You’ll remember we mentioned earlier that your World is the equivalent of a Wordpress blog, and we’ve carefully considered what you need to help grow this new venture of yours. We’ll be talking a little bit about franchises later, but for now let’s talk about your fans, the lifeblood of any successful author. Without fans, selling books is a tough job.
Ask yourself now, w…Read More
World-building is where we should start. Part of your dedicated database is reserved for storing data about your world. There are a few different types of data, but that’s for another time. As part of the front-end of your World you have what we call the Building Zone. This section is for adding, editing and sometimes deleting data about your world. You build your world from here. The Building Zone is designed to make it simple and e…Read More
The easiest way to get to grips with what TeriYeri is and what TeriYeri worlds are is a simple comparison. Here are some examples for you:
Wow, a big upgrade on the way which we’re just at the point of fine-tuning is our clusters system. It’s part of The Studio and will allow you to generate content for your worlds in all manner of ways. Right now we’re working on a simple cluster template that will plonk a Nuclear Family (2 parents + kids) in for you filled to the brim with data that you can tweak as you like to get your desired content.
The big news besides the clusters system is that they are in fact …Read More
"TeriYeri is a free collaborative world-building project with a powerful onboard story-writing and ePublishing facility"
~ In A Nutshell
We feel the concept of TeriYeri is short and simple. When it comes to fictional writing and everything that goes with that from the bright spark of an idea to the downloading of a finished manuscript for reading, Teriyeri should offer a service to make this process easier. We want TeriYeri to be a hub for authors, world-builders, artists, editors and fans to truly test the power of collaborative fiction.
Collaboration is a cornerstone for our mission. Collaborative world-building is not a new industry, but it is one that we feel is lacking in online development and support. We aim to set this wrong to right with our web-app.
TeriYeri isn't just for authors or world-builders but for everyone! We're working hard to give different types of users a top quality experience at all times. We have different membership levels to help streamline the delivery of data to our users. Combining this with various viewing-contexts lets TeriYeri work for you no matter how you want to use it.
There are no hard and fast rules for what role a user can fill. We welcome those who wish to be just authors as much as those who want to try their hand at world-building and editing as well. Have a look below to see a few of these roles:
"Whatever good things we build end up building us."
~ Jim Rohn
Do you dream about distant far-off places and wonder about their history and culture, the people living there and the towns and cities they live in? You might just be a world-builder! On TeriYeri, world-builders (or just builders) are members who develop the worlds we create to allow authors to write novels about their contents. It can often be quite a consuming activity and members have been known to get sucked into the worlds they work on.
World-building is an art in itself, but collaborative world-building takes something else entirely. Collaboration requires compromise and we encourage our builders to see themselves as part of a team no matter which worlds they are working on.
When it comes to world-building on TeriYeri there are a few things to consider. Builders must always strike a balance between what we like to call animate and inanimate objects within the worlds they work on. You can find more information on those meanings in our Lingo section, but for now let's continue. Worlds on TeriYeri need inanimate objects to fill up the background and give potential novels context to work with. Everything that makes a world tick (in the background) is inanimate. At the same time, animate objects are just as desirable. Our focus on collaboration means that quite often a builder's content, specifically characters, will be utilised by authors in their novels. Animate objects are highly desirable, because they come with a limited backstory (not a blank canvas), but are empty enough to be flexible as a main character or place within the novel.
If you're looking at being a world-builder on TeriYeri, then perhaps the writing side of things isn't for you. Now creative people may just be excited enough by the concept of collaborative world-building to want to get involved voluntarily, and we applaud those for it, but we want builders to understand that their submissions to the world are just as valuable as the fiction produced by authors. Our writing and publishing system is tied into our world-building engine via a number of strings and this is good news for builders. You may not know, but as a builder you can license the usage of your content to authors for their novels, and we strongly encourage this. What benefits do you get for this? Well besides the high esteem you'll get within the TeriYeri community for having your content published to the world, we feel a financial pat on the back is in order as well.
Our super-smart publishing system can accurately work-out how much of your content is used in a new novel and how often it appears. For each builder whose content was utilised in the novel the system gives a score and the higher the score, the higher the return. This is what we call collaboration. To think of it a different way, you could say that you earn royalties every time a TeriYeri novel is purchased that includes content you've created. Sound good? We thought so.
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
~ Benjamin Franklin
If you're already an author then you'll understand the difficulties that lie within beginning a new fictional novel, in a blank canvas world with nothing but that blank page staring back at you. Daunting to say the least. We appreciate this can often demoralise us to the point of quitting, so we had a long hard think about it and came up with our writing and publishing system.
We've developed a step-by-step writing framework that can handle different types of publications from short-stories to full-blown sagas and everything in between. No matter what type of thing you want to write our intelligent system can help you follow industry-recommended guidelines to help you create your masterpiece. From plot-line development, to scene creation and ordering, to character selection and event tie-ins, our writing system carries you through the process in a comfortable and intelligent manner to help you get the most out of your time spent writing.
With a finished manuscript, commission editors from the community to help you rework scenes, or the entire novel, to get to that exciting ready-to-publish state. One last step before your work is ready for the masses, it's formatting time! Yes that's right, our publishing system includes a formatting step which will help you design the appearance and layout of your work as an eBook. Colour, font, layout, background, imagery, titles, page numbers and all kinds of things are under your control. All in an easy to deal with framework to help you through the step.
We handle the publishing side of things for you, leaving you headache-free. TeriYeri publishes novels on behalf of its authors, and holds any revenue in trust for them until they want it. You can see how your sales and downloads are progressing at any time, and when your revenue reaches a certain amount we'll send it over to you in a way that's suitable for you. Get back to doing what you do best; writing!
Did you know that you don't have to create all of your own characters and events yourself. Because of our focus on collaboration, you can easily make requests to builders to license their characters and other content for your novels. Choose from thousands of characters, created by our world-generator or other builders in the community. When you link characters into your novels, we pull in all the events they're linked to to help you sort out where they are at any given moment. Now, writing your novel is even easier, as you can see how time is panning out for each character during your novel's time-gap.
"Artists to my mind are the real architects of change..."
~ William S. Burroughs
Artists are a key focus for us at TeriYeri, because without imagery a world is just letters and numbers on a screen. The artistic side of TeriYeri is designed to promote interaction on a commissionary basis. World-builders who are looking to license their characters and other content to authors know that artwork related to that content will help them promote it. Our system comes with a built-in artwork commissioning framework to make all of this simple to handle.
As an artist on TeriYeri, if your artwork is utilised within the published novels of authors you receive royalties in the same way that builders do. While we're not sure if you could make a comfortable living from this, it is certainly a way of showcasing your work and building a reputation. TeriYeri itself will often commission artwork for new worlds it plans to open, and we will always look within the community first before looking outside.
As an artist within the TeriYeri community, you have the opportunity and ability to shape the visual appearance of the many worlds we run. Driving the imagination of thousands of fans with the stylistic flick of a paintbrush is a great lure in itself.
"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others."
~ Audrey Hepburn
Editors within the TeriYeri community deal with the writing and publishing side of things. Authors are often in need of a little inspiration, encouragement or general editing and rewording of their manuscripts and this is where you come in. We think good editors are like good friends; encouraging us at every opportunity, but being hard and honest with us when we need it. As an editor you can quickly build a reputation within our community for good work which will inevitably bring in yet more commissions for you from other authors.
As with artists, editors work on a commission-basis within our system. Authors can put out editing-commissions for whole novels, or individual scenes, which you can pick-up (or bid on) depending on their popularity. Every successful commission is logged within the system and published novels will include the names of all members who completed commissions on them.
"I know without our fans and the devotion of our fans we wouldn't be here..."
~ Roger Daltrey
If it wasn't for the fans, no one would be successful. At TeriYeri, fans are just as important as builders, authors, editors and artists and we've designed our system to accommodate you in a convenient way. While the spirit of collaboration compels us to encourage you to get involved in some way, sometimes you just want to be on the receiving end for a while and we appreciate that.
Have you ever read a novel that you've fallen in love with and wanted to know as much as possible about it? Yes so have we, and we've often come up with nothing as the result of our search! Fear-not, TeriYeri is here to help. Our world-building engine not only offers interactive maps for you to see your favourite worlds pan out in real-time, but it also has a powerful Wikipedia-style front-end that generates wiki-pages about every object and event in the system for you to read. Want more? Our wiki-pages are time-sensitive, so you can read them from any moment in history. Are you reading Chapter 4 of Bob's first novel: The Wrath of Titus? No problem, we know the chapter is set on April 4th 1059, so when you look up your favourite characters you wont get any spoilers!
The idea for TeriYeri was first conceived back in 2011 when I started to write a novel. I eventually gave up the writing to work more on the world-building and never looked back from there. I started my world-building career by using a wiki-software but I quickly grew tired of the endless updates as the world developed. So I started looking for web-apps and software to help me out, but couldn't find anything that covered everything.
TeriYeri began as an interactive map-system (the one we currently use) that integrated into mediaWiki and pulled data from it. The app worked quite well, but I wasn't happy with having to endlessly update wiki-pages, and I was starting to experiment with time. So TeriYeri expanded to have its own "world-database" and offer its own "wiki-pages" that were auto-created (like we have now) from the database.
The element of time slipped into the mix soon after and the events system was born. An in-world time context was now available and we could shift forwards and backwards in time. Our auto-created wiki-pages became time-context sensitive and (like now) generate data up to your chosen time context and not beyond it, giving you a powerful tool for understanding an object's situation at a given point in time.
Next we went back to our mapping system for a bit because it needed an upgrade. With our time-context system in place we could (with a bit of magic) plot out history visually on the map. So that's what we did! We added a mapping-context system which would tell the map what to do with the data it was given from the database. Our most extensive development at this stage was that of lifelines for characters. Our map system can (and does) visually plot out the events of a character's timeline chronologically taking you on a journey around the world (so long as the character managed to get out of their hometown!).
At this stage I realised we needed a better way to see the timeline of a character, settlement or other object. As a fan it's nice to read a chunky wiki-style page full of data to get an overview of what was going on, but as a world-builder or author a more detailed approach was needed. Out of this was born the viewing-context system. For fans our system defaults to the wiki-pages system, but for world-builders and authors we take it one step further and display an interactive events-driven timeline for any object in the system. Any events that link to the object are displayed in chronological order from birth to death.
So what was next? Well we had no problem interacting with the system, but we couldn't necessarily stop builders from using each others' content. The spirit of collaboration obviously encourages this, but if you're working towards a certain goal with your content, the worst thing is for someone to drop in and permanently alter the outcome. So I built a confirmation system into the world-building section. Usage of other builders' content is possible but sometimes you need to wait for the owner to give permission. This approach added structure to world-development, and allowed us to put a check on runaway-building that could lead to inconsistencies.
Everything was looking good, but we were feeling a bit clunky. Adding continuous events was time-consuming and we wanted a way for the system to determine what kind of events should be linked together. The foundation of a new political state will require the coronation of its first ruler. Our event-trigger-system came into being at this stage. We trained our engine to determine what situation an event was in and therefore what it should expect to include. Prompts for Coronation events now popped up as recommended inclusions after we added the foundation event for a new country. And just like that our triggering system began to grow.
So we had our world and we could add objects and events as we wanted, but things were looking a little bare. Our world was looking a little "Adam & Eve", and we needed more content. So we began to develop a content-generation system for just that purpose. Things moved quickly and before long we had a satisfactory generator that could comfortably generate hundreds of objects and events in seconds. Suddenly Adam and Eve were surrounded by a few thousand characters all going about their own busy lives and time quickly began to unfold on a much larger scale.
What else could we add? Well just as authors sometimes get writer's-block, so world-builders are the same. We get into routines and end up creating the same loop of events for lots of objects and history gets pretty repetitive. Hang on, this system we've developed should be smart enough to suggest developments for us. Yes, this system should pull its weight, and that's what we told it to do. With 1,000 characters, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on what they're all doing. So we began developing a suggestions-system to help us keep tabs on all of our objects. You can spot this in the bottom bar (lightbulb). If you own a lot of objects it may take a bit of time to load.
Our final addition to our powerful world-building engine so far came in the form of a module we call "Culture Models". Culture Models are flat-files that house all the details which we think a real-world culture is made of. From recommended character names (male, female, first, last) to the level of xenophobic sentiment, to accepted inheritance guidelines and religious persuasion, everything is included. What do we do with these models? We tie our different in-world cultures to them and allow our world-generator to read from them. What does all of this mean? It means that system-generated content is determined via these Culture Models to maintain consistency. E.g. the son of Titus Flavius (Roman culture model) will not be called Thorsten Sigfried (Norse culture model) by the system.
Hold up a moment! Weren't we talking about writing and publishing at some point? We needed a writing and publishing system to make all this world-building worthwhile, so that's what we put together. At the time of writing this the publishing system is extremely alpha-stage and will not be touched until we have a fully-functional bug-free world-building system, but let's talk a bit about it anyway. We decided that authors needed a bit of structure for writing, so we developed a step-by-step process for them to go through when they began writing a novel.
We decided that novels were not made of chapters (as they are displayed in) but actually made up of scenes and then eventually gathered into chapters for publishing. So we started to work with scenes, and everything was going well, but there was something missing. We needed to tell the system what the scene was about and where it was taking place. Of course, what better way of doing that than linking it to an event in the world! Now things were moving along even better. We could even at a pinch get the system to tell us which characters were participating in our linked event for some possible cameo roles in our scene, so we did just that.
And that's more or less where we're up to so far. We're tinkering here and there to improve things and as we reach milestones we'll stick them up here.