March 30, 2020, 04:43:33 PM

Author Topic: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding  (Read 30031 times)

Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #120 on: January 22, 2016, 10:37:26 AM »
But I think one of the video that would sum up Aus the best is this one :

[youtube]0cdOEEp1MmU[/youtube]

This is from Germany.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2yJXq21HjA[/youtube]

Just around the corner from my grandparent's house someone was keeping nandus on his farm. At one point a group of them escaped into the swamps and they never caught them all. People thought they would all just die in winter, but as you see, they didn't. There are at least 150 now.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #121 on: January 22, 2016, 11:29:35 PM »
I've been in the desert around Uluru, and in the rainforest close to Cairns. Nothing happened to me and I'm still alive ;)
I had a small lizard living behind the painting in my hotel room in Cairns. The information about the place said that if it didn't bother you to just leave it alone, because they don't do any damage and they eat the insects. I found it rather cute.
While I really enjoyed the time I spent on safari in Kenya, I felt more at risk from the wildlife there than I ever have in Australia. Lions, hyenas, leopards and even baboons are all carnivorous, not to mention the crocodiles and then there's the non carnivorous dangers: rhinos, hippos, buffaloes and even elephants. Most of those are unpredictable and you can never really tell when they might attack, don't want to get caught out in the open with one of them around.
Given Australia's reputation it is surprising that people haven't really explored the possibilities of using it as a fantasy setting. The only one that springs readily to mind is Cecelia Dart Thornton's Bitterbynde trilogy and a lot of that setting suspiciously resembled the Dandenongs, which is where the author resided at the time she wrote the books.

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #122 on: January 23, 2016, 12:17:54 AM »
And TP's The Last Continent which would certainly induce further fear and trepidation among possible visitors. ;D
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Offline Nora

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #123 on: January 24, 2016, 12:50:32 PM »
I have my garage and shed, under the house and around the house sprayed to get rid of redbacks every year

 ;D

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #124 on: January 24, 2016, 12:51:37 PM »
oh.my.gawd.

SCARY!!!!!
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Offline night_wrtr

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #125 on: January 24, 2016, 12:55:19 PM »
I have my garage and shed, under the house and around the house sprayed to get rid of redbacks every year

 ;D




Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #126 on: January 30, 2016, 11:52:48 AM »
Tiger Hunting in India 1924

Pictures and Account of the Battle at Little Big Horn by Red Horse

I always find it very interesting to read contemporary accounts of things that people no longer experience in the presence. Lots of fantasy writing is modern thinking and acting with a thin coating of medieval paint.
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Offline JMack

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #127 on: January 30, 2016, 02:58:01 PM »
Wow, @Yora. Those are fascinating. Especially the Little Bighorn drawings.
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Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #128 on: January 30, 2016, 03:08:15 PM »
I am particularly impressed by that he dedicated four full pages to show nothing but horse tracks on the ground. They must have completely torn up the entire ground of the place.
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Offline Nora

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #129 on: January 30, 2016, 03:26:34 PM »
I am particularly impressed by that he dedicated four full pages to show nothing but horse tracks on the ground. They must have completely torn up the entire ground of the place.

Yeah and then pages upon pages of the fallen, and each American scalped. I love how good his horses are as well, almost better drawn than humans.
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Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #130 on: February 06, 2016, 09:17:01 PM »
I found three pretty nice videos of university lectures about rarely mentioned elements of viking culture.

One, Two, Three

Not just interesting when you want to write about Vikings, but about premodern cultures in general.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

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Offline night_wrtr

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #131 on: February 07, 2016, 12:08:12 AM »
I found three pretty nice videos of university lectures about rarely mentioned elements of viking culture.

One, Two, Three

Not just interesting when you want to write about Vikings, but about premodern cultures in general.

I'll be watching these later!

Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #132 on: February 10, 2016, 01:26:45 PM »
I've been doing some more research on prehistoric tribal violence and warfare and discovered two pretty interesting and solid sounding hypothesis about the rarity of warrior women.

The first is very simple and bland and just plain math: Men are expandable. In the short term, the loss of any healthy adult is a big loss for any small community. But for the long term recovery from such losses, having a large number of surviving women is much more important than having a large number of men. If a group of 10 men and 10 women loses 5 men, the group can theoretically have 10 new children within a year. If the same group loses 5 women, they could have only 5 new children within a year.
Most tribal societies have to expect to lose substential numbers of their people in the coming future to disaster and war, and recovering from those losses depends entirely on the number of surviving women. If you lose a man to war, you only use a warrior. If you lose a woman to war, you lose a warrior and also decrease your ability to recover from the losses. In small communities of only a few dozen people or less, where it's not unthinkable to lose 30 or 50% of the whole population to war and ever single adult makes up a considerable percentage of your workforce and troops, this is a really important concern for the long term survival of the group.
This doesn't mean that women are automatically excluded from warfare, but it's a strong incentive to keep the majority of women as far away from death in battle as possible. Even if it's not forbiden, it would be discouraged.

Another interesting observation (though pretty old by anthropological standards and I am not sure about the quality of the source data) asserts that the presence or absence of women among the warriors of a group directly correlates with who people of the culture usually fight against and how they arrange marriages. The claim is that you find women fighting in war only in cultures where it's certain that they won't be fighting against their brothers and cousins. If a society commonly marries women from outside and generally fights war against outside groups, then women in these societies are excluded from war. And generally not just fighting, but anything related to it. Any planning and preparation would take place in exclusively male groups and women forbidden from listening. I am not sure how big the sample sizes are and how data was collected, and whether the statistic data really holds up. But unless the author completely made things up and cherry picked his examples to support his point (which I am inclined to very much doubt), I find it very convincing that there is a real connection there.

As societies get larger, these two factors become increasingly less relevant. But as societies get larger, they also become a lot less egalitarian with more strictly defined social roles and positions and so women are kept out of warfare because that's how it has always been the most common.

On that note, what always eluded me is the big importance given to marrying princes to princessess so their parents can have diplomatic agreements. I don't really see how that would make or break the diplomatic relations between kingdoms. Is there anything to that or is that mostly fiction?
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

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Online Rostum

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #133 on: February 10, 2016, 05:02:09 PM »
Thanks Yora for posting up the links. I will take a proper look at the lectures as time allows. He is simplifying from his books.

Just a thought as not everyone lists it a a reason for the viking expansion. Start by looking at the Frankish empire a few centuries earlier and all those little tribes that get pushed north and east. This will explain population densities and why the now people of scandinavia wound up so land poor. The French getting raided gets ironic very quickly.

Offline Mr.J

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #134 on: February 10, 2016, 06:08:02 PM »
Oh the diplomatic power that comes with marrying off your royal children to other royal children is vitally important, and was a very real thing.

That's all the heirs of royals are really, they exist to create alliances if needed and strengthen the relations with other countries, either through marrying into an enemy of your enemy or one for trade etc etc.

I remember my history teacher referring to the other princes of royals as 'spares'. Henry VIII was one such spare, and was raised as one, hence his penchant for fighting so much, he was actually allowed to spar and fight compared to his older brother who was taught kingly stuff and how to rule etc.