Reading Challenge 2023 in The Thirteen Realms | World Anvil

Reading Challenge 2023

Alright, here we go!   I had a blast doing Summer Camp for the first time, and you can have a look at my articles in my Summer Camp 2023 Round-Up! I did read other peoples' entries here and there, but it can be a lot to work on your own articles and read others at the same time. So, time to get to reading!   For the three prompts I'll be reading articles from, the first is going to be "A conflict between two unequal powers" - now, I didn't write for this prompt myself, because I couldn't really think of an answer. But, I also feel that writing about conflicts is a personal weakness, so I'd like to explore how others handled the prompt. For the second prompt, I'm choosing "A cuisine from a sparse, barren, or remote region" for a lot of the same reasons - while I did have my own entry, cuisine is something I only tend to think about in braod terms, so is another subject I want to see how others relayed. For the third and last, I'll be looking at the prompt "A historical culture whose influence is still felt today" - and as with the other two, to see how others write about ethnicities, which feels like a personal weak spot.   With all that established, here I go!  

A Conflict Between Two Unequal Powers

  The Deer is Dead by Naelin   I was intrigued by the title, and was surprised by the article itself. It had not occured to me to write a conflict not as a true play by play, but rather, a more broad summary of events - I was also impressed by the hover-over definition feature in this article, which made understanding the conflict much easier without having read the other articles associated with this particular conflict. I always thought of doing the conflict articles in more of a... chess sort of way, I suppose - intricate tactics and strategems throughout. But this was a very enjoyable read that fully captured what the stakes were, what transpired, and the end result without getting into that kind of detail.   Not the first time, but definitely a key reminder not to overthink when writing.   The Shame of Wahaareh by Eldknighterrant   On the complete other end, this article reads like a history textbook - one of the good ones! With the summary of the event and it's effects at the start, before digging into the meat of the conflict itself. The sidebar breakouts, the visuals, all of it was so well thought out and thorough - I'm very impressed and inspired! A lot of the time, I either forget to look to nonfiction for inspiration, or I get intimidated by the research needed to really pull off something like this article from a fiction standpoint. But seeing it written out was very cool, and I appluad Eldknighterrant for their clear hard work and attention to detail on it.   The Sundered Crown by Mysticsalad   This one took another different direction from the other two - rather than reading in more of a report style, it's written in a sort of fairy tale or fantasy prologue prose that I just adore. It was a really fun read, and felt like the prologues older fantasy films would use like adaptation of The Black Cauldron or The Dark Crystal - where the major conflict that split the land has not only happened but already resloved by the time the main heroes take the stage. It intrigued me and made me wonder what was going to happen next. Another reminder that there's no one "right" way to create a compelling account of a conflict.    

A Cuisine from a Sparse, Barren, or Remote Region

  The Pirate's Menu by RPGDinosaurBob   This is a fun and interesting article about various types of foods found on naval vessels. I liked how this article chose a theme, rather than a specifc people, to base the cuisine around - allowing for a variety of food types and approaches to solving the same problems rather than just one style. It gives me a better idea of ways to organize possible future articles in my own setting, while still not getting into too fine details. I liked how there was a little background about broader cultural practices regarding the different people the food originated with, and how that influenced the style of vessel food they created. I also enjoyed the brief summary of the issues needed to be overcame for the various foods.   Sizzling Shiromsoq Shenanigans by Sh4d0wPh30n1x   Another fun article including specific recipies (with a human substitution)! I would have never thought to focus cuisine around a single ingredient rather than a broader idea of regional food - but then, a lot of cuisines are based around a staple food item, so it makes perfect sense. This is another really cool way to build around a theme that I wouldn't have considered myself - and I always love seeing new recipies, even if I don't get around tot rying them myself, ha ha. It was also cool to read the background about the plant itself, and the brief account of its discovery as an ingredient.   Stuffed Orbshroom Nubs by Moonlight Bard   Compared to the other two, this article only uses one recipie - but I loved all the little flavor text sprinkled throughout! The chef's notes on each step of cooking were really fun, and felt like listening to someone explaining the recipie in the best of ways. It really made the article come alive - and I liked the inclusion of the specific location the dish can be found and the little nods to various character interactions with the recipie/meal.  

A Historical Culture Whose Influence is Still Felt Today

    Light Society by Amélieis   This was a really cool read! I liked how it's technically about a society that still exists, just not as it originated. The idea of "light and dark" being political identities - and how being such makes them prone to the same pitfalls as all major politcal parties have - is intriguing in its own right. I also really liked the used of formatting in this article, which made all the information easier to digest and visually appealing. I also like the clear delineation of the positives and negatives, and the comparisons with it's oppositional party. It's a cool way to give a little insight to the broader world while still focusing on the subject at hand.     Cult of the Mind by Stormbril   Another intriguing article with cool formatting! And another ancient culture that still exists, just in a changed form from its origin. Though, conpared to Light Society, the original form of the society seems less well known - since they're working back from incomplete information rather than changing over time. As a current neopagan, I fully understand how difficult it can be to find information on original practices when only small pieces have survived. So the idea of new practices straying from their origins as people try to interpret the old through a more modern lense is always one that's intriguing to me.   Anamite by kitoypoy   Another ancient society that has survived to the present of it's home world, but seemingly not much changed over time. I enjoyed the light banter between characters that opens the article, which added some initial levity to the read from the more sober narrative from the first quote. Using character quotations can be something I struggle with, as my world is from my serialized story and I tend to not consider quotes outside those found in the story itself. But I've seen so many great articles with character notes and flavor text that just feel like they add so much character to the worlds they're a part of, I think I really should get in the habit of using it myself!  

Closing Thoughts

  Summer Camp was a lot of fun to participate in, and it was equally fun to read how other people responded to the prompts and format their articles. I'm still a bit of a WA newbie, so it's really cool to think of ways to improve my world based on what I've seen from others - even if learning CSS feels very daunting, ha ha. But from the more detailed to the less, the narrative to the informative, there are so many ways to craft compelling and interesting articles.   Good luck to my fellow participants and looking forward to World Ember this year!


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Aug 14, 2023 03:25 by Chris L

Thanks for including my article! You've got some great choices here, including some that I have on my own list to read! I've read all the cuisine articles already, so that saves me some work!

For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Aug 19, 2023 20:31 by Haly the Moonlight Bard

As a bonus, it's a real recipe! Absolutely something that you can make at home.

Aug 21, 2023 22:47

Thank you for featuring me! The truth is that I write military conflicts in an unusual way because I dislike writing military conflicts :p

Aug 28, 2023 02:05 by Stormbril

Thank you so much for the inclusion! <3

Sep 15, 2023 17:44 by Eric

I really appreciate your review! For what it's worth, the history textbook-like article was about as intimidating to write as it must've been to read. :)