Last week’s “three-sentence challenge” is ready for your eyes to behold.
This week’s challenge is a little different.
You’ll note that it does not say “flash fiction.”
It says “worldbuilding.”
Here’s the deal. You and me, we’re going to build a world. Out of scratch. This is tabula rasa, and by smashing our faces against the screen and leaving upon it a gooey streak of blood and brain matter (aka “imagination grease”) we are going to birth a world out of zippity-zero-nada-nichts. From nothing to something, from chaos comes order.
We’re not going to do it all today.
We will, in fact, do it once a month. Every last Friday of the month for one year, or… until this thought experiment fails miserably and crashes into the mountains where it’s forced to eat its friends.
Sometimes we’ll be doing some straight-up worldbuilding, other times we’ll dig deeper and start telling stories set in this world. But before the stories, the world itself must be made.
What are the aims of this weird little experiment? I don’t even know. Part of it is just to see if we can build a world that is a place where fiction can live — can a series of strangers collaborate on a world in such a way to generate a seed bed where stories can grow and thrive? I don’t know. But I’m here to find out.
We’ll play in this crazy generative playground, see what happens.
These are the only things you know about Blackbloom.
First, that is its name. Blackbloom.
Second, it is a place where human and non-humans alike dwell.
That’s it. That’s all we know. Everything else is up in the air. Everything else is suspect. Nothing is canonical. All is apocryphal. Like I said: chaos. From chaos we shall draw a deep syringe filled with truth.
Today’s mission is for each of you to provide one aspect of the world in under 100 words. This aspect is a point of status quo: it defines the world as it is now. Not as it will become.
You might say: “It has two suns.” Or, “Water is a precious resource.” Or, “Two warring factions fight over the world’s largest city.” Define the reality as it is now. Define Blackbloom’s current existence.
You can say whatever you’d like. Given that so little is defined, you’ve nothing to build from — but also, nothing to hold you back. This is the act of creation, the weird Genesis of a made-up world.
Thus, feel free to be as creative as you’d like. As weird as you must be.
I will pick… we’ll say 10 of these, but if I see more that are really awesome, I’ll up to… let’s say “20.” That’s my job in all of this: to serve not as deity but rather as adjuticator.
I’ll pick those by the time the next Worldbuilding Challenge rolls around.
Which will be…
Now, get your pick-axes and encyclopedias.
Create a world.
And welcome to Blackbloom.