The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

Hi everyone
(11-26-2019, 12:22 PM)MacGregor Wrote: Welcome! Looking forward to seeing your writing.

I already have a little bit of non-OA fiction. I am currently working on a far-future AI-human story I am quite happy with so far, but it would not be compatible with the OA universe.
(11-27-2019, 01:08 AM)The Architect Wrote: I have a question. How much should I read up about the OA universe before being fit to write in it? The sheer volume of already produced fiction is rather daunting. How do I know that I will not create a contradiction or impossibility with something someone else has written which I wouldn't have read? Actually it might be better for me to start with a collaboration. Someone would give me a backdrop and I would imagine a story within that backdrop. I focus more on characters and conflict, because that is what engages the reader most.

We don't really have a hard formal standard for how much someone should know before writing fiction in the setting.

Speaking from experience, most new members have indicated they spend about 2-3 weeks exploring the EG before feeling reasonably comfortable that they have a solid picture of it. This is usually interspersed with them taking part in conversations on the forum or at least lurking to see what is being discussed. Again, we don't require that they do any of this, but that seems to generally be how it shakes out.

We used to put more emphasis on new members reading introductory material created to help new folks get up to speed but have moved away from that over the years for one reason or another. That said, the materials still generally exist and available if you want to give them a read thru (assuming you haven't already). The main items in this regard would be:

The Illustrated Primer/Backstory

The Technology Timeline (you're welcome to read the full timeline, but the TT is rather a lot shorter)

The Canon

The FAQs

I also tend to suggest read thru the TV Tropes page on Orion's Arm - both because is provides a reasonably accurate (95% IMHO) summary of the setting and is a fairly quick and fun read.

Beyond that, I'd probably suggest reading the Galactography, Sophonts, Technology, and Culture and Society topic pages in the EG in that order to get a high level overview of the setting.

Also, please never be afraid to ask questions on the forum. Part of what we're here forSmile Plus the OA setting tends to evolve all the time and sometimes we get behind on updating the website.

Also also, please don't feel you must read all of this before contributing anything or posting to the forum. And if you've already read all this, feel free to skip this bit of my replyTongue

In terms of writing stories in the setting - we're very much wanting to expand the narrative elements of OA so are quite happy to help with this. Smile

Historically, what authors have done is either post their story to the relevant sub-forum (Creative Writing) where it gets reviewed by those community members who wish to and feedback is posted, including on any Canon or consistency issues we may note. And then we're happy to suggest options for correcting whatever the issue is so that story fits in the setting. Wash, rinse, repeat until the story is ready to be added to the website.

Another option that can potentially save on story rewrites is to post a story outline or summary (or iterations of same starting from a basic short summary statement that expands as things go along) and then we provide feedback and discussion on that and then expand into a larger outline and eventually the story itself. So any major issues are hopefully dealt with before you've written a whole story.

I don't believe we've ever tried a formal collaboration between an author and one or just a few members, but that's certainly doable in principle. If what you're looking for is more of just a starting point (you mentioned a backdrop) then I suspect you're biggest problem may be of the 'drinking from a firehose' variety since I can imagine us having all sorts of places we'd like to see stories set inBig Grin We might need some guidance from you on how best to manage the backdrop process so that you most efficiently get what you need from us.

Hope this helps,

Thank you for your thorough answer. I'll do just that. I need a little more time to get a better overall picture of OA, then I'll choose a time and place and proceed exactly as you suggested, that's my preferred method for writing a story.

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