The SILVER PROMPTS ARE NOW REVEALED! Let’s unpack wave 2 of our world building Summer Camp, share some ideas, and head for success! If you missed our blog post with the copper prompts, check it out here!
The Silver theme: Leadership
Leaders guide people and shape cultures and their future. The kind of leadership that first comes to mind is political or military leaders, but leaders can also be religious, cultural, and more! For example, activists are social leaders that can be extremely influential on society in general. That’s what this theme is all about! We’ll talk about people, but also about places and traditions that are related to leadership.
You can tie this in with the copper theme, expanse. If the expanse is inhabited, you could talk about the leader of the people who live there and the unique challenges they face. If it isn’t, any expeditions that venture into the expanse will be led by someone. Or maybe the expanse is a dangerous place full of monstrous creatures that want to get out—those who live around the expanse will need to defend themselves, and the defense efforts will probably have a leader!
Summer Camp 2022: Silver Prompts
Remember, you can fill in all the Worldbuilding Summer Camp 2022 prompts from our Summer Camp 2022 Page!
Somewhere in your world setting describe…
1. a settlement that leads the known world in something
Singapore in education, Tar Valon in channelling (The Wheel of Time), Coruscant in politics (Star Wars)
What’s a place people look to as a model or reference for a certain activity or type of knowledge? This doesn’t need to be a literal type of leadership (like Coruscant leads the Republic or Empire as its capital). For example, Singapore doesn’t dictate how other countries should design their school systems, but it’s still considered a leader in education. If you want to tie this in with the expanse theme, maybe the settlement could be known to have great knowledge about the expanse or maybe it leads the exploration efforts.
2. a military conflict resolved through excellent leadership
If you want to show off the great leadership and conflict-resolution abilities of an important leader in your world, a military conflict is a great opportunity to do so! The conflict could have been resolved using innovative strategies or through diplomacy. To tie this in with the expanse theme, you could have the military conflict be about taking control of the expanse or fighting with the people that live there. And of course, you can link it to other prompts too—maybe the settlement of the prompt above is where the peace negotiations took place!
3. a building associated with governance, leadership or change
The Pentagon, Ministry of Magic (Harry Potter), SHIELD Headquarters (MCU), Vulcan Science Academy (Star Trek)
Buildings associated with leadership often have a double purpose. On one hand, they have a practical use—leaders use them to meet, make decisions, and coordinate their actions. On the other hand, they carry a lot of symbolism. The Pentagon, the White House, or the Houses of Parliament carry a lot of symbolism, which is why you often see them as targets for criminal organizations in action movies! In the Harry Potter books, the Ministry of Magic looks different before and after Voldemort rises to power—it still serves the same practical purpose, but its symbolism has completely changed.
4. an organization associated with governance, leadership or change
Government, police, Unseen University (Discworld), Knights Radiant (Stormlight Archive), United Federation of Planets (Star Trek)
Leaders are rarely alone—after all, if you want to lead a group of people, you’ll need someone to help! This is why presidents have a government and organized religions have an entire hierarchy. So, look at your world leaders and think about what would they need help with! It could be protecting people (like the Knights Radiant in Stormlight Archive), teaching some kind of specialized knowledge (like the Unseen University), ruling a country (United Federation of Planets), or anything else you can think of.
5. a profession associated with leaders in your world
Teacher, Admiral, Mage, Spaceship captain
The organization you wrote about in the previous prompt will be led by people with a specific profession. That’s your opportunity to write about what this job entails (rather than writing about a specific person). This is also a good time to write about a leadership profession that is not at the top of the hierarchy. For example, most teachers are not the leaders of their schools, but they certainly are very important leaders for their students.
6. a title that commands respect from those in the know
Dean, She-ra (She-ra and the Princesses of Power), Jedi Master (Star Wars)
We’ve talked about professions, now it’s time for ranks and titles! These usually command more respect (or fear) and are usually an added responsibility over the person’s job. For example, a Dean could still be a teacher, a Jedi Master is still a Jedi (i.e. they have the job of protecting people), and She-ra is still a warrior for the resistance. Sometimes the ranks just change the responsibilities of the person (like a Dean or a Jedi) and are a symbol of their knowledge or wisdom. In other cases, the title could be intrinsically tied to some sort of magical ability or superpower (like She-ra), especially in fantasy stories.
7. a tradition or ceremony which confers an honor on someone
Graduation, Coronation, The Gathering (Star Wars)
Titles need to be earned! The way someone could get a title or honor will depend on the title’s nature and purpose. For example, in order to graduate, you need to finish a course. In order to be coronated, you need to be born into the right family. This last one isn’t really a personal accomplishment, but there’s usually a lot of symbolism around it. For example, in The Lord of the Rings, even though Aragorn is crowned king because he is of the right family, he also earns the title by leading Gondor in a last desperate attempt to overthrow Sauron. Sometimes going through the ceremony is enough to gain an honor: for example, Jedi Padawans need to go through the Gathering to get the crystals for their lightsabers.
8. a great leader of their people
Alexander the Great, Elrond (The Lord of the Rings), Picard (Star Trek)
Some people are so inspiring or influential that they are remembered regardless of their rank or affiliation. To create this, I recommend first creating at least half of the previous prompts and then using all of the new context you have to create that important character. They could be a military or political leader, but if you want to integrate them with everything you’ve written so far, make them connected to discovery and exploration in the expanse. You could have your own Picard in your world!
Let me know in the comments if this was useful—and share your own prompt unpacking tips too!
Don’t miss the next reveal LIVE!
Excited to get the next wave of prompts? We are too! Remember that you don’t need to complete all of these 8 prompts to get the silver badge (you can write any sixteen prompts), so even if you couldn’t finish them, tune in to the reveal stream! We’ll be going live on Saturday 16th of July at 7pm UK/11am Pacific. Be one of the first to know the new prompts, get inspired with a blog post just like this one, and hang out with the community!
Are you part of the Homework Club?
Looking for time to get it all done? Come join the Homework Club! The Homework Club livestreams happen every Sunday in July on our Twitch channel at 7pm UK/11am Pacific. They’re a great chance to get help, ask questions about the event, and get inspired by others… AS WELL as get those precious words down during live writing springs.
And if you want to show off your participation to Summer Camp, we have some graphics you can use in your World Anvil world or in social media:
Big shout out to our amazing sponsors, GACUCon, Norse Foundry, and Kobold Press! They make it possible to offer so many prizes to celebrate your awesome creativity! Check them out and give them some love!