The ASFW3 Mission Statement
Our purpose at ASFW3 (the Atlanta Speculative Fiction Worldbuilding and Writing Workshop) is to provide a relaxed and safe atmosphere for writers within the speculative fiction genres to meet and discuss their various projects. Whether you're writing a novel, RPG, comic book, television show, play, movie, video game, or developing a fictional world in some other medium, as long as it's speculative fiction, it's OK with us.
Our primary goal is to share techniques and feedback on worldbuilding, as a writer's world can make or break a work.
We plan to achieve our goals through monthly write-ins, seminars on particular subjects or technologies to aid in worldbuilding or writing, and worldbuilding workshops where a member can present their world to the group for feedback.
What is Speculative Fiction?
Speculative Fiction began as a "backronym" for SF (an acronym originally for "Science Fiction") used by authors seeking to distance themselves from assumptions and negative connotations the general public had invested in "Science Fiction." Since the 1970s/80s, Speculative Fiction has become a term that, as tvtropes.org states, "covers pretty much the entire fantastic end of the Sliding Scale Of Realistic Versus Fantastic, including fantasy, Science Fiction, horror, and other, less well known genres."
We here at ASFW3 see Speculative Fiction as a hypernym, a catchall or umbrella term of sorts, that covers the full range of fantastical fiction including science fiction, fantasy, weird fiction, horror, superhero fiction, supernatural fiction, alternative history, and all of their subgenres. Speculative Fiction thereby differs from realistic fiction, which requires no bending of reality as we know it.
What is Worldbuilding?
Worldbuilding is the process of creating an imaginary world, referred to as a conworld (a portmanteau of "constructed world"). "World," in this case, refers to the entire setting of a fictional work, which may be a single world or planet, though it can refer to the entire universe in which the fictional work takes place. This process will always involve the creation of geographic features and may also involve the creation of a detailed physics system (scientific, magical, or some combination), concultures, conlanguages, and other details.