Kureshi Ironclaw

Epistolary Worldbuilding

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Hey folks, I've stumbled upon a new method for worldbuilding that has helped bypass the blocks in my mind and increase my overall output, so I thought I'd share it to see if others wanted to try it out.

For context, I have always struggled with worldbuilding. I get bored and distracted too quickly, so I don't like sitting down and working out accurate timelines, historical events, lineages and things like that. I am far stronger with my character work and find it far easier to present information through the eyes of a character.

Enter epistolary worldbuilding.

I've found that I work far faster and have more fun by detailing such things in small fragments of text written in-world by various characters. These are usually only a sentence or two long, and I typically don't attribute them to anyone specific or assign a date to them. They're just fun little snippets of character voice witnessing or reflecting on events I'm imagining in my head but am struggling to detail accurately. Part of the fun for me is headhopping through a bunch of different viewpoints and trying to convey a strong sense of character and setting in just a few lines. On their own, each fragment doesn't mean a lot, but when you read a couple at a time you get a larger sense of what is going on in the world that I think feels much more human and character-driven than a dry description of events and dates. Obviously this leaves a deficit of any objective information, as each viewpoint is biased, but I think this is a more accurate representation of history within a world. It can even just help for the original genesis of a sequence of events and then it is simple enough to add dates and create objectivity as needed. But personally it has been a while since I've been worried about objective truths within my writing.

So far I've only really used this for worldbuilding history, but I can highly recommend it to others that are more comfortable writing character than doing worldbuilding. I don't think such a process would work to figure out the metaphysics or magic system of a world, but I'm curious to see if it is effective in other contexts.

Give it a try. Let me know what you think. We can share examples in this thread.

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I like it :) myself I generally prefer to make individual documents for specific elements, though admittedly most of those are still in the log files, but I do like this approach, especially as you can use it to add flavour as epigraphs to certain stories or chapters as needed, putting snippets of the snippets into your own for-yourself writing to further flesh it out.

 

8 hours ago, Kureshi Ironclaw said:

Obviously this leaves a deficit of any objective information, as each viewpoint is biased, but I think this is a more accurate representation of history within a world. It can even just help for the original genesis of a sequence of events and then it is simple enough to add dates and create objectivity as needed. But personally it has been a while since I've been worried about objective truths within my writing.

One method you could use for some letters is to have some being with a more objective viewpoint making these notes, so while it may still be somewhat biased you could have some abstract creature making notes, or even put your own observations down, as though writing a scholarly essay on your own work for yourself.

 

Hmmm ... I think I will give this a try. Pick a topic, please, and I'll make an entry - character, species, planet, organisation, abilities.

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Yeah I do this by making a new google doc and title it "blah blah blah test." for instance one of mine is called "elven magic test." I really think this method is really nice and works well.

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I'm pretty sure this is just functionalist soft worldbuilding but I like it anyways!

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On 2/27/2022 at 6:12 AM, Channelknight Fadran said:

I'm pretty sure this is just functionalist soft worldbuilding but I like it anyways!

I would definitely describe myself as a soft worldbuilder. I leave all the inconsistencies in to give the illusion of depth, definitely not because I can't be bothered editing.

 

On 2/26/2022 at 7:35 PM, Ixthos said:

One method you could use for some letters is to have some being with a more objective viewpoint making these notes, so while it may still be somewhat biased you could have some abstract creature making notes, or even put your own observations down, as though writing a scholarly essay on your own work for yourself.

 

Hmmm ... I think I will give this a try. Pick a topic, please, and I'll make an entry - character, species, planet, organisation, abilities.

A fair amount of them do end up sounding like they are written by historians so that helps with at least making some things seem objective.

Here's your topic/pitch if you want to try it: a planet that has rediscovered a resource thought to have been lost from the cosmos.

Feel free to do something else but that was the first thing to pop into my head.

For reference, here's a little fragment from what I've been working on.

Spoiler

Queen T’Turunen continues to deny my requests to study the Artifact, but I have wandered and mapped the palace, feeling for its touch. I believe I have triangulated its location. It lies behind an onyx door deep in the subbasement. The door is not guarded, but it seems arcanely defended.

It should be known, in the grand scheme of things, that the elves struck first. The great Lord Ferdinan’s wrath was rightly earned. When they presented the archmage’s burnt out corpse at the feast, it was a display of pride in their treachery.

The whole ordeal could have been avoided had Queen T’Turunen agreed to stand trial for the wizard’s murder. Justice could have been done. But instead she dug her heels in, demanding Lord Ferdinan take his people and leave.

The Queen and her brother tragically died in the arrest. Lord Ferdinan apologised profusely for the incident to the remaining Siannodels, and deemed the matter done.

The attack was unprecedented, and Lord Ferdinan was severely wounded. Who would have known that the grace of the elves could turn to savagery so fast?

Lord Ferdinan looked almost fully recovered at the execution. He placed the heads of T’Tarja and T’Oberyn on pikes and named himself Duke. The elves stormed the stands. They were repelled.

 

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56 minutes ago, Kureshi Ironclaw said:

Here's your topic/pitch if you want to try it: a planet that has rediscovered a resource thought to have been lost from the cosmos.

Cool :D will do. Should I try to make it about the same length as the same you provided, or would a longer one do as well?

 

[Edit] Okay, this is the first draft, made over the course of about an hour - any feedback is appreciated

 

The institute had thought me mad when I insisted the survey had indeed discovered a new source of dwarhart. They insisted that the substance had been lost forever in the aftermath of the Path War, that all possible futures that contained it had been purged by our enemies in their last suicidal attack, their last, desperate bid to – as the institute supposes – render us sterile, fragmented, and alone. They claimed no more of the substance, or any of its precursors, could be left, that none remained hidden on some isolated world, or diffused in any distant, nebulous cloud. They stated that every planet, every star, and every fundamental particle had been touched by our enemy's tainted strike. Yet my team and I have finally proved them wrong.

 

I don't believe the substance to have been their originally – I suspect this is the result of some natural process that turned one of dwarhart's possible precursors into its raw form, though which I am uncertain. The institute was correct in that all known dwarhart precursors had been destroyed in this and all other timelines that branched forwards from the war, and with the elimination of our ability to travel back to before the culmination of the war, and the turbulent disruptions to time having only settled ten thousand milenia after we had finally destroyed and transformed the last of them, it seemed they had good cause for their scepticism. But their mistake was in assuming that we had discovered all possible materials that could become dwarhart. Despite our long study of the substance neither we nor our enemies had fully mapped out all possible materials that could be transformed and thus become entangled with time.

 

This world, which I have dubbed Kirzot, must be a source of one such unknown precursor. The survey team's readings were taken at a considerable distance from that world, and it would be beneficial to have one or more of our agents actually confirm the substance is indeed viable for our use. It would be disastrous if it attuned more readily to the remnant of our enemy's minds within our more useful machines. We must make sure, before we move openly, that this dwarhart deposit is unattuned, or else favours our essence over that of any other species.

 

To that end I have already sent Kubu and Dolni to this planet to investigate further in advance of a full expedition, and their early reports are most intriguing. They report there is indeed some form of life present on this world, some species that possesses distressingly close similarities to our enemies. Could they be the ancestors of our enemy before they established their civilisation in the distant past? No, no, that isn't possible. More likely they are either signs of convergent development of the life native to this universe, or else some remnant that survived our transformations of their kind in much the same way some dwarhart precursor survived their own attacks. In either case this is cause for caution – we cannot let them discover our true natures until we have ascertained if the substance can be put to our purposes. If they discover our goals before that ….

 

Still, it is of little consequence. Dolni, soft hearted as they are, reports that the native life is indeed primitive, and requests we treat them with benevolence. I believe the millennia of loneliness has made them too unreliable – they must be dealt with soon. Kubu, surprisingly, is far more practical, and has already taken the steps needed to ensure that, when the time comes, they too can be turned into tools for our use. They are a simple people – transforming them should be a simple matter, provided they do not discover the secrets of dwarhart before we arrive.

 

I am now more convinced than ever that the enemy's efforts were not in fact an attempt to eliminate the potential of branching paths through time, but merely to untethered us from our source of immortality. Though primitive, the enemy's mindset was still too fixated on their own apotheosis – they would not have destroyed the only chance for any of their remnant to achieve what we possess by design. Fools. Their efforts have only delayed our own ascension, and the wounds they inflicted will soon be forgotten. Their cousins or descendants or ancestors, whatever that life may be, will share their fate, and full control of time will be open to use again. Soon we will have the strength to leave this wretched, limited timeline, free to slay the Guardians and dominate all the worlds in their charge, free to finally claim our place as the ultimate masters of reality.

 

What power in this or any other world can stop us?

 

- from the journal of Kirx Kirzo Evbli, First Minister of Progress

Edited by Ixthos
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hey guys here is a small thing I made a couple months back it is an interesting thing I created when wondering how to write a sword fight.


 

“Swordsmanship is an art meant to be kept sacred. The Stelleman style has been kept by our family for generations. The art of the sword is a tradition that has been upheld by our village for longer than my grandfather was alive. 

“We are bastions of hope for the dying world, the art of the sword must be kept until the Dragons return. For when they do we will be able to come out of hiding once more. My son, you must learn how to use this wisely, hold up this art with highest esteem in use, you are my heir. Use your newfound knowledge wisely my son.”

The Father and Son stood in a grove of peach trees that held the ruins of the Fortress of the Sword. Falling pink leaves created a backdrop to the two people as they conversed about the arts that had kept their family alive for generations. The falling leaves raced like chariots through the humid air as the clouds lazily drifted across the autumn sky. 

The son was short and stocky with a look of a man who would eventually become the greatest of men, he had bronze like hair that seemed to glint in the midday sunlight. The boy was named Jarien, and he was proud of it, Jarien was a name passed down in their family since the dawn of time. A sword hung at Jarien’s waist in a sheath that he had handcrafted himself. A look of confidence adorned Jarien’s face as he listened intently to his father’s words.

The father named Dariel had greying hair of a similar color to his younger son, he was tall and muscular from many years of defending his village with every ounce of strength in his body. He wore navy blue robes that defined his every movement, his green eyes seemed to pierce into the endless void beyond. Dariel had spent many long years training in the art of the sword until he was a master compared to Donovan Deathbringer. 

“Remember my son,” said Dariel, “that we must preserve this art through the coming years, our world is not ready to receive our art and you will be the next master.”

Jarien nodded, “I am ready to begin the next stage of my training father, I understand your words Father, I have toiled for four years to get to top physical shape under your training, I am ready father.”

Dariel smiled, “and you are as you say ready.” Jarien beamed with pride. Dariel continued, “once your training is complete you will receive the sword of the apocalypse.”

Jarien took in a breath, the sword of the apocalypse was the most powerful enchanted sword that had ever been created in the one world and Jarien was in the direct line of the owners of the legendary sword. The sword had been present at the destruction of Beropolis, the sword had been at Teron when the Riders of the Dark had created the ring of chaos and the sword had been there when the Chosen One of Lyroc had won the war and created the age of the watchful peace.

“I see you are surprised that you will be the one who will own the sword of the apocalypse,” began Dariel, “as Kaliel is the older son, but Kaliel is not destined for it, he has another fate that is for a great purpose to the gods.”

Jarien nodded slowly, “does Kaliel know of this?”

Dariel shook his head, “no your brother does not know of this, and you must not tell him, it is a delicate matter that I must handle myself.”

Jarien watched with anticipation, then said, “Kaliel will not take this well, you must first tell him about his destiny of great import.”

Dariel nodded, “I know this is true my son, you and your brother have very important roles in this world to play and you must play them right or you will lose everything you have ever loved in this world.”

Jarien shivered, “Father I love you and Kaliel, I don't want to see Kaliel removed from his dreams, father I!”

“Enough!” shouted Dariel, “You will carry the sword of the apocalypse, Kaliel will have a different destiny, a far greater destiny at that.”

Jarien’s eyes widened, “greater than the sword?”

“Greater than this blasted conversation.”

“When will my training begin, master?” asked Jarien bowed his head and moved his hands in the traditional gesture of apprenticeship. 

Dariel put his hand to his temples, “we begin tomorrow morning.”

“Thank You father.” Jarien walked away out of the clearing and down the stone steps down to their house.

Once Jarien was well on his way down the steps and towards the house Dariel put his hand to the hilt of his sword. Though he was increasingly aging Dariel was still good with the sword of the apocalypse. He drew the sword of myth and legend in a swift movement, what seemed like black lightning crackling across the length of the black steel sword.

When the sword moved it seemed to leave an afterimage behind it. Shadows seemed to drift off of the blade’s edges as Dariel held it. Dariel smiled, Dorea’s heart he loved that blade.

He swung the blade through the air cutting through the falling leaves, this blade along with the art of the sword had been passed down through his family generation by generation, century by century, millennium by millennium. 

Dariel practiced his midday sword kata, moving the sword back and forth through the humid air, the sword warped the air around it creating a strange hypnotizing effect if you looked at the sword too long. 

Eventually Dariel swung the sword into his handcrafted sheath and he himself walked down the mossy and cracked stone stairs. As Dariel walked he gazed across the hidden valley, trees and houses dotted the fertile valley, the area was brimming with animal and human life alike. The smells and sounds of people streamed across the valley. Kaliel his son loved the view from up here, perhaps the talk with Kaliel would best be up on the stairs.

Dariel stopped at the middle of the staircase and looked further down the staircase, Kaliel looked up at him. Kaliel had dark black hair that draped to his shoulders, his usual happy face was covered in a deep frown, his side was adorned with many pouches and daggers, his right side had a long sword that was the pride of his life.

Kaliel shouted in his rich accent which he had inherited from his mother, “Father!”

Dariel shivered, “ye-yes?” Dariel was worried, did Jarien tell his brother about the inheritance, no, that could not be possible, Kaliel would have taken this better. Would he?

“Jarien brought me some news.” Dariel’s worst fears had come true, his son now knew of the inheritance.

“Jarien is my brother, I love him, he deserves to wield the sword.” began Kaliel walking upwards ever closer to his father, “but I deserve it more.”

Kaliel drew his sword, it crackled with blue lightning and glowed intensely, “Jarien has another destiny, but he shall not have my destiny!”

Dariel drew the sword of the apocalypse, darkness drifted off the blade like water off of a wet cloth. Dariel gritted his teeth, “son! You don’t need to do this!”

“You're right.” Kaliel dashed forward, “you could just give me the sword.”

“Never.”

“Wrong choice.” Kaliel lunged at Dariel’s side.

Dariel blocked in the dakon defence. He whiplashed swinging his sword ferociously at Kaliel’s blade, he took the fight lower on the stairs. Kaliel pushed forward with his strength in the sword. 

Dariel grunted, the sword started absorbing the blue light that was being emitted by Kaliel’s blade, Kaliel widened his eyes in fear. Suddenly Kaliel grinned, “will you really kill your own son?”

Dariel faltered and Kaliel took the advantage and swung his sword at Dariel’s head. Dariel pivoted backwards. Dariel peered into Kaliel’s green eyes, “Kal, you don’t have to do this! You can rejoin the light.” Dariel put his sword in the sheath and walked forward. Kaliel started to put his sword in his sheath, “father I…”

Dariel continued, “we can continue together, you have a greater destiny than this sword.”

Kaliel’s stern look returned, he drew his sword fully out, “No Father, No! NO! The sword is mine!” He stabbed Dariel in the chest.

“My….. Son….” Blood gushed out of the wound as Dariel’s breaths came out ragged.

The blood stained the mossy ground and the leaves fell in it, Kaliel pulled his sword out of his father’s chest and wiped it on his pant leg. Dariel widened his eyes, “...Remember…. The… way…. Of.. the sword…..”

Dariel closed his eyes and one final breath escaped his lips, Kaliel turned away in disgust. He cast his eyes roundabout, the view was excellent, but soured by the disgrace he had just done to his father. 

Kaliel reached for the sword, his eyes hungered for the view of the full powers in his command. He drew the blade, lightning danced on the blade before his eyes, the glow of the blade was his destiny. 

Kaliel smiled as the blade glowed with power, he swung through the air with his practiced hands, the sword felt just right in his hands, he felt as if he could rule the world. Kaliel threw his head back and chuckled.

The murderer cut through the nearest peach tree with his sword, it fell as if it were butter. Kaliel knew he was in the wrong, but not turning back now. The dark light colaced around him creating what felt like invisible armor shielding him from all enemies. 

Kaliel threw his other sword out of the sheath onto the ground and spewed the blood off of the blade in all directions. Kaliel stabbed the apocalypse into his father’s dead body, the smell of burning flesh filled the air. 

After a few minutes Kaliel drew the blade out, what was left was a pile of ash and soot. He grinned, “and now begins my reign, the reign of Kaliel the Immortal.”

Kaliel put his new found sword in his sheath, the sword glew one last time as it went into its rest. 

Kaliel walked down the steps toward his home, a smile of satisfaction covered his smug face. 

At the bottom of the stairs Jarien stood, his mouth stretched tight with a look of determination and grief, “so you did it, you killed him.”

Kaliel nodded, “I did. He is dead, and so begins my reign, our father saw much, but he was wrong in one respect. I am the owner of this blade and my reign will be millennium in length.”

Jarien nodded, “we are meant for greatness brother, still sad our father did not share our vision.”

“I will train you brother,” said Kaliel, nodding as well. “We will be the most powerful brothers in all of Lyroc. And no one, no one can stop us.”

“Lyroc has not known such power since the age of legends ended, but now.” began Jarien, “but now we will bring a new age, the age of immortals.”

Kaliel smiled, “your words shine with truth brother, but enough of this talk, it is time for action, we must gather an army, it is imperative that we…..”

______

Ten years later

“...... So begins the reign of King Kaliel the Immortal.” 

Cheers floated up to the terrace where the newly crowned King Kaliel stood, he wore regal attire. A red and purple robe adorned with gold leaf and on his combed black hair stood a crown of pure gold with elven emeralds on it. 

Kaliel’s demeanor had changed since that day back in the hidden village, he was ten years older after all, he now had several defined lines in his once soft face, he now wore a short beard below his lips and he had a look of weariness in his eyes. 

Jarien stood next to him same as ever, but his skin was now as copper looking as his hair, he now wore a flowing blue robe that was covered in a silver pattern of leaves and flowers that accented his copper hair, his nose is crooked as ever. 

The brothers stood on the balcony of the recently completed palace in the city of Arelonia, their subjects poured in in the courtyard below, the courtyard was not only filled with citizens but merchants and shopkeepers, the traders took advantage of the event to fill their pockets, the crisp fall air drifted throughout the castle. 

Kaliel turned to whisper to his brother, “this is tiring, brother.”

Jarien nodded, “I know, give your address then you can rest.”

Kaliel nodded back, he turned to the crowd, “People of Arelonia, we gather here to celebrate not only me, not only my brother, but all of us.” the people cheered thinking he was done, “quiet!” The crowd quieted at his words, “thankyou, this newly formed country of Arelonia will last generations to come, what we found here will be remembered in history for long after we have died. I rest assured this will be a great country.

“This founding of our kingdom will mark a new age, the age of Immortals.” the people muttered to each other, what does ‘age of immortals’ mean? “I wield the legendary sword of the apocalypse.” the crowd gasped, the sword of the apocalypse! Kaliel drew the sword, it cast a blue light onto the crowd, the sun paled in comparison to the drawn blade, as the sun hit it the sword seemed to draw the light into it, it turned the light into itself and cast it out as its own.

“Today I announce the creation of the Order of the Sword who will hold the ancient ways of the sword, they will be my personal guard and my direct servants, the will execute my will with exactness, the chosen members will be those who I would trust my life to. Each member will receive a sword, a sword that has been enchanted by me.”

The words were received like a shockwave.

 

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On 2/28/2022 at 6:23 PM, Ixthos said:

Okay, this is the first draft, made over the course of about an hour - any feedback is appreciated

Nice stuff! Did you feel like you got something new out of the process, like some element of the world or character you weren't previously aware of? That's if you're basing it within an already pre-built world; but if you came up with all that from my single prompt, good job! Keep rolling with it!

I could offer some points for editing/feedback if you're intending to have that published or something, but if you're just using it to make notes or organise your thoughts it doesn't need to be edited. What's more valuable is the process, rather than the final product.

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9 minutes ago, Kureshi Ironclaw said:

Nice stuff! Did you feel like you got something new out of the process, like some element of the world or character you weren't previously aware of? That's if you're basing it within an already pre-built world; but if you came up with all that from my single prompt, good job! Keep rolling with it!

Thanks :) 

Sort of - I made this from whole cloth, so it isn't exactly part of an existing story, but it can fit into the wider setting as one of the species that thinks its a major power but would get smacked down once they try to expand into too many other universes. While writing it though I did get an idea for a novel or novella, as well as three new species to add to the meta setting. I think they would make fun additions to the setting, as I've been meaning to produce more semi-major powers as localised threats, and I'm actually rather exited to write a story with the native life slowly figuring out that their two celestial visitors aren't what they initially appeared to be (the idea that came into my mind is that Dolni and Kubu initially appear to resemble the native life, only much larger and slightly alien, but this is actually because Dolni and Kubu's species are in essence parasitic, and the bodies they are using are the repurposed corpses of their species' enemy, which is somehow related to the native life, hence the idea that they will use other forms of life as machines, each seeing the body they wear as a vehicle, but there are a lot of potential twists in this, including Dolni's feelings of protectiveness for the native life pushing them to save the native life, and Kubu and Dolni's own relationship, following with further stories of the native life now having to repel invaders that are in effect like gods to them, and dealing with traitors in their midst, and the invading species likewise having internal division and discovering the enemy's plan may have been more complex than Evbli thought - I may change some names though).

This was fun, and it was helpful for helping spark ideas :)

 

21 minutes ago, Kureshi Ironclaw said:

I could offer some points for editing/feedback if you're intending to have that published or something, but if you're just using it to make notes or organise your thoughts it doesn't need to be edited. What's more valuable is the process, rather than the final product.

I'd appreciate that :) I may use this method in addition to my primary one, or together - it certainly helped produce an interesting idea!

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I'm glad it helped spark some creativity!

15 hours ago, Ixthos said:

I'd appreciate that :) I may use this method in addition to my primary one, or together - it certainly helped produce an interesting idea!

As far as feedback is concerned, I'd just say you could try and streamline each entry a bit. Figure out what information you are trying to get across in a particular fragment then try to deliver it in the briefest way while still keeping it interesting.

Let's take your first fragment for example.

On 2/28/2022 at 6:23 PM, Ixthos said:

The institute had thought me mad when I insisted the survey had indeed discovered a new source of dwarhart. They insisted that the substance had been lost forever in the aftermath of the Path War, that all possible futures that contained it had been purged by our enemies in their last suicidal attack, their last, desperate bid to – as the institute supposes – render us sterile, fragmented, and alone. They claimed no more of the substance, or any of its precursors, could be left, that none remained hidden on some isolated world, or diffused in any distant, nebulous cloud. They stated that every planet, every star, and every fundamental particle had been touched by our enemy's tainted strike. Yet my team and I have finally proved them wrong

It seems to me that the main thing you are trying to convey here is that dwarhart was thought to be lost forever, but the character has rediscovered it. You're putting a lot of emphasis on the extent to which dwarhart was lost, which is cool, but is belaboring a point that as a reader I was willing to accept at face value. To me it came across a bit redundant. Further to this, these fragments are written from a particular character's point of view, and so the rules of point of view apply. You shouldn't be stating information that is obvious to the character, or information that the character wouldn't feel necessary to write down. Obviously you know your character better than I do, but there are a few things in here that I don't think they would deem necessary to include. In this format, you can always use other fragments to flesh out necessary information, but as a reader I don't need to know everything up front. Part of the fun of reading things like this is gradually finding out new information that recontextualises my view of the world.

I could see this entry streamlined to something like this:

The institute thought me mad when I insisted the survey had indeed discovered a new source of dwarhart. They insisted that the substance had been lost forever in the aftermath of the Path War, that all possible futures that contained it had been purged by our enemies in their last suicidal attack. Yet my team and I have finally proved them wrong.

I've cut out a lot but at least to my eyes the fragment is much more focused. Everything I've removed could work well as its own fragment where the focus is on explaining how dwarhart was lost, but in this fragment I felt that information was extraneous. In the end its up to you how you want it to read, this is just how I'd edit it to make it more focused.

I hope this is helpful :)

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@Kureshi Ironclaw it is helpful thank you :) I think that putting the further emphasis of the total loss of the substance in a separate paragraph as you mentioned - possibly right before the end when Evbli is musing on the motivation and goals of their enemy (and the names definitely need to be changed) - would make it flow better in its thoughts, and that also makes me wonder if splitting the entire journal entry up into discreet sections and having them as epigraphs for chapters in a novella to lead in could be very helpful, as well as setting up twists and irony with how events play out.

Part of the intention on Evbli belabouring the point was how triumphant it felt over finally proving the institute, of whom Evbli is a political enemy, was wrong, by repeating over and over how emphatic the institute had been, but that can be conveyed in other ways. I agree with you, and thinning out unnecessary details at the start can certainly help put the emphasis where and when in needs to be.

This was very helpful, thank you :) I'll see if I can work this into a story to post at some point - thank you again for your suggestions!

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Glad I could be of help! Yeah the cool thing about doing worldbuilding like this is it makes really good epigraphs for that little bit of extra spice.

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