marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

philosophy of checklists

was pondering checklists for world-building, and the possibility of one for a superheroic world. . . .

The problem is that they are lists, and linear. Just like a book dealing with story structure has to deal with it beginning, middle, and end. Only more of a problem because your story does have to end up with a beginning, middle, and end, even if the end happens a century before the middle, and the beginning a few millennia after.

World-building doesn't ever have to be linear. You never have to order them and work out how common superheroes are in this world; there are even stories that will work just fine if you don't know how common superheroes are.

And even if you do, the story may start with the superhero really needing that secret identity because of the miscarriage of justice he suffered; the idea of a code name that has a hidden meaning; a writing prompt of attraction between a superhero and a supervillain and you decide that the villain will actually be a rather upright vigilante -- or some such where the number of superheroes will be a late consideration. (Though the intervention of other superheroes when the superhero is sparring with the supervigilante will change the story.)
Tags: idea development, superpowers, world-building: general

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