Tag: david brin


Posted on by Steven Savage


(Way With Worlds Runs Weekly at MuseHack and Seventh Sanctum)

So last time I noted how David Brin had gotten me discussing the idea of the Idiot Plot or the Planet Of Morons – the idea the hero(es) are the only things saving the world, which is also corrupt and stupid.

The thing with this plot is it degrades society – and degrades the characters and the world. It makes the heroes stupidly unbelievable, it makes the villains shallow or uninteresting, it makes the world improbable.. It’s in short dumb and inaccurate and psychologically toxic when it’s everywhere.

But I’d like to expand on this in what is hopefully my last Heroes and Villains post on worldbuilding. Yeah, I know, unlikely, but still.

Namely, if you don’t resort to the Idiot Plot and the Planet of Morons (and you won’t, right?), here’s my thoughts on how to make the story or game interesting while preserving world integrity. Because you do want to engage the reader, but you also want to have a good, believable world setting.

First, let’s get to the heart of the matter. (more…)

Posted on by Steven Savage

Atomic Bomb Test

(Way With Worlds runs at Seventh Sanctum and Muse Hack)

Ironically I was about to wrap up my heroes and villains series when David Brin dropped an asteroid-sized essay in my lap.

He notes rather brilliantly that a huge part of our media is the Idiot Plot, that the story is often about a few people who save the world because everyone else, all of society, are a bunch of idiots if not evil. It’s not just Suspicion of AUthority, he notes its socially corrosive.

Now Brin’s article on its own is well worth reading. I’m not going to recapitulate it here because he did a great job. Also I probably couldn’t do it justice.

But I’m going to address the issue as a matter of worldbuilding, because the Planet of Morons, the Idiot Plot, is a serious problem for worldbuilding. That’s what I cover.

Also this idea doesn’t work for building a world. (more…)

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