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Need advice please (1 Viewer)

Writer262

Member
I am writing a fiction story and I need some advice. My world is similar to ours but you have soulmates, none of the countries are the same, there is a totally original creation story and religion. I am afraid to make this world too similar to ours. When things that impact society that much are different your society will be different. But I am struggling with this; I feel that my world is just too similar to our world. Could anyone give me some advice on how to have my world be similar enough to to ours that no one is thrown for a loop but different enough that it doesn’t feel like our world, too stiff, or so similar that it could be our world but with minor changes? I want it to be a totally different world but a world that you can draw parallels to our world with.
 

Lawless

Senior Member
My world is similar to ours but you have soulmates, none of the countries are the same [---]. I am afraid to make this world too similar to ours. [---] Could anyone give me some advice on how to have my world be similar enough [---] but different enough that it doesn’t feel like [---] our world but with minor changes?

This sounds a lot like my current WIP. ;-)
 

K.S. Crooks

Senior Member
Changing world religions is a good start. You could change any of - how governments are formed, which countries are dominant in the world, significant world events such as wars or deaths of important figures. Having a map with different world geography could help. Alter world history to have certain technology present or absent at a different time than ours.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
It's difficult to make suggestions as I can't know what your world looks like. This is just one idea and may not fit in with your concept. But, one of the differences that might evoke some interest from your readership is if you change the "values" of your society. I think we all like to imagine a society that operates on morality that is not what we have been raised with. And of course, you can then feature some of the redeeming aspects of our real world. "The good will prevail," or "no good deed goes unnoticed", etc. And perhaps they veer up, even though suppressed in some way. ...just a thought.

Can you tell us a bit more about your world as you have it now? What planet/universe, etc.? What period? How do people make a living? Are there multiple religions? What defines success in society?
 
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Backstroke_Italics

Senior Member
It's hard to make concrete suggestions without seeing what you've written, as Taylor said. But I would suggest you just go with what you have and then see what happens. Write first, revise second. Make a drfat of your story fully expecting the worldbuilding to be terrible (and it probably won't be that bad), then see if there are any major changes that reveal themselves organically through the storytelling itself.
 

Neezy

Member
Maybe think up some traditions people would have based on the new religion (if this would fit in the story)... For example, instead of Christmas trees and gift-giving on December 25, think of what days they'd celebrate and why and how could they honor the day.
Another idea is coming up with a couple of new words or new ways to use a word or two. I'm reading a story through Wattpad where it's a dystopian story and there are 2-3 words, one being an expression of frustration, and it's enough where you understand what is going on but also lets you know as the reader that this isn't set in our day. (Hope that makes sense)
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
Many of my novels are set in the future, some just a few decades others several hundred years. I use a spreadsheet to lay out the parameters and changes for better or worse, then write the story in that world.
 

Writer262

Member
It's difficult to make suggestions as I can't know what your world looks like. This is just one idea and may not fit in with your concept. But, one of the differences that might evoke some interest from your readership is if you change the "values" of your society. I think we all like to imagine a society that operates on morality that is not what we have been raised with. And of course, you can then feature some of the redeeming aspects of our real world. "The good will prevail," or "no good deed goes unnoticed", etc. And perhaps they veer up, even though suppressed in some way. ...just a thought.

Can you tell us a bit more about your world as you have it now? What planet/universe, etc.? What period? How do people make a living? Are there multiple religions? What defines success in society?
Well, first I guess it sort of takes place on a planet very similar to earth but with different contents and such. The time period isn’t all that specific but I was thinking around our time (as the technologies are very similar, though I was also wondering if maybe they should be a bit more advance and in what ways. It’s probably an easier question to pose than to answer, sorry). People in my world do really the same things as the people in our world; there are teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc. There is one religion (I haven’t come up with a name) it has two deities, one God and one Goddess. I came up with a little of a back story along the lines of they created the world but then felt something was missing so they created people and grouped them in twos (hence the soulmates). They would come down to be with their people once a year (I have roughly made a type of festival but really it consists of there is one, lol, I’m open to suggestions on the specifics, thanks). One day someone got impacient and shot an arrow into the sky, and it wonded the Goddess and as punishment the God separated the soulmates. In their society what defines success is finding your soulmate. People judge you if you stop looking and they don’t look kindly at someone marrying anyone but their soulmate. As a bit of context you get your soul mark when you are 14 (but it can take up to a year to appear, though most people get it within a month or two after their birthday. Your soul mark is your soulmate’s name. There’s a bit more tiny details to that but this is the gist of it. My story follows a 14 year old girl with a terrible home life and how one of her teachers goes to great lengths to help her. I sort of wanted to parallel our world in this sense, being a teenager is hard and being a teenager in a bad home is terrible,and these things can still be a problem in other worlds with drastically different beliefs, and when you have a “one true match” etc. But so far I’m getting a vibe that’s a bit to close to our world. I wrote one of those sort of description things you read from the back of a book and this is it: At the age of 14 a single word appears on the wrist of every person; the name of their soulmate. But even in a world where fate determines many peoples futures life can be difficult. My life was thrown into chaos 2 years ago and this is my story. A story of found family and hope in the darkness. I’m sure that this entire response makes little to no sense, lol. Thank you everyone for all of your help. And please everyone remember that everyone’s work is their own and should be treated as such. 🙃
 
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Backstroke_Italics

Senior Member
How do you find your soulmate? If success is defined this way, and there is only one correct match, then presumably people would need to devote a lot of effort to this search. XKCD did a "what if?" about the logistics of finding a random soulmate somewhere in the world, but this was based on the idea that it's truly random. Is this the case in your world? Do the wealthy have a better chance of finding their soulmates?
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
People judge you if you stop looking and they don’t look kindly at someone marrying anyone but their soulmate.
I love this concept. I think it's enough to make your world different. You will have a lot to work with, and it will be fairly complex to write. It makes me think that you may not want to make your physical world too different or readers may find it hard to follow. Perhaps something simple like mode of dress or some daily use technologies like communication methods. Perhaps they communicate by holograms or something else 3D. After all, they will need to cast a wide net to find their soulmate. I think some kind of play on online dating services would be great, except they are only looking for a soulmate so there would be some type of acceptable interaction until they expose their mark. How do they share the name? you need to have some kind of courtesy here, depending on where the mark appears. There is so much in this concept, like if they are allowed to date before they marry and if they have the ability to fall in love with someone other than their soulmate. These are the things that will make your world different.

As far as the festival, I'd imagine it would be something like a Christmas festival. But that would be a perfect place to make your world different. You could give it a name that resembles the God/Goddess. Perhaps they arrive in some sort of modern way. Create gift exchange traditions, typical decorations, and seasonal colours, but make it images that are unique to your world. Basically, I would let my imagination go wild.

This sounds like a fun one to write!
 

Writer262

Member
I love this concept. I think it's enough to make your world different. You will have a lot to work with, and it will be fairly complex to write. It makes me think that you may not want to make your physical world too different or readers may find it hard to follow. Perhaps something simple like mode of dress or some daily use technologies like communication methods. Perhaps they communicate by holograms or something else 3D. After all, they will need to cast a wide net to find their soulmate. I think some kind of play on online dating services would be great, except they are only looking for a soulmate so there would be some type of acceptable interaction until they expose their mark. How do they share the name? you need to have some kind of courtesy here, depending on where the mark appears. There is so much in this concept, like if they are allowed to date before they marry and if they have the ability to fall in love with someone other than their soulmate. These are the things that will make your world different.

As far as the festival, I'd imagine it would be something like a Christmas festival. But that would be a perfect place to make your world different. You could give it a name that resembles the God/Goddess. Perhaps they arrive in some sort of modern way. Create gift exchange traditions, typical decorations, and seasonal colours, but make it images that are unique to your world. Basically, I would let my imagination go wild.

This sounds like a fun one to write!
Thank you so much for all of your help. It’s given me ideas on how to improve my story and helped my confidence; honestly, I wasn’t sure how well my concept would come off. 😊
 

Visualinotion

Senior Member
Precisely today I was watching a series called "Soulmates". It's about the same concept but in our world and every episode is a particular story with a different vibe. Just saying because you may be inspire by it / make sure you don't write the exact same that happens in an episode. There was also an anime called Loveless about a creepy guy falling in love with a kid- no, you don't have to watch it xd I'm mentioning it because in their world people had True Names, and they needed to find the one with the same name as a combat partner, but the creepy guy was the protagonit's brother partner, so their names didn't match. I though the anime wasn't good but I liked the thing about the names, just throwing you stuff you may find useful xd
 
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