'I made this!' -- original worlds & background material ("What's the Story" knockoff attempted 7/4)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by ophelia, Jun 1, 2005.

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  1. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Resource Links

    Medical

    How Diseases Work
    Basically explains the mechanisms behind a collection of especially nasty RL diseases and conditions--many of them infectious ones.

    How Viruses Work

    How Human Cloning Will Work

    GFFA Medical Equipment (TFN thread) -- Brant_Flir

    Starship/Space Battle-Related

    U. S. Aircraft Popular Names Index 1939-45
    This is a list of the popular names for various types of aircraft from the WWII period. Since that's the period GL likes to draw his space battle inspiration from, most of the names have the right "feel."

    How WWII Fighter Planes Worked
    Describes plane capabilities and the duties of various squad members, among other things. You can edit in "starship" for "plane" with minor changes.

    List of Royal Navy Ship Names -- SlaneTransportLtd
    A Wikipedia page showing some of the names of Royal Navy ships, useful for naming vessels

    List of ships of the US navy -- SlaneTransportLtd
    A page linking to some of the US Navy's Ship Names

    Ship Names -- _JM_ A downloadable text file with a list of ship names.

    ********

    EU continuity adds to the SW experience of a lot of authors, and they enjoy researching things and making story elements "fit." This approach doesn't work when you're writing AU's, however, or are constructing an environment that has never been explored in the pro material, or if you just plain don't read the EU. Sooner or later, no matter how steeped in EU lore we are, we all run up against The Wall: what diseases will wipe out humans, but leave Mon Calamari untouched? How do power stations work, and how can you manipulate them to kill electricity throughout one square kilometer of Coruscant? Who in **** was Han Solo's mother, anyway?

    The pro material doesn't answer any of these questions (to my knowledge, anyway), which leaves fanfic authors in the position of Making it All Up. (X-Files fans will catch the reference in the thread title.) ;) I'm not an EU person, and I find myself frequently IM'ing other authors--who are usually minding their own business and almost certainly trying to do something else--and making bizarre demands of them, like, "Quick! Give me a disease!" So far none of them have made attempts upon my life, but that may be because most of them live several states away.

    My thought was to create a thread where people could workshop that kind of thing in Resource. Possible topics could include names for things, how to serve some particular plot function with a thing you completely made up, and plausible AU scenarios. (What *would* Obi-Wan's Sith name have been, anyway?) People could also post "making up things" resources (I *love* name generators) and "made-up-thing bunnies"--nifty ideas for objects, customs, etc. that you're probably not going to use or don't mind sharing.

    The goal is to reduce the number of times people have to IM their friends at 2 a.m. with the frantic message, "Quick! Give me a disease!"

    These are some resources I was very glad to find recently (these links have been included above):

    U. S. Aircraft Popular Names Index 1939-45
    I'm *really* crappy at coming up with names for things, but I needed a kind of starfighter we hadn't seen before. Modern aircraft names are no help, since how cool does "DC-10" sound next t
  2. lurker2209 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2005
    star 2
    This is my new favorite thread. If I could have a "dream job" it would be science/technical advisor to sci-fi TV show or movie. I love coming up with random ideas: diseases, realistic climates, fictional philosophical and religious belief systems, everyday appliances for a sci-fi world, random medical technology, etc. And if I tried to use all the ideas I have in my fics, they'd never have room for plots or character development. So I'm all in favor of answering questions, or helping other people brainstorm. It sounds like a lot of fun!

    ~Lurker
  3. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Excellent! Now I know who to go bother when I need a disease in the middle of the night. ;)

    Got any ideas about what to call the things you steer a speeder bike with, other than "handlebars?" I think using "handlebars" makes the characters sound like 6th graders on summer vacation. ("You wanna go ride bikes? You can sit on the handlebars if you want.") I've been using "steering bars," but I'm not entirely happy with it. I've heard the term "steering vanes" too, but I'm pretty sure those are supposed to be those fin-like things that stick out front. Since I prefer not to lock myself into the EU, I could just call the handlebars "steering vanes," but then what do I call the finny things? :confused:

    Also--"hotplugging" is a term I like the sound of, but have never been able to use. In RL, it refers to how you can just plug a USB device into your computer and it immediately works, instead of requiring you to restart the thing. I think in the GFFA it might be like hotwiring something, or possibly some very dangerous way of getting more power out of an engine. I.e., basically like something that Han or Anakin Skywalker would do. :p
  4. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Well, until Ep3 came out and still, I've had to pretty much make up Alderaan, where I do a lot of my settings. I've devised a language, anthropology, original religion, festivals, and planetary governments.
  5. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    *Nods at Ish* Same. Up until we saw that small glimpse of Dantooine in the clone wars cartoon, I basically had to come up with everything on that planet.
  6. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Yeah, as pre-prequel fanficcers, we've all had to do a lot of creative thinking about the GFFA and we still do. This is a great place to do so.
  7. lurker2209 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2005
    star 2
    Um..."steering rods" maybe? And they're conncected to the fin-like Steering vanes. That might work for you.

    And I've never heard the term hotplugging in all my comptuer experience (Not a whole lot but I can code basic HTML and know my way around my school's network.) I've heard plug-n-play, but never hotplugging. It may be a windows/Mac thing, though.

    Hotwiring sounds a bit different. the GFFA equivalent of hotplugging or plug-n-play would be R2's ability to access any type of computer terminal. You'd think that the Seperatists would be smart and build their ships so that Republic droids couldn't acess anything. But that would take all the fun out of RtoS.

    Hotwiring is like bypassing an ignition switch or damaged part in order to get something working again. I'm not sure I see them as very similar.

    Hope that helps some

    ~Lurker
  8. Vongchild Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2004
    star 5
    I drew a set of blueprints for the Dawnrunner and a map of the "nursery". Then I fell asleep on my keyboard. Has anyone done blueprints of a star destroyer yet? That would be useful. Lets get a disease index so we can stick real world diseases into Star Wars.

    Ebola or Menigitis, anyone? [face_batting]
  9. SlaneTransportLtd Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2005
    star 1
    Here is a Wilkipedia page I found this morning, showing some of the names of Royal Navy ships, useful for naming vessels:

    List of Royal Navy Ship Names

    And as well, a page linking to some of the US Navy's Ship Names:

    List of ships of the US navy

    Hopefully this should be useful for somebody's fic.

    STL
  10. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Ooh, ship names are always good.

    Re: diseases--Howstuffworks.com has a section on How Diseases Work, which basically explains the mechanisms behind a collection of especially nasty RL diseases and conditions--many of them infectious ones. You wouldn't necessarily have to put all that detail into your fic--I just like the effect of basing made-up things on real things, since most RL events have their own internal logic, it's nice to be able to have imaginary things mimic that.

    The same website also has How Viruses Work, and, for that matter, How Human Cloning Will Work.

  11. EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 4
    Oy, this is a wonderful idea! I've been looking to expand on an original culture of mine...
  12. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Thanks for the medical link, ophelia. The story I'm starting is a medical thriller.
  13. Brant_Flir Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    if you are looking for medical supplies/equipment as well, there is another thread that talks about that. The link is below:

    http://boards.theforce.net/Fan_Fiction_Resource/b10304/17921522/?23
  14. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    I added a categorized list of links to the first post, so everything doesn't get lost in the murky depths of the thread. I put in credits for links not contributed by me, as well as any descriptions the contributor posted. The comments were sometimes edited for brevity, but not content. I hope no one objects . . . if you want something of yours changed or removed, please let me know.
  15. Brant_Flir Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    I need to know some names for crystals that could be used in lightsabers and still have them work properly. (Like in the YJK series Tenel Ka's first saber messed up when she used the lava rock [i think it was a lava rock] but Jacne's worked. (i think his was a corasca gem that he gor from Lando). Doesn't matter if its made-up or official. I already have Ilum Crystals or whatever they're called. Also, does anbody know what colors of sabers are made from different types of crystals.

    thanks.
  16. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Well, this is what I do when I need something like that. I look up the names of actual things, like those of common elements, I look for any characteristic prefixes and suffixes (-ium, -on, -en, -ine, -us, in this case), and then I feed them into the Fantasy Name Generator advanced interface. There are instructions for using it on the left side of the page, beside the field that says, "Name Generation Template."

    Very briefly, C (that's capital "C") codes for a consonant that's suitable for the start of a word, v (small "v") stands for vowel, c (small "c") stands for any consonant, and s (small "s") stands for "syllable." The "syllable" option creates exactly that--a random vowel/consonant combination that comprises one syllable. Placing letters inside parentheses means that the generated names *must* have exactly those letters at exactly that spot in the word.

    If I wanted to invent a rock name that had the common suffix "-ium," I might type in Cvc(ium), or Cvcs(ium). (The "syllable" option tends to work better in the middle or end of a word.)

    Cvc(ium) got me a list of 51 made up words that fit that pattern, including: Dulium, Vylium, Tocium, Fonium, Reyium, Cetium, and Tumium. Admittedly, some of them are stupid--I think Fonium must be related to Balonium--but you can just sit there and hit "reload" until something you like comes up.

    Cvcs(ium) got me these fake words, among others: Dehlorium (will take you "Back to the Future"), ;) Hanrakium, Picquaium, Ntijlerium, Lulangium, Nocisium, Dogrilium (possibly what people who write doggerel verse take just before sitting down to work).

    You can repeat the pattern with Cvc(on), Cvc(en), Cvc(ine), etc. I often copy and paste "maybes" into a text file, and then look them over after I have a handful. Sometimes I scramble the letters around some more.

    Learning how to use the advanced interface takes maybe 5-10 minutes the first time, and you will probably have to experiment with it. (It *does* make a difference whether you enter capital or small letters, incidentally, and capital "C" can only go at the start of a word. Otherwise, you get an error message.) The generator actually gives you more options than I mentioned, but I'm not going to go over it all here. The upshot of all this is that now I can make up a decent name for something in ten minutes or less, where it used to take hours of poring over foreign and obscure words, scrambling the syllables together, etc.

    As for what any of these imaginary elements *do*--they do anything you want, which is the cool thing about making stuff up. They can have any background and characteristics you want, too. I invented a partly-organic, partly-mineral compound called irridium that is only found at the bottom of dried-up former sea beds, and is used in the heat-shielding alloy that starship surfaces are made of. Why? Because I needed something like that, that's why. :p No reason, really.

    Things I totally just made up right now:

    Kirrothium -- Actually an alternate crystal formation of Ilum, formed under intense heat and pressure. Kirrothium is only distinguishable from Ilum if you do a molecular structure analysis, but its effects are completely different. If you put a Kirrothium crystal in your lightsaber, it will explode. Moral: do not choose "Ilum" crystals you find near volcanoes, or underwater lava floes.

    Zaikytite -- This is the extremely rare, naturally-formed crystal that the Sith based their synthetic saber crystals on. Not structurally similar to Ilum, but works just as well in a lightsaber. Zaikytite's crystal structure is extremely regular, containing few natural flaws, and it's said to create a more powerful, more stable blade. Rumor has it that a zaikytite blade can even cut straight through some lower-quality Ilum ones. Zaikytite crystals come in the red-to-lavender rang
  17. Vongchild Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2004
    star 5
    Brant- the old order used Ilum crystals because they without fail produced a blue or green blade, sometimes purple. The new order uses any crystal to create a blade color unique to the Jedi.
  18. EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 4
    Lovely work! I may use the Cherizine, if you don't mind. That would be very useful. :) *gets to work on original culture*
  19. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Thank you, :) and no problem.

    And now I've avoided doing anything I should be doing for 90 minutes! Yayy . . .
  20. Brant_Flir Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    Thanks for the info on the crystals and ilum crystals guys.
  21. EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 4
    My original culture is called the Atriksa. They're a race of relatively low-tech humanoids whose religion and way of life are heavily influenced by three Jedi who landed there nearly four thousand years previous. These Jedi were idolized and made into god-figures (the Blessed Triplicate). These three Jedi were particularly skilled in the art of illusion (one was a Halcyon) and this skill was revered among the Force-sensitives of the race and developed and focused so that they became masters of illusion. I need to develop a hierarchial political structure for them, though, and invent a few holidays and customs. Any suggestions on how to come up with that?

    Oh, and the Cherizine crystals are used here in short, fat lamps used by the Atriksa that look remarkably like lightsabers. :)
  22. Princess_Arulmozhi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2004
    star 4
    Considering the hours I've spent dreaming up - or trying to dream up orginal stuff...this thread is a God-Send. Thank you, Gre... er... Ophelia. :D

    The shuttle-stuff is going to be sooooooo helpful. I wonder if there's anything for light-sabre combat? Specialized stuff, I mean, instead of the vague parries and feints?
  23. EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 4
    I can help you with that! My padawan and I were discussing it, and he found a very useful resource on wikipedia, on specific lightsaber forms. It was very detailed. :) I'll see if I can find it for you.

    EDIT: Forms of Lightsaber Combat

    May the Force bless Wikipedia. :)
  24. Princess_Arulmozhi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2004
    star 4
    Thank you, EmilieDarklighter . Now I have a chance of writing something that isn't a soppy duel :D

    <runs off to check out link>
  25. lurker2209 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2005
    star 2
    I need to develop a hierarchial political structure for them, though, and invent a few holidays and customs. Any suggestions on how to come up with that?

    I'll tackle this project. First of all what kind of government do you want? A theoracy, with the religious leaders serving as political leaders as well? Or is the political structure separate from the religious structure.

    And are they using the galactic standard calander?

    According to SW tech comentaries:
    A standard week consists of 5 days; a month consists of seven weeks. A standard year is 368 days, including ten months, three fete weeks and three other holidays.


    Each system/culture has it's own names for the months and days, however, some systems might use a calendar based on the local year and month, rather than Coruscant's. So you have to decide which your culture would use.

    ~Lurker
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