Do you fit Characters to the World, or the World t

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, Jan 14, 2015.


Character tailored to the world, or world tailored to the character?

  1. Character is tailored to the world

    7 vote(s)
  2. World is tailored to the character

    1 vote(s)
  3. Other which I will explain in the comments!

    0 vote(s)
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  1. When worldbuilding, do you usally have a character or ten in mind, and build a world consistent with what you've made up for them, or do you start with the world, and build a character out of that info?
  2. Characters fit to the world, always and forever. Tailoring worlds to fit characters has never felt right to me, because I prefer the top down method. If I have characters in mind that I want to use in a given world then I might make sure they can fit within the broad parameters of the world without too much tweaking, such as making my magic system allow animating corpses if I want a necromancer, but that's about as far as I'll go with it. If I get a cool world going and it turns out one of the characters I had in mind won't work within it, I'm more likely to axe the character than to change the world.
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  3. Most of my worlds come from the characters first. I'll get an idea for a protagonist or protagonist-group, and from there, develop a world around them. Often, I'll have multiple distinct protagonists, look for similar themes, and then try to meld them into a single continuity. However, all supporting cast members and antagonists will typically be created after the world is set in place.

    I guess I'm just mostly a bottom-up worldbuilder. I have one very specific idea I want to use—often a character—I look at other compatible ideas—to attempt to better limit the number of worlds I create, so that there is some hope that I'll get around to using them all—and I develop a world. Once I reach the top, I use a top-down method to solidify it, and retcon anything that no longer fits.

    The few rare world that I develop without any cast in mind are typically experimental. For example, a world I created after reading a particular page on TVTropes. They tend to sit there, abstract and soulless, as I strive to perfect their system and find a use for them.
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