One of the things about being a writer I love is that I get to create worlds. I’m sure everyone thinks once in a while, “I wouldn’t let people do that if I ruled the world.” So I thought a post about building your own world as a stress reliever might be interesting.
Situation – the US election ads
Whether or not you are a voter, if you watch American TV and get their ads, you might be getting tired of all the rhetoric. It can be quite stressful to hear all the horrible things that people are saying about their opponents. It’s all as hateful and biased as it can get right now.
I listen to the mudslinging (okay it’s worse than mud, but I don’t want to add an explicit rating) and I think ‘If I ruled the world, that wouldn’t be acceptable.”
Build a world to stress relieve
Is there something you hate in the world? It doesn’t have to be big, it can be a minor irritant. What if you did rule the world?
Write a paragraph about what the world doesn’t contain. In fact, do bullet points if you find a paragraph too much trouble. Dump all the things that annoy you on the list – maybe stopping at 200 items would be okay.
Now, pick 10 things and decide how you would make it work – keep it out of your world. Here’s the current top 3 of my list.
Step one the list:
- Political lying to get elected.
- Cancelling TV shows I like
Step two the process:
- If the politician said something clearly untrue, they would lose the right to run for a political position. They can make promises that might not come to being but they can’t lie. The outcome would be something along the lines of – If a politician states that a woman’s body has a way to stop the pregnancy if it’s a real rape – he would have to believe it is true which means he’ll lose the votes (I hope).
- If someone is bullying they get reprogrammed – yes I know that’s not viable, or useful, but clearly bullies are missing something in their makeup that needs to be fixed.
- Hey! cancel a show I like and you die!!! Okay perhaps an over reaction, but it’s an imaginary world and it’s about stress relief.
Give it a try, you might like it.
Real world building for writers
If you are doing it for stress relief, you can stop there. If you are doing it to write a story, you need to take the next step, what are the impacts?
If I wanted to write a story about bullying, and in my world the bullies got reprogrammed, I have to answer the question, what is the story?. Is it that someone is able to use the reprogramming to bully people? Is it that the bullies have to repress their tendencies and because they don’t get dealt with at the bully stage, they grow up to be serial killers? Is it problem because some level of bullying is good for us as humans because it strengthens our resolve? Does it leave us open to attack from aliens because we never learned to deal with bullies?
I’ve done this exercise here and there since I first created a list of ‘people I would keep in the world if I was King’ (yes I’m a woman, but Queen is really only a female version of King so I wanted to be King).
What’s your list?