Creating History Within Minutes

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Post Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:16 am

Re: Creating History Within Minutes

I use a combination of both. I have a general idea for the background History because it often takes center stage for the novel. But a lot of it I come up with on the fly, because for me that's more effective than just sitting down and coming up with stuff. It flows for naturally, for me.
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The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

All the things that have deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it—tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear... We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want . . . which we shall still desire on our deathbeds . . . ~C.S. Lewis

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Post Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Creating History Within Minutes

Personally I like to world build a little, usually in the middle of the night, but NOTHING gets down on paper...
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Post Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:55 am

Re: Creating History Within Minutes

Delayed response---

I think this thread is what led me to discover this forum.

So, I'm going to add to this discussion as I was never sure the correct way of going about history building.

I have been working on a universe from when I was a young kid saving a copy onto a 8inch floppy disk (I got so excited that I didn't have to write everything in pencil anymore).

What I do is create history as a story. (I feel like Lucas did this as well). If I need an historical event, I'll use fuzzy details. Then, if I am feeling adventurous, I'll go back and flesh out that story in detail. I feel like where Lucas messed up was where he knew he had mentioned something called the clone wars but didn't really follow the little details he did give (he mentioned an idealistic fool crusade whereas it was more of an all out war to prevent the secessionist movement from becoming a reality.)

Example- "Liam ran along the stone wall that had been part of the foundation of an old roman fort."

Stone walls were made from a buildings foundation. how big was the building? How was the foundation sufficient enough for the wall? If it was Roman and the kids name is Liam, is it later in the Roman rule when they were in Brittan?

You get different elements that you can build on later or just scatter through to give a lived-in feel.

But then, there are times when ancient history is not really a matter of dire need for a character. Sometimes a general myth will do that could be taken from pre-history. Those are easier to handle because if you want to revisit the idea later, you don't need to get the facts quite right as it is myth and some of the facts will be skewed anyway.

But does anyone know a way of creating a varied history that doesn't sound made up?

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Post Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:24 pm

Re: Creating History Within Minutes

In mid-2010, I created my first story idea which actually turned out to be, I guess, a short book, but after that, I got LOADS of ideas.

So, I either started them - and then I lost interest/devotion/whatever, or I just didn't think it was exciting as I thought when I came up with the idea.

So, about a year ago, I started revisiting all of those lost/abandoned story project/ideas and re-doing, sometimes combining, or just re-writing them. I started with my first ever story and then I...*Realizes he is WAY off-topic*


Okay, so, when I get to the depends on what type of story it is.

For my most recent one (Sci-fi story, real-time, ran from November 2011-June 2012) I came up with the idea, laid out an outline, filled in some things (The other things I already made), and then got to work.

For the one I am working on right now (November 2012-either November 2012-January/February 2013) I am writing out a story outline, but again, I have already either developed the 'history/background' of most of the people, species, and storyline that I don't need to do that.

I'd say, basically, I do this:

1) Lay out an outline of what NEEDS to be in it.
2) Work on story outline
3) Then I hoof it from there, 'cuz even though most of my stories are sci-fi, they are broad in terms of stories, characters, technology, etc. :D

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Post Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:53 am

Re: Creating History Within Minutes


Though I am not exactly a writer, and I've only written one sci-fi plot thus far, most of my stories' history comes up as I am plot building. In historical genres, the history GREATLY determines the story, but in sci-fi, you must make up your own. For me, world history / world building falls readily into place. As I wrote my plot, if I thought of a new twist that called for a seperate goverment, well, I simply wrote it in! If having four competing governments in (relatively) close proximity didn't make much sense, well, I simply created my own geography.

So, I guess I would say just roll with it as best you can. :)

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Post Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:00 am

Re: Creating History Within Minutes

I, by necessity, have planned out the general outline of history, and much more detail on recent history within my world. The subplot has a lot to do with politics, and politics are shaped by events.

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Post Wed May 07, 2014 12:26 pm

Re: Creating History Within Minutes

It depends. For my later stories the history is incredibly in-depth and planned out; but when I go back to the first books in the series, the history is spotty and invented as I go along.
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Post Fri May 09, 2014 6:03 pm

Re: Creating History Within Minutes

All basic history is already pre-made (humans) though as I write, but any other history that comes along I leave it that way. Then I go and world build after. =)

While for the rest of my races, I still have no idea.
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