Wed. Jul 6th, 2022

The Top 5 Characteristics of Ex Nihilo Stories

Ex nihilo stories are set in a universe that has always existed. They usually take the perspective of bystanders who seem to have been there forever, not from the perspective of any type of creator or creator-like creature. The characters in these stories usually have no understanding about what came before the universe. Characters in ex nihilo stories do not figure out how the universe began, do not try to create something new from nothing, and do not give any hint of a desire to understand the origin of the universe. The beginning of the universe is a mystery to them. Some characters in ex nihilo stories do not even concern themselves with the origin of the universe at all, as they are focused on other matters.
Some examples of ex nihilo stories:
Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)
Doctor Who (1963) [many episodes]
Flash Gordon (1980) and its sequel Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All (1997).
LOST (2004-2010) [many episodes]
Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969) and its sequels Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager.
Star Wars (1977), Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), and the Sith trilogy beginning with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005).
The X-Files (1993-) [many episodes]

how are ex nihilo stories different from earth diver stories?
how are ex nihilo stories different from earth diver stories?

5 Tips for Creating an Ex Nihilo Story That Sells

The biggest mistake that authors make is to try to force a sense of wonder or desire for understanding into their characters. In ex nihilo stories, characters should never be wondering how the universe began or never try to figure it out. Their lack of curiosity should be the focus of your story. Why do they have no curiosity? What do they do in their free time? What does their society look like? How do they value knowledge in their society and how does it change when they realize the universe has always existed? Why is there no curiosity?
In short, why does the hero’s world look like it does? Why does the world have no history and doesn’t inspire curiosity in your hero? Why is there no mystery and no need to come up with your own answers?
The writing process gets easier once you answer these questions from a variety of angles. It helps to anticipate and brainstorm how your characters would reach those answers, what their society might be like, and what other characters might feel about their lack of curiosity.
In the case of this story, I’m looking at the hero from several angles to help me understand him. As an old man, he’s experiencing his last moments of life, and his greatest desire is to not only figure out the universe, but to know why it came about in a specific way.
If you’re writing a character that has no curiosity, your biggest task as an author is to sell them on curiosity as something they should be interested in. How will they come up with answers? How will they feel if they don’t have the answers? How do they deal with their lack of knowledge? Let your characters’ sense of wonder inspire you and give you ideas to explore and flesh out your story.

how are ex nihilo stories different from earth diver stories?
how are ex nihilo stories different from earth diver stories?

Conclusion: The Different Names for Ex Nihiom Stories Are Probably Because of the Idea of the Story’s Origin

The title of your story can communicate to the reader your perspective on the origin of the universe and whether or not it was created. If you want your characters to seem like they have always existed and have no knowledge that would indicate otherwise, call your story an “ex nihilo” story. If you want the reader to hear more of a earth diver story, call it an “earth diver” story.
Ex Nihilo is Latin for “out of nothing”. In Genesis 1, God is referred to as the creator of ex nihlo creatures (Gen.1:24, 27, 31). Since ex nihilo stories are about creatures that were never born before and have no parents who have ever lived, it might seem logical to call these stories “ex nihilo” stories. Some people do call these stories “ex nihilo”, but many more people call them earth diver stories. This is because the idea of creating out of nothing has a lot to do with the idea of “earth diving”.

how are ex nihilo stories different from earth diver stories?
how are ex nihilo stories different from earth diver stories?