The Wayback Machine: Galley Table Episode Twenty-Four: Worldbuilding

by Doc Coleman on October 19, 2011 · 0 comments

in Galley Table

Today we are heading back to February 26th, 2011 for another Galley Table episode. The guest today is Jonathan Jacobs of Nevermet Press. We talk about RPGs, world building, and when enough is enough and you just need to get on with the story. And we curse Skype. A lot. A whole lot. Oh, and we invade Zach Ricks‘ brain.

Some notable quotes from the episode:

  • “Stop stealing my lines!”
  • “World building is a bit… masturbatory.”
  • “Paging Mr. Tolkien, the white courtesy phone…”
  • “I made friends with J.C. Hutchins just like you would make friends with any puppy, you feed him.”
  • “If you’ve spent 20% of your story on world building, you’ve gone on too long.”
  • “I think we’re saying world building when we mean Info-dumping.”
  • “I think a lot of writers do their world building as they are writing.”
  • “… she does all the world building throughout the story, but there is no info dump at all.”
  • “It needs to be familiar enough that you’re not questioning how everything works, but different enough to be intriguing.”
  • “That old saw, show, don’t tell.”
  • “You are trained to tell. In most American schools, that is how kids are told how to write.”
  • “And it is not surprising that kids think school is boring.”
  • “I don’t know why I have to explain every detail to my mythical audience…”
  • “This is not a story, but a book of myths and legends.”
  • “I was basically going to grunt in disbelief for a while.”
  • “The other tricky part is making sure you don’t get lost in your own world building.”
  • “It is never a crime to do not enough world building and start your story.”
  • “Which comes first, the character or the setting? My answer has always been ‘Yes.'”
  • “How do you as a writer recognize when an info dump is happening?”
  • “You can send your defenses of Tolkien to … sroche@…”
  • “You could argue that all Dune is is one big volume of world building.”
  • “It’s the book, and the RPG at the same time!”
  • “You can send your defenses of Jules Verne to…”
  • “Put it into captain dummy talk, Kaylee…”
  • “You know what they call that in gaming, right? Railroading.”
  • “If you want your player characters to go somewhere, they don’t want to go there.”
  • “The characters are going around with candles, and all you can see of the world is what you can see by candlelight.”

This was a great conversation about building your world vs showing the world to your audience. A bit more serious than our usual Galley Table fare, but a good show.

Check back here on Friday to see if the Wayback Machine has managed to produce another historical episode for your listening enjoyment.

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