Writing Guidelines

This is a crowdsourced creative writing project, and so there will no doubt be a variety of writing styles and approaches to the subject matter. Having said that, we’d like to share a few guidelines for contributions here:

  • Feel free to flesh things out. Some of the best contributions on this site exist within worlds created by other people.  The new contributor has imagined some aspect of the existing realm or people previously unexplored and decided to flesh things out.  This is precisely what this site is for and has produced fascinating aspects of the world that not even the original authors expected (and are often delighted to learn about!). Before you do that, consider the next two rules.
  • Learn about the world. Read as many of the previous contributions as you can to get a sense of what the world is like and who the actors and players are in it.  Becoming familiar with what has already been created will help you in fashioning your own piece of the world.
  • Respect other contributors’ work.  Try to write in a way that respects the work that has been done before.  This goes not only for continuity in terms of dates and places, but also in terms of characterization.  For example, if someone has created a character who is generally heroic and beloved by the people, don’t write a piece about how that character commits genocide against an entire nation.  Now, it is perfectly fair to say that a rival people or group claims that the character has done so, and thus introduce conflict and competing perspective into the world, but attempting to rewrite someone else’s work does not respect the art of the previous contributors.
  • Be careful with languages.  To the extent that a language has already been described, try to stick as closely as possible to the way that language works.  If you would like to contribute to the language in question, contact the author of that language and collaboration can be set up.  The world has been designed so that one language in particular serves as the “ritual” language for many cultures and may be the ancestor language for a number of languages (as Latin is in the West), but significant space has been left for the development of other tongues and traditions.  So, if you don’t feel comfortable using what’s there, feel free to create your own language.  But a word of warning: this is harder than it looks! But if you feel like writing one, by all means, go for it!
  • Feel free to chart new territory. The map of the world is incomplete and has a lot of blank territory.  Feel free to come up with new cultures, realms, and peoples populating the great expanses of the world.  The world is approximately earth-sized with the continents affording thousands of miles of space.  When a new realm is created, it’ll be added to the map.  If you would like to draw a local map yourself, feel free to do so. Please try to keep the detailed map consistent with the larger world map already available.
  • Have fun.  The people who contribute to this site do so because the creative process is enjoyable.  So, have a great time!

In the early going of this site, much of what is written serves as background to the eventual creation of an epic narrative, but if story writing is your strength, feel free to contribute a story using the world as your background.

Guidelines for Specific Realms

  • Folkdeed of Greatvale. The basics of the governance and societal structure of the Greatvale Folkdeed are explained in the main article for that realm.  The language that stands in for the language of Greatvale is Anglo-Saxon as Greatvalish is an older variant of the Trade Tongue for which English stands in in this saga.  Names, places, and institutions should generally be in Anglo-Saxon (or slightly modernized/modified, e.g., “Rædgiver” for rædgiva) but foreign names are possible, especially in The Elder Tongue. The Greatvalers themselves are a mix of the Ancient Roman Republic and the mercantile traders of the Netherlands.

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