World Building For Every Genre
This is the study of family history and the tracing of the character’s lineage. In your world it appears as the portraits of ancestors on the walls of the noble mansions, and the in tombs, and the graveyard statues. Especially, if your character is royal, or the ruler of a small kingdom, or of noble kinship, even a village aristocrat, the reader will want to learn about their lineage. People of ancient times presented themselves regularly with their family trees. The question: “Who are you” is usually answered by a presentation of the father, the mother and the tribe. The traditions passed from one generation to the next, the names of places and family history – they are all part of the culture of your world.
To be sustained your world needs to have people who work in architecture and engineering, arts, design, entertainment, sports and media, business and finances, community and social service, construction, education, farming, fishing and forestry, food preparation, health care, law, management, military, personal care, production, sales and transportation – at the very least. Now their sports may not be like any sport on Earth, and their businesses may differ drastically from what we are used to, and there might be more fishermen than paperback writers in your world, but the reader will want to know what your characters do for a living.
For some peculiar reason all the citizens of a quarter of the town may be dressed in white. Writers are fascinated with apparel, so much that their characters wear on different occasions stuff like: bracelets, gloves and sleeves, belts, coats, mantles, raincoats, jackets, dresses, kimonos, kirtles, gowns, burqas, cocktail dresses, corsages, petticoats, boots, shoes, sandals, jeans, necklaces, ponchos, saris, skirts, suits, tops and undergarments and that’s not all! These come in all colors and fashions and make the characters trendy. Thematic parties are something writers love organizing for their characters…and sometimes for their fellows in real life as well – like Truman Capote’s Black and White Party – which was the event of the year.
Now here you may be original. The vampires feed on blood, normal people feed on all kinds of exotic stuff like: stews, soups, snacks, sauces, sandwiches, salads, pies, noodles, dips, pastes and spreads, desserts, confectionery, appetizers, sea-food and cereals, as well as meat, eggs, breads, edible nuts and seeds, mushrooms, edible plants and legumes. Now if we must extend this list, we may add to it say the culinary fruits: mango, grape, elderberry, chestnut, hazelnut, banana, plum, coconut, apple, guava and hundreds of others. You may invent a meal such as a cherry cake with English mustard. Food is an important part of your worlds culture – it’s an occasion for your characters to get together in an informal environment.
Rituals and Holidays
Rituals and holidays are part of the tradition of communities. Christmas, Candlemas, Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, International Women’s Day, April Fools’ Day, Earth Day, May Day, Halloween, Samhain, Thanksgiving, Saint Nicholas’s Day and of course New Year’s Eve are among the popular holidays, which you may study to invent the holidays in your own world.
It comes from Greek and means “science of craft.” It’s the collection of skills, techniques, methods and processes, which are used in the creation of goods and services. Some of the technologies of the Paleolithic age were fire, clothing and shelter. Then on stage came metal tools, energy and transport, and later the Industrial Revolution brought with it steam power, electricity, flight, and advancements in medicine, science and engineering. Then telephones, computers – the world of today is full of technology. In a fantasy setting – this could be Aphrodite’s magick pearl, which lets her perform all sorts of high fantasy magickal spells. Other samples of technologies throughout different cultures and ages were: writing systems, mummification, papyrus, wheel, glass making, pottery, abacus, watermill, horseshoe, sword, chariot, calendar, map, pendulum, optical lenses, paper, refrigeration, the airplane, the telephone, the radio and of course the Internet.
History is the academic discipline, which discovers and analyzes past events and their cause and effect. How your world came into being? Was it invented by mischievous Gods, or an alien experiment? What kind of peoples inhabited it and what is peculiar in their Rulers? What were the nicknames of its kings? Which were the best and the worst events it has witnessed? Does it resemble any other culture that you are already familiar with? Can you name any periods of time to organize the knowledge about your world? Such as the Age of the Dragon, the Month of the Poppy or the Week of the Hedgehog?
Your people will most likely turn to religion in their sufferings. Religion is a system of beliefs, world views based on sacred texts, worshipped in holy places, celebrating the divine, the supernatural or Gods…through the use of rituals, sermons, festivals, feasts, prayer, music, art. It is supposed to give life a meaning and to try to explain the origin of everything. So develop a religious book for your people. They want to know that when you die, you don’t just disappear.
Family Life and Structure
For some reason Lady F creates characters who are polyamorous and for that reason – polygamous. Polyamory is the practice of having romantic and intimate relationships with more than one partner. Polyamorous people value fidelity and loyalty, communication, trust, honesty, dignity and respect.
How do your characters learn about everything around them? How they learn High Magick, Dragon Riding, Bunny Raising, Raisin Tasting and all kinds of wonderful virtues of your world? Dining etiquette, Pet Care, or the more trivial Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math…