When you create a religion, organization, or any other object within your world, can related materials be useful for realizing the world?

For example:
If you create a religion, will an excerpt of a prayer help define the religion?
If you create an organization, will an internal document or a meeting conclusion document help learn more about it?
If you create a location, will an excerpt from a tourist guide help define it better?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Joe Bloggs, Mołot, Rekesoft, Chickens are not cows, dot_Sp0T Feb 14 at 11:02

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think this could be a very good question with a bit of rephrasing, but at the moment it’s pretty much the definition of opinion based. There’s no way to judge the ‘rightness’ of an answer as ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are both valid responses. Perhaps rephrasing to be more about the usefulness of such assets rather than ‘do you make these things’ might help? I’m going to VTC, but bear in mind on hold questions get re-opened if they’re edited to meet the site criteria detailed in the help centre! $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Feb 14 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs I have edited to focus on usefulness. I may still need to rephrase this better. Thanks for your comment! $\endgroup$ – Oren_C Feb 14 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question. Are you asking about producing the fictional versions of these documents, or incorporating real-world documents into your worldbuilding? Either way I'd say yes, but it would change the answer a bit :) $\endgroup$ – Ynneadwraith Feb 14 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Ynneadwraith Producing the fictional versions of these documents. But incorporating real-world documents sounds interesting as well! $\endgroup$ – Oren_C Feb 14 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ Also, how important this religion/organization/location is to your story? I mean, if the religion can explain how your character behave, it's good to understand this religion in depth, but if it's just a background cultural thing without real consequences, it's less important $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Feb 14 at 10:30

I think it's a matter of compromise. Giving details can be good, but be wary to don't bore your reader. A good compromise could be to expose such (short) document in the middle of the story, and add some less important document, more related to the background, in the appendix of the book. A common document put in appendix of fantasy books is the universe map : one can see such document at any moment to understand the world better, but it's optional, so it doesn't necessarily slow the reading.


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