Dear Worldbuilding writer,

by , under fanfic, writing

Hi, I’m sinkauli on ao3. Here you can see my works and my bookmarks, and this blog here is full of my reading notes. I’m reposting last year’s worldbuildingex letter with some fandom-specific changes and additions.

Please assume “any or no characters” and “original character(s)” for all fandoms so I don’t need to repeat that every time. Not all characters who are listed need to appear. I’d like my gift to be in words (so not art) but I’m equally happy with in-universe meta or fiction.

Whatever you do, you’ll probably make me happy anyway đŸ™‚

Elemental Masters – Mercedes Lackey

Characters: Maya Witherspoon, Peter Scott

WB: magic outside of England’s colonies

  • Would Peter and Maya travel? Or anyone else for that matter, there are of course Elemental Masters everywhere. Central or Eastern Europe would be cool, or another place that you-the-writer know enough about to get the culture right. (Australian Aboriginal, even though that’s technically inside of England’s colonies? Japan? Some Pacific island nation?)
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci – Diana Wynne Jones

Characters: Mordecai Roberts | Tacroy, Millie, Asheth

WB: Series Eleven; Relations and/or diplomacy between worlds; Hierarchy and differences between magic users; Gods and goddesses and their avatars

  • Anything about Tacroy growing up and learning to use his magic. Is it different from Series 12 magic?
  • Are there other people than Millie in any world who used to be (avatars of) gods or goddesses? How do they cope?
  • There must be a huge inter-world bureaucracy. Some inside dope, please! (This may be a case for in-universe meta, unless Mordecai or Millie takes a hand)
Alpennia Series – Heather Rose Jones

Characters: Barbara Lumbeirt, Akezze Mainus, Antuniet Chazillen, Anna Monterrez, Tavit

WB: Trans and non-gender-conforming people in Alpennia; The Jewish community in Rotenek; Non-Catholic religion as a source of miracles; Alchemy

  • Barbara and Tavit explore masculinity and femininity; she crossdresses for utility, he is a trans man, how do they handle the dynamics individually and/or together?
  • Anna’s background and family, the way she and her family handle living in a predominantly Catholic town
  • Antuniet and Anna doing alchemy, hands-on.
  • Are there specifically Jewish miracles? Protestant (Lutheran) miracles? Or are the miracles a specifically Catholic thing and do other religions or denominations have different expressions of the supernatural?
Mary Poppins (Movies)

Characters: Mary Poppins, Winifred Banks, Michael Banks, Jane Banks, Annabel Banks

WB: Training of magical nannies; Mary Poppins’ first assignment; Another magical nanny’s assignment; How magic works in this universe; The international society of magical nannies

  • What it says on the tin in the tags. Note that I wrote a short series about the international society of magical nannies, including recruitment and training, and please don’t hesitate to use those as a source and expand on them! Any character(s), whether on the list or original, can do the job. (Would Annabel be recruited as a magical nanny eventually? We know from the second movie that Jane isn’t.)
The Saint of Steel – T. Kingfisher

Characters: Earstripe, Bishop Beartongue, Zale

WB: History and legends of the gnoles; Becoming a member of the Order of the White Rat; Other notable religious order

  • Do people just drift to the Order of the White Rat and stay, do they choose it and apply, or are they recruited deliberately?
  • Anything to do with gnoles, if a gnole obliges.
Young Wizards – Diane Duane

Characters: The Man in the Crossings Bar, Darryl McAllister, Dairine Callahan, Nita Callahan, The Lone Power

WB: Neurodivergent wizards; Backstory of the man in the Crossings bar; Animal wizards; Do all sentient species have wizards? Original wizard species

  • Does being non-neurotypical make one more likely to be suited to wizardry? What advantages and disadvantages does a neurodivergent wizard have?
  • I want to know EVERYTHING about the man in the Crossings bar. Where did he come from originally? Where is he going? Is he (an avatar of) one of the Powers? A freelance wizard? Where is he when he’s not pushing fledgling wizards into alien spawning cubicles?
  • Fiction about a mouse, donkey, bird (any species) or elephant wizard.
Labyrinth (1986)

Characters: Sarah Williams, Original Labyrinth Runner

WB: The land outside the Labyrinth; Lasting effects of the Labyrinth on humans; Magic words / Wishes and incantations; Fae society

  • I’d like to see the Labyrinth when Sarah isn’t there, through someone else’s eyes. Either a denizen of the Labyrinth itself or someone else who is trying to beat the clock.
Magids Series – Diana Wynne Jones

Characters: Any or all of Will Venables’ daughters, Will Venables, Carina Venables, Zinka Fearon, Dakros, Alexandra

WB: Will and Carina Venables’ farm; Nudging Earth Ayewards; How Magids’ magic works; Magid training; Magid work in Ayewards worlds; Fixing the Koryfonic Empire post-Deep Secret

  • It would be so nice for Dakros and Alexandra to have a holiday or even their honeymoon on the farm! Perhaps a busman’s holiday…

General likes

  • Happy ending, or open(ish) ending with possibility for happiness. Lots of bonus points for other happy endings than “people getting together as a couple”.
  • Unexpected, uncomplicated friendship. Complicated friendship will do too, I like any story with friendship better than one with only antagonism, but I’m a sucker for people becoming friends when they’re doing something together or turn out to have something in common which neither of them would have planned for. Friends-to-lovers is okay but it’s a pity if that’s the whole point of the story.
  • Autistic characters (canon or headcanon) who either come to terms with being autistic in the story, or have already figured it out and can handle it. Bonus points if they use their autistic traits to get things done.
  • Kidfic, either canon characters’ kids or canon characters when they were kids.
  • Discovery, detection. Characters finding out things about themselves when they do something they didn’t know they could do. Learning, mentoring.

Worldbuilding-specific likes

  • Language everything. Don’t hesitate to become technical if you can and are so inspired, it’s likely that I can make sense of it.
  • In-universe meta: how things work, how something is structured. Travel guides, gazetteers, FAQs.

DNW/general dislikes

(Sex DNWs are probably not relevant for worldbuilding but I’m leaving them in just in case)

  • Enemies-to-lovers. Rape, non-con. Casual sex without friendship. Seduction for any other reason than that one person is in love with the other and is trying to get it across to them elegantly. Adultery, infidelity (polyamory is okay but I don’t really prefer it). Incest. PWP (sex, even explicit, is okay but it needs to fit into the narrative; on the whole I much prefer gen).
  • Bigotry of any kind, unless fighting against it is a plot point. That includes homophobia, TERFness, sexism, racism, ableism, ageism and anything I’ve forgotten.
  • Pathological/medical view of autism or other neurodivergence, portraying it as something that needs to be fixed rather than as a characteristic of the person.
  • Discussions of disordered eating or weight (it’s completely okay if someone’s body type is part of the description, like mentioning that the person has dark skin or blue eyes or wears glasses or uses a wheelchair, but no fat-shaming or other judgmental language about weight please).
  • Pranks, practical jokes, humiliating characters for the sake of it.
  • Unhappy endings, unresolved tragedy.
  • Gore, body horror, mutilation, monstrous pregnancy, cannibalism et cetera. Mpreg, which is a species of body horror in my book. (Ordinary pregnancy and childbirth is okay.)
  • Real-world politics and current events. (Fantasy politics in an invented world is okay.)

Worldbuilding-specific DNWs

  • Plague, pandemic.
  • Climate or environment catastrophe, (imminent/unavoidable) destruction of a whole world or a significant part of it.
  • Extra information about a setting that makes it less pleasant (“… but you didn’t know these sordid details”).

Here is an even more extensive likes and dislikes post.

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