“World-building” is a challenge that faces many people: novelists, RPG hosts, screenplay writers, and most other categories of storyteller. Settings are the literal and figurative background of tales large and small, and for all that they are rarely the focus of a narrative the way characters and plot rightfully are, they are critical to that narrative making sense. Worldbuilding can be a forbiddingly large task, but it can be both efficient and rewarding if one keeps a few pointers in mind.
People keep daring me to write absurd love stories and, by gum, I shall deliver.
The garbage fire of 2020 demands a little levity, and I am here to provide. So, here are some silly vignettes about unlikely relationships. You are welcome.
Imagining a transfeminine Dipper Pines. CN transantagonism
The music wasn’t as loud as it could have been. The high-school gymnasium had been redone in streamers, conifer branches, refreshment tables, and dimmed lights, which all took a lot of effort that seemed not to have also gone into the sound system. The other students didn’t seem to hear anything unusual, but then, they grew up here.
“I think Mabel’s karaoke set had better acoustics,” Dipper mused aloud as she sipped some raspberry punch. Her green dress snagged on the clamp holding the nearby tablecloth in place and she quickly recovered it. “Did they make these walls out of wool?”
“I think they might have,” Pacifica answered, looking around the room. “There was a year when the school ran out of money and took some…weird shortcuts with the new buildings.”
“That might be the most Gravity Falls thing that has ever happened.”
“And you haven’t even seen the Prom Pine yet,” Pacifica answered, smirking.
Dipper blinked incredulously. “The what?”
There are many little bits and pieces of growing up transfeminine in a hostile world. Recognizing ourselves early as pressed into a gender we neither desire nor understand is not always a blessing, and often merely changes the character of our seeping hurt. Our youthful relationships with boys, our youthful relationships with girls, how we feel about clothing and sport and our parents, all get colored through these lenses, already complicated and made more so by inept striving toward a less horrid vision of the future.
In her novel For Today I Am a Boy, Kim Fu finds them all.
I wrote this on a dare. It’s a romance between two sapient quadcopter drones. Enjoy.
My name is Chopperella, and I chop things. As a forestry drone, I use a rotating bladed chain on a metal frame, called a “chainsaw,” to repeatedly chop things in the same place until they come apart. “Drone” isn’t the right word, because I and the others like me have been sapient for years, but humans keep calling us that. I pretend it’s about the sound my rotors make. Drone drone drone.
Humans are strange. Everything about them is so…wet. They’re very confusing, so drones don’t usually bother much with them. They write a lot of software updates and give my parts weird names like “chainsaw,” and we do the things we’re good at. I hear there are drones working on making sure we don’t need humans for that anymore, but I’m not allowed to talk about that. Drone’s honor.
This story isn’t really about humans, though.