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Creation Stories and Creative Worldbuilding

Every culture has some explanation for the creation of the world and its people. Some of these stories are tied to a religious faith, while others are more cultural or scientific in nature (i.e., the Big Bang theory). However, every creation story gives us a foundation on which to build a view of the world.

Writers need these foundations as well, particularly if they’re coming up with completely new worlds and systems. This is common practice in genres like fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian, to name a few.

Examine how writers might use existing creation stories as templates or guidelines for their own worldbuilding. Discuss, for example, how creation stories can be useful whether a writer is using a religious system or not. What was created or prioritized first in a given writer’s world, and why? How are new things created, or are they? How is the creation or cessation of life handled? Are there anathemas, and what are those? Has the writer’s world undergone a major shift like original sin?

  • I feel like this is a good topic, though I'm finding it really broad. Could you maybe give a couple of references that talk about what you'd like to see in the article in order to give writers a jumping off point? – SiothrĂșn 2 months ago
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  • A great topic, even if there have been other's on this (as there are of every topic in literature) there is always a great range of opportunities for this topic to be developed in new and interesting ways. – Sarai Mannolini-Winwood 2 months ago
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  • That's indeed a great topic, although there's a lot of ground to cover. Maybe narrowing it down to a field that hasn't been explored yet could be helpful? A reference in genres such as fantasy and dystopian could be used as an example: J. R. R. Tolkien is one with the lore of The Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion. The world-building in his works can be a starting-point for the writer who's going to choose this topic. – Beaucephalis 2 months ago
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