Creating New Worlds: Part One: Overview

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

So, I decided this week to talk about creating new worlds. This applies mostly to Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories but I'm sure every one can take some of these tips and use them in all manners of writing.

No matter what we talk about this week, the thing that you must remember over all is that it must be believable. If you make up a location and a world, the reader must be able to believe that somewhere it could be possible. That is why this week I will go into great detail about building a new world.

There are so many things to our own way of life of how we name places and people, government, money, and even how we dress - so why wouldn't other worlds have these same things?

Do you have to go into ridiculous detail of history and politics for your new world? Not necessarily. We'll discuss this more over this week. Again, it all comes down to balance and the point of your plot. If you plot does revolve around political conspiracy, then yes you will need to know a great detail about the government of your world and how it works and operates - then ultimately how to bring it down or defeat it.

However, even if your novel doesn't need all that political stuff, you still should have a general idea of government for your new world. As an example, in "The Faery's Tale" the faery kingdoms are ruled by a monarchy - King and Queen. I did a lot of research about nobility titles and how they are passed down or granted. While it is not a huge point in my story, I wanted the titles of the characters to be as accurate as I could. I took that knowledge of the monarchy and made up my own system for the elves. I do not mention the specifics of government necessarily in the story, but again, accuracy is the key. If I had a person who was "Prince, Duke of Something" I wanted to make sure I had the right family member bear that title. (Which by the way, is the second son of the King and Queen.)

This type of research goes into all areas of making your world. Even language comes into play here! No, you don't need to go as far as Tolkien and make up an entirely new language. But think about how your characters would talk - or what language they would speak (even if you don't know it). The dragons in "The Faery's Tale" talk like people did in Shakespeare's time. So I had to do research on that. The faeries do speak another language but I don't need to make up words to show that really. It's a matter of word choice. My characters don't use the same slang or curse words we do, so I have to really concentrate on what I am writing and what they are saying so that I don't slip up! Again, research could be good here.

I have another novel where the characters sound British to me - but how do I convey a British sounding accent without using the word "British"? My husband provided the idea that they should use common British slang to clue in the reader! How genius! But as an American I had to again do research to find out some British slang terms.

If your kingdom has a large shipping port, you must do research on that to learn the proper terms for ship parts and maybe even a bit on docking procedures - depending on how much time your story takes place at the docks.

More to it than you thought huh? It's the little things that make a new or made up world believable! This week I'll talk about many different things that layer together to make a new world. Like I said before, you don't need to go overboard in the story to explain their government or religion unless it is prevalent to the plot - but if you have a character who does pray - how would they do that? What Deity would they pray to? That part you need to at least figure out. What about myths a character might tell their children? That's a story in and of itself!
Don't panic! We'll cover a lot this week but you'll find it really is easy to do! Just need some research and a big imagination!

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