There really should be a journal for: Worldbuilding. This would be a place to post ideas for worlds, where people would ask questions and offer suggestions to help flesh it out.
A world starts with a “concept” – usually the concept is “What makes this world different from the world we live in?” Some examples might be:
- “There are three genders, and mating is by groups of three.”
- “The cost of magic is pain.”
- “The American Civil War led to the formation of two separate nations.”
The concept is then fleshed out by asking “Why?” and “Therefore?” These questions lead to investigation of cause and effect, to see what unfolds. “If the cost of magic is pain, some might choose to suffer pain themselves, and do positive magic, and others may choose to cause pain to others so they can do dark magic.” The cause and effect chain leads the writer to visualize some of the aspects of this particular world. For the purposes of checking out the prototype, keep other important aspects of the world as similar to ours as possible — i.e., fully explore the effect of making one important change, but only one, before changing something else that is unrelated.
(I joined a couple of communities like worldbuilding and worldbuilders… maybe those are similar to what I want… I’ll keep an eye on them.)
I always start from the character standpoint rather than the world one — it’s easier for me to flesh out a world as the character travels rather than to point out things.
Is this for a game or a story?