Writing Fantasy

Writing Fantasy || Setting 3 – Society

Who Lives In Your Fantasy World?

You have the freedom to create an entirely new world from your own imagination! How amazing is that? You get to decide everything that happens in this world and who lives there. You’ve already decided how you’ll be inspired and what your world looks like. Now you’re going to put your character database together. What type of world is this?

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Your World’s Society, Technology & History

Before you can create your characters you’ll need to know what goes on in the world around them and how they fit into this world. (However, if you’ve already drawn up an extensive list of characters and decided what they eat for breakfast, no problem, don’t waste all that creativity, just create the society around them and let it unfold from there.) Here are some things to consider about your world:

Social Norms
• What kind of work do they do?
• What’s their educational system like?
• Do they own businesses or trades?
• Are there male and female or children, how do they develop?
• What religious beliefs are in play? How do they worship? Write down some of the moral values.
• Is there a law enforcement system? How is it run?
• Is it a democratic society, dictatorship or monarchy?
• How do they communicate? Is there more than one language?

• Does your world run on electricity, steam or natural resources?
• What about transportation?
• How do your characters communicate long distance?
• What do they do for fun?
• Are there warring factions?
• What are their weapons?
• What significant events have shaped the history of this world?

 

Ask Yourself, “If This Is True, Then What Needs To Happen?” #WritingFantasy

• If characters go to work in cities, then where do they live?
• If in high-rise buildings, then how do they get to the top floors?
• If by elevators, then how are they powered?
• If by electrical power, then how is it generated?
• If by water, how is it produced?
• If by rain, how is it stored?
• …
You get the idea. Here we have characters that live in high-rise buildings where they get to their apartments by taking an elevator which is powered by electricity produced by water which is held in reservoirs outside of the city. You can go on from there, filling in the “If This, Then What..?” questions until all the questions about your characters’ needs are met in their world. You only need the details that are relevant to the characters. There’s no need to write long unnecessary descriptions which will only bore your readers. You just need to know how they do what they do. Remember to show this in your writing, don’t tell it. (More on this later).
You may need to go back and add transportation routes, such as wide rivers and ports for boats, roads for trades’ people, or something like train tracks to your world map. Add any changes as you write your story so you don’t forget the details.

The easiest way to figure this out is to put yourself in the shoes (hairy feet, hooves) of your characters. Walk around in your world as them and see what you need. Have fun!

Until next time, I hope you are blessed.

Lynne

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