For the Love of Writing #2.2 - Further Development and Destruction of Fantasy Worlds


Along with being a voracious reader, I'm also a pretty crazy writer who'd love to one day become a published author.  For the Love of Writing will be a regular feature on my blog where I will be talking about my writing process, the resources I use and I will also be sharing wonderful posts about writing from across the blogosphere! Let me know how you like this feature in the comments!

↤ For the Love of Writing #2.1 - How I develop (and destroy) Fantasy Worlds

Continuing with the world building post from last time here we have the next step!

Step Four - Society

So now, society is quite a broad term and this step probably seems like a ginormous one. I'm going to try my best to make this easy for you. 
There are three ways of forming your society -
1. Base it off a real world society
2. Mix and match various features of different real world societies
3. Create your society from scratch.


I use a mix of 2 and 3.  I research old civilizations mostly - Egyptian, Greek, Indus Valley and such. And then I give it my own touch. BUT KINDLY PEOPLE, AT THIS POINT, make sure you don't warp original traditions and you don't show any real world culture/society in a bad manner. Like I said before, write respectfully and after you have researched a lot (If you're going with 1
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What are the points to work on when developing the society? Buiding the society is like building a web. Developing one aspect leads to another and it keeps going until everything is detailed.


Remember Step 2? (Religion and Magic) let's refresh what I said at the end You need to decide how huge a part magic will play in your world and if everyone is allowed to perform magic.- Now is the time to flesh this part out. Decide if within a society there are different sects of people; Are there people of different religions living in the  society together? Or does your religion itself have various sects within. Is everyone equal in front of the law? What are the basic laws and rights of the people?

And talking of religion, holidays are an important part. decide when they celebrate festivals and for what. Festivals bring the society closer and play great plot devices too. 

We formed a belief system in Step 2, now you need to flesh it out. If you have a pantheon, this is when you flesh out the deities in a pantheon, what they stand for and who prays to them

Due to such questions arising during the building of a society, now is a good time to decide what kind of Government rules your land(s) - Monarchy, Democracy, Aristocracy, Oligarchy etc. Now ask yourselves the above questions again. Do your answers fit? You don't want mistakes here! You don't want to say it's a democracy and introduce concepts of Kings, Queens and Crown princes. Everyday life of the people in your world go hand in hand with the government and laws. So structure them both in a parallel manner, making sure they don't contradict each other.
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Remember Step 3? At the end of step 3, we talked about agriculture and decided what would be the major crops of your world. This is important for society because life revolves around food. If the wealth is distributed unevenly among the inhabitants of your world, it would show in the food. Does everyone eat the same crop? Can everyone afford the same crops? 

Now extend it to animals too. In Step 3, you decided what animals you have in your world. Now you have to think of meat and other animal products. Does everyone eat meat? Milk and milk products? What else do people get from animals? Leather? Fur? 

This leads you to clothes which are a huge part in society. Can everyone afford the best clothes? Can the well off and the poor people be differentiated by their clothes? Plants provide clothes too! There's cotton, flax and linen. Does everyone own them all?

All these depend of the financial status of a person. Decide how people pay. Coins made of precious metal, stone? Notes? Or do they have a barter system?

How are the houses? How does the financial status of a person affect the house they live in? Due to these number of questions that arise, there's no one way to develop society. I'll just say start with any of the questions from above. Once you answer one question, see how your answer affects other segments of society. Move on to that segment. Ask questions, and keep going that way until you have highlighted all the key points of society - GOVERNMENT, LAWS, RELIGIOUS SECTS, INTERACTIONS BETWEEN SECTS, FOOD, CLOTHING, HOUSING, METHOD OF FINANCE, HOW MONEY AFFECTS THE OTHER SEGMENTS.

Now if like me you love intense world building, go deep into each of these segments of society. I will explain each segment from the next post in this series onwards. 

Below are some links that have helpful articles and ideas about forming the various segments of society - 

Food for the People on FANTASY FACTION
Thinking about Food in Fantasy
Society in Story
Holidays in Fantasy Fiction
Using the Creation story to design a belief system

That's it for today folks! I'll be talking about the aspects of society in detail in FTLOW #2.3 and 2.4 so stay tuned!

Did you like this post? Did you find it useful? Do you do any of these steps similar to me?

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