Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Wrath of Gnon: Why You Should Follow This Man

I follow Wrath of Gnon on Twitter. If you're into pre-Modern Civilization, for any reason (e.g. world-building), you should too.

I have philosophical reasons for my following, but that's not why I'm giving him a boost today. Today I'm talking to you folks that deal in creating believable fictional worlds--gamers and storytellers--so I'm giving you an argument based on pragmatic convenience.

What you want to watch out for are his threads on pre-Modern and early-Modern material living: agriculture, architecture, social order, etc. because you will get information on such matters that you likely won't find in popular sources on these topics- the sort of information that people actually living in such environments will consider and talk about as a matter of good practice.

If he quotes someone, jot down the speaker and look them up. You want to get into the pre-modern mind as best you can, and reading the works of pre-Modern thinkers is the fast track to grokking how and why they think as they do. If he cites a historical location, note it; if you can, visit it. Your fiction will be richer for this work, and letting him curate for you like this allows you to hit the important elements of pre-Modern paradigms while allowing you to focus on making the game or story entertaining to your audience. Once you grok the people who were your ancestors, you can put that thinking into terms your audience will grok without making things too bothersome to bother with.

Don't be surprised to find some echoes of your favorite fiction and myth in the stuff he posts; chances are that they drew from the same sources Gnon writes about, which is the final reason to follow this man- to find the sources that the best entertainers in our culture built upon to create their fantastic creations and imbue them with the semblance of reality that gives them their weight. It is there for us to use for that reason, and in turn contribute to it for later generations to enjoy.

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