World Building Wednesday: #1


During a recent conference, I presented a workshop were all we did was talk about world-building fantasy novels.  I came up with a couple of starting point scenarios and we then, as a group, discussed ways of building a viable world around that seed element.  That being said, each Wednesday I will do something similar here on the blog and I’ll call it “World Building Wednesday.”  I’ll post a “seed concept” and then go over a couple questions and thoughts I have about it and how I’d go about brainstorming a world around this concept.  Please note, anything used here in World Building Wednesday is free game.  You are welcome to use it in a story of your own.

Today’s seed is this:

The Humble Pencil

The Humble Pencil

The only writing implements in the world are pencils.

My thoughts:

First, the question to which I turn is “why?”  Did they not invent ink-based writing yet, or is it from a lack of viable sources of ink production?  Is the world monochromatic?  Is there an internal factor (people inside the world) dampening the use of anything other than pencils?  Second question is “what” – what does it affect in the economy and the land.  Is there a surplus of lead or graphite?  How does this change the market and supply/demand for pencils?  How does this change the written history of the people?  Is there a written history?  What gets changed?

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