I don’t mean to say that your world isn’t as exciting and interesting as the story you want to tell. I only mean to say that it’s less weird than you think. Tell me, what is weirder? A sentient, carnivorous plant, or the fact that World War I was started by an assassin who, minutes earlier, had failed to assassinate his target, only to have them come back to where he sat, dejected, on the sidewalk?
Or how about this: at one point a battle was stopped and peace brokered because of a solar eclipse. A major geopolitical event was influenced by the movements of the moon. Or better yet, the existence of peanut allergies. That’s weird from a worldbuilding perspective, to most folks it’s a yummy snack to some it’s a death sentence. All this to say that sometimes weird stuff happens. When building a world we do well to remember this and to use it shamelessly.
Why not pick a time in history, look at everything going on in the world at that time, and then build your world’s geopolitics off it? Especially great if you’re a history buff or just love you some maps. Take some time and think about the arms race that kicked off World War One, or how tensions with the Persians led the, usually contentious, Grecian city states to unite. Consider that the political nature of those states was partly driven by mountain ranges and bodies of water causing them to develop distinct cultures and organizing principles.
When you compare the real world to yours is it really all that weird? Why not mine this planet’s history to add some color to the setting of your story?
Trust me. It’ll only make it weirder.
Stay tuned for more writing from the WorldCraft Club as we explore worldbuilding and the crafting of fictional settings to inspire your creativity.
We’re happy to host guest blogs on here whenever we can, it gives James a break and let’s other people contribute their ideas. Let us know if you have a worldbuilding concept or strategy to get off your chest, we’d love to hear it.