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August 2022 Reading Challenge

Hello! And welcome to my reflections through this year's reading challenge. I was thrilled by this challenge, not only to get feedback on my work (I typically write with the expectation that zero people will ever read it) but as a chance to reflect on the creative process and broaden my horizons as a world builder. This is my first time using world anvil and actually world building instead of making things up as I go along, so I was eager to see how other creators took the same prompts in different directions. I didn't want to "rank" any of the articles I read since I was reading them for different goals, so that's why I used the alphabet to keep track. Let's dive in!

Prompt 1: a profession associated with leaders in your world

I really struggled with this one! It requires you to integrate the values of your society with the actual functioning at both the grand and mundane levels--which is really hard! I wanted to create a society that wasn't a fantasy replica of the one I live in and challenge myself to think of different ways of governing. Thus I wanted to see how others approached this prompt.

Article A: Song Walkers by Dragonscribbles   I enjoyed how this profession detailed music as culturally important and intrinsically woven into the world beyond the superficial beautiful entertainment. Beauty does have a place in fantasy, but I love how this take grounds the spiritual in the practical. This article made me reflect on how traditions and roles of peoples are influenced by the environments they live in--in this case the acoustics of mountain singing. From the writing aspect, I liked how this article made me want to learn more about the world and the people in it as well as sparking story ideas.  

Article B: Council Person by CassandraSojourn   For me its difficult to convincingly build governing bodies that are different from the ones I live in, which made this article stand out. This article anticipates questions about how this anarchist/mutual aid society would function and the kinds of organizing roles they would need. It is concisely written, which makes it easy to understand the role itself, how it fit into the larger picture of the society and the societal values, and had the distinctive voice of the author. From a design stand point, the formatting added to the tone of the world while still being readable and easy to navigate.  

Article C: The Archivists by AmélielS   This article really came to life through the use of the first person perspective and the images that were placed throughout the article. Both helped to convey the personality of the main character, the culture of the profession, and the voice of the author. I also liked how each idea or aspect of the profession was subdivided into sections, making navigation and readability easy.  

In reflection, I would like to use the connection to place and culture that I saw in these articles more in my world building. I need to review my work with questions like "How does this convey the values or perspectives of the culture?" and "How do people interact with their environment?" to better connect traditions and roles with place and culture.


Prompt 2: A recently discovered, or rediscovered, species

I wanted to know what other kinds of critters people dreamed up. I was also interested to see what ecosystems people designed for and if there was a bias for certain types of organisms (big charismatic megafauna, misunderstood insects, etc.).

Article D: The Blinking Bee by Ecnemalas   This article was a nice example of tying other aspects and information of their world into the history of this species. This helped connect this species with the rest of the world as well as give an idea of how this species is perceived by others in the world. I appreciated the conversational writing style. I liked that there were plenty of details to spark story ideas without being overwhelming.  

Article E: Kindled by EbonxGaming   The design of this article really stood out to me. They used formatting to clearly organize information beyond titled sections, such as bolding important names and linking to other articles for easy navigation throughout the world. I really liked the artwork in the side panel because it helped me visualize their idea. The image plus the text helped me better build an idea of what this critter might be like and what it would feel like to come across one.  

Article F: Narcotoxic Flowers by wordigirl   I love how wordigirl chose to do a plant instead of an animal! I think it's easy to fall into the trap of "species" means animals, but there's so many other kingdoms of life to consider. I liked the design choices of the article. The format conveyed the tone of the story and added to the ambiance of a lab made species, which may have been more difficult using words alone.  

In reflection, these articles taught me the value of good design and formatting. Through design, I can make my world easier to navigate, more cohesive, and more vivid. It will also help me connect divergent aspects of the world with each other across articles.


Prompt 3: Technology that has been lost, forgotten, or shrouded in mystery

I just really liked this prompt and I thought it would generate some interesting ideas!

Article G: Mesmerrack by Qurilion   This was a neat piece of technology and I liked how the article laid out all the different variations of this technology. It added a sense of scale and history to the world while leaving lots of potential plot hooks. I also noticed that the main text was laid out with all the main details of the technology and the side bar provided all the information that connects this technology with other aspects of the world. I thought this was a cool design decision and made full use of the side bar rather than leave negative space.  

Article H: Draconic Rune Magic by Kitoypoy   Because this prompt was about mystery and not fully knowing, I liked how Kitoypoy didn't outright say how the technology worked. Instead, they left hypotheses about where different aspects of the technology might have come from and how the history of migration may have played a role into the technology's evolution. It grounded the technology in the world and made the world more 3-dimensional and cohesive. By giving it history, it felt more real. I also appreciated the flavor text which left plot hooks for future stories to explore.  

Article I: Amethyst Crown by Usurperkings   This article was another example of how the first person perspective can be powerful in conveying values and culture without explicitly writing them out. I appreciated how the side bar and formatting were designed as it amped up the science fiction feel of the article. I also really liked the symbolism of a crown with themes of control and authority in a futuristic setting.  

In reflection, these articles illustrated the importance of considering how things change over time to make my world feel truly fleshed out and three-dimensional. By thinking about the history of knowledge or technology and how thinking about it has shifted over time due to world events, I can create a more dynamic and fluid world where change (and thus story) is possible.


Where I go from here...

Summer camp and the reading challenge has been a wonderful experience! I feel like I've grown as a creator and have enjoyed the creative challenge and reflection built into the events. I entered this summer camp with the goal of fleshing out a world I would like to write my NaNoWriMo in this year so I can practice writing settings better (often times it's just characters trading dialogue on a blank stage until they need to do something, lol). I definitely exceeded my own expectations, and am eager to revise and add onto the articles I wrote for Summer Camp! But I'd also like go back through my articles and figure out where the "holes" are: where I made up a name but didn't carry it through to other articles or mention a place that I haven't created an article for. I'd like to add images and think more critically about design and navigation so it can be an easy resource come November. I'd like to continue to flesh out and build upon the setting hooks I put into the original camp articles. It would probably also be good to start developing more characters to populate the world with, as right now its mostly monolithic groups of people as tribes or nation states. Given all of that, it looks like I'll have plenty to continue working on this fall! I'm hopeful that future community challenges will help me keep up the momentum I've built up over the past two months.   I want to give a big thank you to all the admins, organizers, and fellow creators who made this event possible and who continue to be enthusiastic, kind, and encouraging. The community atmosphere was a big motivating factor that kept me going when life got hectic. The biggest and sincerest thank you!!!

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Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
30 Aug, 2022 14:24

Thanks for featuring my article! <3 God bless and much success with your future plans. :)

Be exuberantly blessed. Much success!!! maybe click here, I guess...