Worldbuilding Articles: Reader Poll

Something a little unusual for this week!  Work’s going ahead on Book 3, and progressing well at the moment – I’m currently finishing up the first section, and should be sending it out to my beta readers shortly.  In the meantime, I’m planning out which worldbuilding articles about the Inheritance of Magic setting to put out next.  The ‘Phase 1’ articles were the nine ones that I’ve written already;  now that the basics are covered, I’m moving on to Phase 2.

However, when I tried to come up with a first rough list of the topics to cover for Phase 2, it turned out to be long.  Very long.  I spent a little while trying to decide which to focus on first, before it occurred to me that since I’m mainly doing these for the interest of my readers, I might as well go ahead and ask you.  So here we go!

My current working list for Phase 2 articles is as follows:

  • Branches of Drucraft
  • Light
  • Light Sigls
  • Matter
  • Matter Sigls
  • Motion
  • Motion Sigls
  • Life
  • Life Sigls
  • Dimension
  • Dimension Sigls
  • Primal
  • Primal Sigls
  • The Five Limits
  • The First Limit:  Euler’s Limit
  • The Second Limit:  Primal Limit
  • The Third Limit:  Blood Limit
  • The Fourth Limit:  Limit of Creation
  • The Fifth Limit:  Limit of Operation
  • Measuring Scales:  Faraday vs Universal
  • Houses of the United Kingdom:  The Great Houses
  • Houses of the United Kingdom:  The Lesser Houses
  • Houses of the United Kingdom:  The Minor Houses
  • The Exchange
  • Advanced Sensing
  • Advanced Channelling
  • Advanced Shaping
  • Limiters
  • Shapers and Manifesters
  • Country Affinities
  • Corporations of the United Kingdom
  • Corporations of Europe
  • Corporations of the USA
  • Sigl Fashion

As I said, it’s a long list.  Even if I was putting out one of those a week and doing nothing else, it would take a full 34 weeks . . . and in practise the number is likely to be a lot bigger than that, since I usually only put up worldbuilding articles once a fortnight or so.  So realistically, this is likely to last well into 2025.

What I’d like you guys to do is leave a comment on this blog post with the items from that list you’d be most interested in seeing.  Single favourites are fine, Top 3 or Top 10 is fine, but no more than 10 items, please.  Also, if there are topics that you’d like me to cover that aren’t on that list, feel free to add as write-ins.  I’ll generally consider pretty much anything as a viable topic, so long as it doesn’t strike me as particularly boring or likely to count as a major spoiler.

Note that in the long term I’m probably going to do every item on this list one way or another;  this poll is just to figure out which order to do them in (and whether to put any other items on the list ahead of them).

And that’s it!  Post your requests below.

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24 Responses to Worldbuilding Articles: Reader Poll

  1. Gordon says:

    This is excellent. I loved the earlier 9 worldbuilding articles.

    My arbitrary list:
    * Branches of Drucraft
    * The Five Limits
    * The First Limit: Euler’s Limit
    * The Second Limit: Primal Limit
    * The Third Limit: Blood Limit
    * The Fourth Limit: Limit of Creation
    * The Fifth Limit: Limit of Operation
    * The Exchange

  2. Jack Q says:

    I’d be really interested in the following:

    – Houses of the United Kingdom (Great, Lesser, Minor)
    – Country Affinities
    – Life/Life Sigls
    – Matter/Matter Sigls
    – Primal/Primal Sigls

    Looking forward to reading all of them, though!

  3. John says:

    These are the ones that I’d be most interested in:

    The Five Limits
    The First Limit: Euler’s Limit
    The Second Limit: Primal Limit
    The Third Limit: Blood Limit
    The Fourth Limit: Limit of Creation
    The Fifth Limit: Limit of Operation
    Measuring Scales: Faraday vs Universal

  4. Curious says:

    Hmmmm… i think that if tou do any of them you should defiantly do the ones about the five limits (both the general and specific) because those seem like things that would be very important in helping us understand and appreciate the depth of the story. But all of these topics seem really interesting, and I am really looking forward to reading any and all of them!!!

  5. Celia says:

    Well, logically the articles about the branches of drucraft and the 5 limits should come before the articles about each specific area. 🙂 Those seem like a good place to start.

    I’ve been relistening to the audiobook, and pondering the blood limit. If Stephen made someone, say Colin, a sigl with a 1:1 attunement ratio, then hypothetically both he and Colin could use it equally, right? Which would be a way to get around the blood limit. But would it be weaker for Stephen than one fully made for him? Also, hypothetically, would that affect whether or not Stephen or Colin’s father could also use it? (I’m guessing no, since the Ashford’s sigls are mainly made by others.)

  6. Alicia says:

    I love that you gave us homework! LOL

    All those topics sound fascinating, but I think the ones I’m most interested in would be:
    1. Anything to do with sigls: shaping, manifesting, limiters, etc. Plus, anything to do with sigl design and sigl fashion. It must be very hard to design & create sigls without being able to see essentia like Stephen can, so addressing that particular aspect of how it’s done would be fascinating.
    2. The “advanced” topics on shaping, sensing and channeling.
    3. The 5 limits of Drucraft
    4. The Drucraft corporations and families of other countries, particularly from the US (I am from the US so naturally I’m very curious about how things work here)

    • Angus says:

      Ditto as I am new to this kind of and best list I would focus but if having accented talkers, make sure the audible narrator is capable. Listened too a few scifi books lately with a Scotsmen character and as Scots my self, left alot to be desired

  7. Zen says:

    Preface- I’m happy to read any and all articles you put out for more worldbuidling! Tough choice indeed….while I also want to know more about each branch of Drucraft (beyond what can be inferred from the names) I think understanding the mechanics of the whole system is a better starting point. So, my top ten :

    The Five Limits
    The First Limit: Euler’s Limit
    The Second Limit: Primal Limit
    The Third Limit: Blood Limit
    The Fourth Limit: Limit of Creation
    The Fifth Limit: Limit of Operation
    Measuring Scales: Faraday vs Universal
    Advanced Sensing
    Advanced Channelling
    Advanced Shaping

    Looking forward to these articles almost as much as the next book lol

  8. Jason Enberg says:

    I would find articles on Houses of the United Kingdom interesting. At least the Greater houses or the one most likely to come up in the story

  9. Hubert says:

    Country affinities
    The exchange
    Houses of the UK

    And two write ins:
    Impact of magic on history (especially World war 1 and 2)
    The ‘science’ of how and why essentia gathers

  10. Martin says:

    the houses
    the limits

  11. JAMES says:

    I’d like to learn more about the branches, and from there I’d be able to pick more articles that I’d like to see.

  12. Kevin says:

    Well you just made a ton of us fans who love World Building ecstatic! Sorry in advance if including groups counts as more then ten but I am putting that in just to let you know what direction you should go.

    The six types of Drucraft branches in what every order and I don’t know if this goes under the Drucraft sigl category but maybe have a basic overview of what the basic different subtypes are like Light’s Duplication Light Sources, Power sigls unless of course there are dozens of them!

    The Drucraft Houses in whatever order and perhaps go into more detail about the Houses we have seen like an overview of House Ashford or Meusel since they seem to be the ones we will spend the most time with.

    Country Affinities, with who has the best quality and quantity of the six branches if that wasn’t already included.

    The Drucraft Corporations, in whatever order and maybe include China since they seem to be the odd one out in major players and are the other side of the New Cold War and an article on what and when the New Cold War started.

    And I don’t know if this would count as spoilers but maybe have an in-universe description on what Byron’s organization/the Mountains are and what the spirtual entities Father Hawke mentioned perhaps this could be done after An Instruction of Shadow is finished?

    Thanks again and sorry if that was more then 10 I believe I kept it under and of course I hope you do all of the ones you mentioned available I really enjoyed reading the Arcana and look forward to read these as well!

  13. Andrew says:

    – Limiters
    – Dimension sigils
    – Primal sigils
    – 5 limits (& subtopics)

  14. B. says:

    Ok, so to start with I would prefer articles on
    – Branches of Drucraft
    – Limiters (I don’t seem to really grasp them yet, but that is probably a personal matter – not being a native speaker, I’m usually quite good at understandig, but there are – well – limits to that ;o))
    – Shapers and Manifesters
    – Houses of the UK (maybe just an overview)
    – Advanced Sensing
    – Advanced Channelling
    – Advanced Shaping

  15. Bill says:

    I think that Maria’s brief on the five limits was useful but I could do with some more detail as to what these involve (and if there are ways around them?).
    In addition I would like to see more information on Limiters. While IoM is good on the most common categories of Sigls, I could do with some more detail on Dimensional and Primal.
    Plus, in the future, how the existing religions co-exist and work with DruCraft and Spirits (or whatever Byron is!)

  16. Trevor says:

    As a magic system nerd I really want to know the capabilities and limitations of the magic system, that is for me the most immersive part of the worldbuilding. So many authors make elaborate magic systems and only trickle out the info in the books, but I really want to see the author publish their notes so I can think about all the possibilities. As a result the Encyclopedia articles on the Verus magic system really drew me into the world.

    So I would say prioritize the details of the magic system (sigls, limits etc.) that won’t show up in the next book, through Stephen’s narrow perspective. Either because they are things he will never be good at, because Stephen already knows them and doesn’t need to learn, or because they are too technical for general audiences. Those of us who come to this website want to go deeper than the general audience into the magic and the world, this is the place for all the interesting details that you thought through but will never make it past the editing pen.

  17. Josh says:

    The Five Limits
    The Exchange
    Sigil design

  18. Nick says:

    (1) I’d like to see more background on the three (current) focused houses in Book#1, that is Ashford (extended family & alliances), Oakwood (Byron mentioned that it was well-known for something) & Meusel (as Joanna came over a the one honest female in the book.
    (2) What typesa of sigls come from Primal and Dimension Drucraft (Stephan will know from reading the Exchange catalogue)
    (3) Limiters
    (4) The detail of the 5 Limits. I feel that Maria’s gave us a good overview

  19. Jim Sackman says:

    Branches of Drucraft
    The Five Limits

  20. Kayla says:

    Gosh it’s going to fun to read all these topics but I will especially look forward to these: country affinities, sigil fashion, country corporations.

  21. Celos says:

    I think you are overdoing it on the “world engineering”. Creating your world is obviously part of solid story crafting and obviously comes with a lot of mechanisms and details. But many of these can stay unexplained or only explained when the story needs it, with some random explanation thrown in there on occasion to keep it interesting. I think you should first do mostly what your story requires at a specific point, then do part of what is “nice to have”, but leave a major part of that as a mystery for now. My guess would be that most people are reading for the story and characters and the world comes distinctively second.

    Hence I advocate for a “need to know” approach with some bonus explanations as space permits.

  22. Celia says:

    The great thing about him doing these articles on his blog is that those who enjoy them can read them, and those who aren’t interested can ignore them. Personally I think his blogs are a fantastic idea for keeping readers interested in his books and engaged between releases. There are honestly pretty few traditionally published authors who interact with readers to this extent, as far as I know. Also it probably helps him to develop the background more, even if it doesn’t make it into the books

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