As writers we often find ourselves wanting to create brand new worlds for our stories. We want these worlds to be as real as Narnia and Middle Earth, so we put a lot of time and energy into bringing them to life.
In my own struggles to create such a world I ran into a few things that ended up bringing life to my fictional universe in an unexpected way. Hopefully, these ideas can get your own creative juices flowing as well.
This one may seem a little unorthodox, unusual, or even down right weird, but trust me, if you want to bring your world to life try figuring out where the waste of the world goes.
Waste is every where. What our fictional countries do with their waste says a lot about their priorities, intelligence and hygiene.
Consider Rome with it's advance aqueducts, bathhouses and indoor plumbing. Or the way medieval England simply dropped feces onto the streets and in their rivers. The look, feel, and smell of those two countries would have been totally different than each other.
Don't stop there though. Ask yourself how those things can affect your characters.
Every country has a government. Where more than a handful of people gather there will be conflict, and they will have to come up with ways to deal with that conflict in a way that will preserve their community.
How our fictional governments function, who runs them and what they protect (i.e. what it values) will shape everything about the world our characters move through.
So much story conflict can be added just by delving into ways the government of our fictional worlds can mess with our characters.
Religion is big in all cultures. From tiny islands to the biggest empires, religion is prominent in each. This is no doubt because God created us to know Him and the devil has realized that the best way to keep that from happening is to create false religions to distract us from the truth.
Whatever the case, even atheists can not deny that religion, myths and legends play a huge role in societies around the globe.
This gives us a great opportunity to add depth to our writing, whether or not our goal is to write Christian fiction.
So ask yourself: What kind of myths does this new world have? What kind of heroes do they sing about? What kind of supernatural punishments lie in the wind for those who sin? All of these questions can add realism to our worlds.
In order for fictional worlds to be believable they need to mirror the real world. So, don't be afraid to ask some weird questions about the worlds you are trying to create. Even if you end up not using any of the answers in your actual story, all of the work will inevitably bleed through the pages for readers to enjoy.
Are there any world building questions you think add depth to new worlds? What do you think about the above suggestions? As always I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I hope you all have a great week.