Rebel’s Writing Tips: Balancing an Intense World with a Story

Let’s say you’ve followed all my tips and tricks for world-building and now have the most robust and epic world for your story.  You’ve got a handful of cultures, you’ve got one-of-a-kind settings, and you even have a cast of characters from each and every location.  However, your world is so complex that you aren’t sure how to handle conveying the entire world to the readers of your story.  What do you do?

First off, fear not.  You are not alone and every world-building writer struggles with this issue at some point.  Even if you’ve checked out my post on integrating world and story, if there’s a lot of world on your plate it can still be a monumental and overwhelming task.  Some writers create worlds so vast that it takes an entire separate codex to convey every little detail written.  However, even this still leaves one in a difficult situation when balancing the depth of the world with the story.  As such, I’m going to walk you through five simple tips that you should bear in mind when writing your story and complex world together.  By following these, you should be well on your way to making sure your world doesn’t overwhelm while still being present.

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Rebel’s Writing Tips: Creating a Fantasy Calendar

For fantasy writers who get super into world-building, calendars are often a shiny element that many want to dive into creating.  After all, time dictates a lot of our lives, so what easier way is there to make a world feel unique?  There is also the simple fact that, unless set on Earth, there is no particular reason for a fantasy world to follow our time scale and divisions.  As such, despite being somewhat superfluous, calendars are a tempting aspect to delve into.

At the same time, though, many writers also get stumped by how to create them.  How many days per week?  What about hours per day?  Where should I put holidays?  There are a slew of issues to consider.  Thusly, today I wish to give you a step-by-step guide you can follow on your journey to make a calendar.  Of course, this is not a strict “do it this way” sort of ordeal, as you should tackle it in whatever order works for you.  However, I have tried to cover all the basics and put it in a sort of logical order that anyone can adjust to their needs.

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Rebel’s 6 Tips for World-building a Culture

In my general world-building post, there was a lot that I covered in a “tip of the iceberg” sort of way.  While I have rectified this with governments by writing two super in-depth posts, there is one area I feel I need to address further still: culture.  When it comes to world-building, culture can be one heck of a monster to tackle.  There are a lot of ways that it physically manifests (clothing for example), and a lot of intangible ways that it manifests.  However, it is also a monster that, if done right, can create a living and breathing world for your story to exist in.  As such, today I would like to narrow down developing a culture for your story’s world with some more specific and poignant tips.

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Rebel’s Writing Guide: World-building for Governments Part 2

In the first part of my posts on world-building governments for stories, I discussed what actually constitutes a government in its most basic form.  Through it, I established the three core features of any government: laws, provide, and protect.  However, because I established the basic framework, this left little time to walk you through the various decisions you have to make in order to utilize the framework.  Today, though, we will be fixing that.  I’m going to walk you through the most major questions step by step into building a government for your world.  By establishing these components, you will ideally have a concrete system of government at the end.  How you utilize it will be up to you, but today we’ll make sure you can create it in the first place.

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Rebel’s Writing Guide: World-building for Governments Part 1

There are a lot of difficult aspects when it comes to world-building for your stories.  However, in my personal experience there is a universal aspect people struggle with more than anything else: governments.  In our modern age, governments are a tangle of complications, regardless of whether they’re a democracy or a monarchy.  As such, it can be intimidating for any writer to try and use them as inspiration, which results in numerous stories hand waving them when they come up.  For many stories, this is fine since the function of the government plays little to no role.  However, for other stories that span a much more worldly setting, a weak government can result in some glaring plot holes that some readers may not ignore.

The point I’m getting at is it’s important to know how to build a government for a story.  Thankfully, I am here this week to walk you through in-depth on how to get into the right mind-set for building a government.  However, there is a lot to talk about, so I will be breaking this post into two parts.  In this first post, I will be discussing what a government is at its base level when you break it down to its simplest form.  In the next post, I will be walking you through the key areas covered in this post, going a bit more in-depth and addressing key questions you should be able to answer.  Hopefully after this week, you’ll be more prepared to handle governments in general.

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Rebel’s 4 Writing Tips for Integrating World & Story

In last week’s post, I walked everyone through the general steps it takes to build a world/setting for your story.  However, given these posts can’t be a book length ordeal, there were a lot of points I had to leave out for the sake of time.  Be assured, however, there is a lot more to world-building, and I will even go more in depth on some of those points I previously brought up.  For today’s post, though, I would like to take what I consider the next step after performing your general world-building: adding to it for better story integration.

Now, before I begin, this post will not be a step-by-step guide on how to talk about your world in the story.  Instead, I am focusing on the outside world-building aspects like last post; the difference is that I will be delving into things you can add and consider for your world that will help meld it to the story.

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Rebel’s 5 Tips for General World-Building

One of the aspects I love most about creating a new story is developing the world.  The world/setting is a vital component to any story, and it can be just as interesting in its existence as the character and plots happening within it.  There’s also no limit to what you can do with a world either!  You want waterfalls to go up instead of down?  You can do that.  Want a culture that combines Wild West aesthetics with elves?  You can do that.  Worlds open up the door to a multitude of possibilities, particularly when it comes to characters and how they meander through the world you create.  If used wisely, your creativity in the world can create conflicts that would not be possible otherwise.

However, despite loving and mentioning worlds a lot in other posts, I have yet to really make a general world-building post.  Today, I am going to fix this travesty of a situation and guide you through how to start building your own story world.  Keep in mind this post will be a bit biased towards fantasy and science fiction, but with some ingenuity you can use these tips for worlds that have more realistic settings as well.

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Rebel’s 5 Tips for Identifying a Mary-Sue in Your Writing

Mary-sues (or Gary-stus) are one of those subjects that can send people into raging and passionate arguments.  Few people tend to agree when a character is a Mary-sue, though most people will agree they do exist.  For those who are new to the term, Mary-sue refers to those characters who, for all intents and purposes, are idealized, perfect versions of people.  Often, they are the mark of amateur writers, though even the best of writers can be plagued by them on occasion.  Regardless, most people regard them as annoying types of characters, since their perfection tends to make for a boring, predictable story.

How can you know whether you’re writing a Mary-sue or not?  Today, I’m going to give you my tips on how you can identify whether a character you’re writing is a Mary-sue.  These tips will not be as comprehensive as other lists you might find.  However, I want to keep these tips brief and quick so that you can know as fast as possible whether it’s something you should be concerned about.

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Rebel’s 4 Tips for Writing Plot Twists

Sometimes a writer just really wants to surprise their readers.  Whether it’s out of a desire to be novel in their stories or a desire to evoke a certain reaction, many have felt the urge.  Often, this desire is what causes plot twists to come into existence in any given story.  Unfortunately, plot twists are one of those writing aspects that can either go really right or really wrong.  For as many writers embrace plot twists, plenty also avoid them like the plague because of the negative stigma to attached to the bad ones.  However, it is also a fact that plot twists can be powerful, exciting, and a real boost to a story if done correctly.

How does one do a plot twist correctly, though?  That will be the subject of today’s post.  While plot twists can be a bit subjective, there are certain conventions that can either make or break your plot twist.  As such, I would like to share with you my personal tips on avoiding making bad plot twists.  Though they can’t guarantee your plot twist will work out, they certainly will give you insight into how plot twists function.

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