, I clarified my two goals for summer camp. I wanted to create basic first-draft articles. The goal was to get the first draft done, so I could improve it later. Second, I sang, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and went for the shiniest gem available. However, after creating my first article, I realized I needed to adjust these goals. I was wise to focus on first draft articles and not “perfect” articles, but producing 32 articles to get diamond status was a bad idea. The articles needed to be of decent quality, because pumping out mediocre content is not good. This makes sense for business, for life, and for world building. It’s much better to start slow and build up.

#4. Take Away: Ask for feedback.

I am not a fan of Discord. It’s too complicated for me. Nevertheless, I understand the value of a Discord community. People are nice and want to help. They also offer valuable perspectives that are important to consider.

#5. Take Away: Use the tools available in World Anvil.

World Anvil has some neat tools! My favourite by far is the content tree option of the grandmaster level. I upgraded to the level of grandmaster after Dimitris and Janet celebrated their 7th anniversary (Fun Fact! Historically, seven years of marriage is represented by gifts made from copper and wool, two deeply symbolic materials.) Dimitris announced there was a special upgrade, and I pounced on it quickly! Thank you, Dimitris!

I like the content tree, because it's easy to use and you can plan your content in a logical sequence. Additionally, it can help create a credible back story without too much detail. This is something that we need to be careful with. Only create enough history for the topic to be credible. Avoid falling into a bottomless hole of content creation that is irrelevant and time consuming.

#6. Take Away: Have fun!

Summer camp sparked my culinary imagination, and I am trying out lots of culinary experiments! I purchased “Boreal” spices to test recipes with ingredients from “remote places.” I have made fresh cheeses so I can incorporate cheese making in my world. Lastly, I volunteer with horses, so I can understand how horses live and work. Getting out (and not writing) to see how things work and how one can incorporate credible content into the world helps make the world dynamic. It is also a fun form of research!

My experience this summer camp has been great! I have learned so much and have chatted with people on Discord. I know more about worldbuilding and I am eager to continue and I invite you to . This is just the beginning, but I have so many other ideas brewing in my mind (Spoiler! It will be a dark world with power struggles, questionable decisions that will make you want to pull your hair out, love and hate, a hefty dose of violence and where justice WILL be served!) I will continue to courageously push through and build on what I have, not worrying that it is not perfect. This is the first draft, afterall.


Happy Worldbuilding!

World Goals (Updated: 8/25/2023)

As I continue to work on my world, I will work on the following:

  1. I will clean up the metadata to clearly identify the fundamentals of the world. This will include an update in the people and their cultures. This will require a lot of research in ancient cultures. I also want to focus on cultures that are often overlooked in the western world.
  2. I will also establish the social norms of the New Realm. The core of the story will be about a power imbalance that results in strict social conformity and expectations. Throughout the world and novel, actual world history inspires many aspects of the novel. This is true of social norms that humans adopt within history and today's society. I want to challenge our thinking. I want to challenge stereotypes.
  3. I will also try to identify the "type" of novel this is. This one is difficult and I would love feedback in the comments below. This novel is about breaking rules. It's about breaking down stereotypes and throwing a wrench in the proverbial clog in the system. But it is also honest and raw. I will challenge the "Alpha" and "Omega" stereotypes. I will challenge traditional family archetypes. I will challenge societies perception of feminine sexuality. This world is set with dragons, but the challenges are human. There will be violence (the beginning starts with the rape of a goddess in which a power hungry alpha steals her power.) There will be loss, pain and grief. But there will also be retribution. The audience that I am targeting is a mix of men and women who wish to see beyond the typical scope of gender stereotypes and roles. It is also directed to those who do not conform to a specific gender which will be a valuable insight. While my goal is not to discuss today's gender identities, it is about challenging stereotypes. This is something that I know well because I have been defying them since I was little.   So what kind of novel is this? A fantasy, an adventure, a romance? FYI - before anyone leaps on romance, the novel will have aspects of romance, but it will not be centred on it. Is there a genre called "Rule Breaker?" Let me know in the comments below and feel free to .
  4. Lastly, I am looking for readers who wish to provide constructive feedback in helping me build a credible world that is dynamic. I am looking for a variety of perspectives and walks of life including, all genders, cultures, historians, adventure seekers, fantasy enthusiasts, romance novelists, military experts, RPG fans, etc. Join the reader group here to give your input Content Reviewers.

Oh... did I mention recipes? There will be lots of those (Yum! )


The Truth Behind the 'Origin Story'
Myth | Dec 8, 2023

This is an interesting article where the author uses elements of chaos, death and destruction as characters. I am also incorporating these elements in my world.

The Story of Anvil
Myth | Jul 30, 2023

I loved the layout of this article. The images and colour are clean and it is easy to read. Sometimes, simple is better. I was intrigued by this world because of its clean simplicity and will consider this in my own design.

L'Eveil de l'Aube au Crépuscule
Myth | Aug 1, 2023

I will always jump on reading articles in French. I get to practise my French while supporting other world builders. The French terms in this article were challenging. Either it is a different dialect that I am used to or it is more advanced. As a result, I learned a few more terms.

2. A resource that provides fuel or power
Material | Aug 7, 2023

I like how there is a clear distinction between "clean energy" and the way it is presented as crisp. Then the "dirty energy" is foggy and dirty using coal. There is also a societal difference in this world in which I took note of for my world.

The August Wood
Material | Aug 1, 2023

I liked how the elves acted in the same way that humans do. It makes it relatable.

Material | Aug 1, 2023

This article focuses on a mineral that is used in many things but is mined by slaves. It creates a moral conundrum for the reader. This is something that I will use heavily in my world. My characters will be forced to make choices for the sake of their species.

Raclette du Lodrak
Tradition / Ritual | Apr 16, 2024

Spécialité culinaire que l'on trouve uniquement dans les hauteurs isolées du Lodrak et qui consiste en un assortiment de fromage fondu et légumes locaux auquel l'on ajoute parfois de la viande fumée.

I love cheese and I love a good raclette! Cheese has so much history. It’s been around with bread and ale for a long time. The neat thing about all of these items is that they are all made with bacteria. Somehow civilizations figured out that if they use the lining of a cows stomach, called rennet, you can coagulate cheese. As unappealing as it sounds, this is the basics of cheese.

Tradition / Ritual | Feb 28, 2024

Moontine is a popular Edenian take on poutine, a culinary classic of the Québécois.

Poutine in space! I had this vision of floating around in space catching cheese curds as I float! This is a fun article and I am thrilled that someone used a Quebec recipe!

Chickpeas Almanari
Tradition / Ritual | Jul 10, 2023

At first I was thinking that this cuisine looked Mediterranean , but I know that Mexico produces a lot of pineapples and mandarins. Plus, they mentioned spicy, and Mexicans love it spicy!


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Aug 20, 2023 00:59 by E. Christopher Clark

I love your takeaways and wish you good luck with the rest of the year. Thanks for taking a look at my article on "Moontine."

Vote for the Clarkwoods Literary Universe as Best World in the Worldbuilding Awards
Aug 20, 2023 19:20

Poutine in space is a guaranteed success! Please feel free to follow my world!

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*Spelling mistakes, subject changes and other peculiar oddities curtesy of my ADD.