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Proposal for a Stories & Worlds Community
Elevator Pitch: A community embracing poets and dreamers searching for help and inspiration to bring their creative stories, RPGs, and worlds to life.
The intended scope of this site is to help creators with the development of their creative infrastructure (e.g., "worldbuilding") or story development. This community embraces the creative where other Codidact communities embrace the scientifically factual or disciplinary.
It is also within the scope of the community to embrace the disciplines of worldbuilding and storybuilding. The community exists to both help build a word and structure a story, and to explain the process of building a world and telling a story (insofar that it doesn't step on the toes of another community, see below).
Questions that are fishing for ideas are accepted, so long as appropriate limitations and conditions are supplied to ensure a reasonably finite list length.
Questions that are "opinion based" are also accepted as, by definition, all assistance in the creative process is a matter of opinion.
This community embraces the idea of helping participants to write a story, but it is not within the scope of the community to write a story for participants. Thus, a question asking, "I have the following five options, which one should my character take?" is off-topic while a question asking, "I'm working on a list of options my character can choose from, I already know he'll take this one..., Can you help me flesh out a list with the following conditions and restrictions?" would be on-topic. To this end, questions of the form "what should my character/nation/entity do next?" are off-topic.
While answers with length are encouraged, a question so broad in its scope that more than a single page is required to answer it is off-topic and considered a violation of the "we won't write your story for you" policy. A good example would be, "I've introduced modern plastics into medieval society, what would happen?" To this end, questions of the form "what happens next?" and "what would be the consequences if...?" are off-topic. (I expect this to be one of the earliest Meta discussions, because if the question is objectively narrow enough, there's nothing wrong with it. It's when the question is so broad that the consequences to my little sister are encompassed by the question that there's a problem.)
Respondents are encouraged to explain why they have answered the way they have. The only unacceptable explanation of why is this, "because it doesn't work that way in real life." The value of this scope rule is that many creators are seeking a rationalization or justification for an idea ("I want my merfolk to switch between legs and tails... how can that happen?"). Such a question is entirely within the scope of this community so long as it doesn't violate the more-than-a-single-page rule mentioned above.
Overlap with other CD communities: This site would not overlap at all with other Codidact communities. Questions about the real world would be redirected to communities like physics or (when it exists) history. Questions asking for a basis in science would be redirected to speculative science. Questions about writing techniques ("how do I effectively express the following idea?") would be redirected to the writing community. If the Codidact community does not yet exist, we would encourage its creation.
The real problem will be questions asking for help developing alternative physics. That would touch strongly on multiple communities — none of which at this time (unless I'm misunderstanding their limits) would accept such a question. At this time I propose that alternative physics would belong here.
NOTE: Based on a comment from Canina on another post, alternate physics would be suitable for Speculative Science, which makes the above paragraph moot.
Where are our users?
- Subforums for Worldbuilding and Storybuilding; introduction / help for each (along the lines of Spec.Sci "Q&A" and "Rigorous Science" subforums.
- Tab with a list of worldbuilding resources
- Tab with a list of storybuilding resources
Potential Weakness: Creative content isn't just personal, it's intellectual property with potentially intrinsic value. A significant problem should this community be approved is that all of the licensing options fundamentally give away any and all rights to the creative. The closest match to what should be available (IMO) is the default query post should be CC BY-NC-ND and the default response post should be CC BY. We still have a bit of a caveat emptor situation with users bringing their copy protected ideas and content to us. In the long run, I'm likely straining at a gnat. I doubt any author who used this service would attribute the respondents, anyway (even though they are legally obligated to).