June 3, 2017
I love creating alternate fantasy worlds. I like to make them believable but fascinating. Here’s a little step into how I build them:
In Web of Deception, the world of the Four Kingdoms is vibrant with culture and history. I research elements I want, design histories that incorporate geography, climatic or geographic racial differences, climactic events, and culture clashes including the resulting epidemics, interracial blending, or wars that would have been. To me, when I read Swavarian, I see the history of the people that made them who they are.
Sometimes I love the world so much that I create alternate stories within it. For instance: the sharply contrasting cultures within the post-apocalyptic Earth world in the Realm of Earth series began with Grenadan stories focusing on the clashes between the militaristic tribe of Grenada with its central hub cities and primitive outskirt cities and the neighboring pacifist tribe of Camela in Source of Strength, Bold Worlds, and The Truth. This precariously perched world with one central militaristic tribe whose Guards enforce law and order in most of the ten tribes shows up again in the Brantley Station Saga with the wealthier, more technological Qualizidians dealing with the political requirement of allowing Guards in their underwater mining colony.
All Greek? No. All part of the Realm of Earth!
That’s the way I explore other cultures in our real world. I like to step into the shoes of different classes of people during whatever time and wiggle my toes around in them. I like to picture their daily lives, struggles, imagine what their dreams would have been, and understand their culture without today’s lenses clouding my judgment. It works for various cultures today too. How does one understand another culture easily?
Imagine you are a mother in it. What are your worries? You love your children (love is universal); your hope is for them to have the best. That I’ve found to be the easiest shoe for me to step into. But you have to be able to drop your preconceived notions about what “best” is. Here, in America, we have almost unlimited hopes and dreams. An early Greek family living in a smaller polis would be hoping the rains didn’t wash away their crops and dreaming for a winter free of sickness. They spent most of their day gathering food for the same day; as with most agrarian systems, they lived life connected to the seasons and their crops and animals. Even if we are fortunate enough to have a garden today, we can find readily available food almost anywhere for a price; we live connected to our jobs which provide us money that translates into food, shelter, and clean water. “Best” for them was survival. Their “Best” is what we take for granted.
When I build my worlds, I’m pulling bits from a myriad of cultures I’ve studied and attempt to morph them together in a believable way. Then I walk around in the shoes of the people I’ve created and pull their hopes, dreams, and feelings from what I would feel should their history be mine. Hopefully, this process creates some realistic characters and believable worlds for your enjoyment!
Thanks for reading!
Type at you next time,