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Collaborative World Building

AWP '16
by

Trent Hergenrader

on 14 August 2016

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Transcript of Collaborative World Building

critical thinking
"the intellectually disciplined
process
of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action."
well-reasoned, ethical decision-making
- Michael Scriven & Richard Paul
can creative writing be critical?
~
maybe? but not in the way it's usually taught
Writers of "Sealed worlds"
- How does the "reality" of lit fic work?
- What were all of the perspectives you
considered when writing this story?

Questions rarely asked in workshops include:
A Different Kind of Creative Writing
Collaborative writing practice that requires debate and negotiation

Foreground structured, critical questions about how worlds (fictional or otherwise) operate

Experiment writing from different subject positions
1)


2)



3)
Collaborative World Building
@thergenrade /
trent hergenrader
, ph.d. / wthgsl@rit.edu
dept of english / rochester institute of technology
Collaborative World Building
World Deconstruction
short fiction * films * games
How does this world operate? What rules at play?
Govt involvement
Rule of law
Social services
Econ wealth
Econ distribution
Agriculture
Race relations
Gender relations
Class relations
Sexual identity
Military influence
Religious infl
Tech influence
Arts & Culture infl
> Anonymous survey
> Rank from 1 (little) to 5 (a lot)
> Comment on rationale
Class discussion:
How does this world work?
What is the evidence in the text?
What are the attributes of the characters?
How does the world + character produce plot?
Random World Generation
Government
Rule of Law
Social Services

Economy wealth
Economic distribution
Agriculture

Class Relations
Race Relations
Gender Politics
Sexual Identity Politics

Religious influence
Military influence
Technology influence
Arts & Culture
4+/-
1
3

1
4+/-
2+/-

5
4
3+/-
2

3
1+/-
3
3
Pick a genre
Generate the world
Discuss metanarrative
Small groups work on categories
Write metanarrative
prof
People, Places, Things
Vignettes & Critiques
Metanarrative
About 5500 words
Constructivist
Constructionist
Dialogical
Dialectical
e6 }<DQ5};/
:2#sDp-9{
Collaborative writing experience
Wikis and digital maps
Visual & media elements
Spatial elements of stories
Narrative concepts across media
Craft discussions
Giving & receiving critique
Other Benefits
alt-history / speculative technology
Sole authorship
Print publishing
Traditional forms
Not concerned with
still very much
creative writing
creative writing studies
digital pedagogy
games and learning
Distinctions between Genre Worlds
Steampunk
Tech - 5
Class - 1
Race - 2
Gender - 2
Post-apocalypse
Economy - 1
Distribution - 1
Gov Inv - 1
Rule of Law - 2
Cyberpunk
Tech - 5
Class - 2
Distribution - 2
Dystopia
Gender - 1
Religion - 5
Military - 5
Gov Inv -5
Distinctions between Characters
Sex
Race
Age
Social class
Attitudes/beliefs
Skills
Motivations
Medieval
High fantasy
Victorian-Era
Steampunk
Deep Space Science Fiction
Character + Settling = Story
Full transcript