Start with… Tone?

As I mentioned in the introductory post about my project for world building month, I’m attempting to design this world following Paul Stark’s story-centered approach. I don’t view this as mandatory, more as an experiment or test case for Paul’s podcast.

So the first thing I need to do is also the one thing Paul talked about that I have the biggest trouble nailing down: Defining a tone for a story-world. Luckily, as I have many pre-conceived notions and because this is such a well-established (if unfashionable) genre, it’s a little easier to define for Arnâron than for other settings I am building.

Arnâron, at its heart, is a Sword & Planet and Planetary Romance setting. While there are things about the setting that are dangerous, desolate and/or hopeless and depressing, the general mood will be uplifting, of romantic heroes involved in rousing adventures and exciting battles, fighting for just causes and the hands of the beautiful princesses.

Good tone words for the setting should therefore be:

  • Adventurous
  • Exciting
  • Heroic
  • Romantic
  • Soaring

Fairly solid list for a “high adventure” setting. As with all things, this might turn out to be an iterative process… but even as a dying world this isn’t Cyberpunk or another type of dystopia so it should work as a basis.

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2 thoughts on “Start with… Tone?


  1. Well – there are dystopian elements in it, as in, it's a dying world with dwindling resources – but it's not a bleak, dark world like Blade Runner or Aliens or Fallout etc.

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