Worldbuilding: Culture

Introduction

Within any story told, a world is created. Even set on Earth, your book needs to show the world around it from the smallest creature to the society and culture of your main characters.

One of the importance aspects of this is culture in your book and how it can enhance your writing.

 

What elements to think about?

Looking the part

What do your people look like? What kind of clothes do they wear and for what purpose? Aside from the obvious, are clothes worn for warmth or maybe as a way to show social standing?

Become an architect

Where do people live? What do the buildings look like and what are they made of? Where do the rich live compared to the poor?

Resources

Civilisations only thrive where they can be sustained. What resources do your people have to even live in the places they do? How do their extract these resources and what do they put them to use for?

History

The most important question about history is really how much of it effects your story. How did this world come to be? What made it this way? And what is the recent history still affecting the world?

Religion

Religion, has always played a big role in any society and how it is laid out.

So what do your people believe in? And how strict is that faith system? What consequences come of going against the faith?

Science and magic

How advanced is society and is it due to science, magic or both? Who has access to this and why? What does it do? Heal? Enhance Power? Used as Weapons?

writing (1)

Where to find them?

Steal a culture

This is the simplistic method. If your book mirrors WWII or the American Civil War you can rely on those cultures and their keystones with just a fresh pot of paint over the names and places. However while I definitely believe starting with an already existing culture and working your way off of it. Adding your own original flair is much better as you can easily be called out for just copying history and try to pass it off as fiction.

 

Research and BE CAREFUL

Most things to write about should be fun. However when it comes to burrowing cultures or society you need to be much more careful. The only advice I have is be careful and respectful when researching about said culture, especially when it’s not your own. Don’t try and give your view on it, you’ll do more harm than good, trust me.

 

Make a culture from scratch

This is (obviously) the hardest method to use but gives your book’s culture complete originality. The best advice I can give you is 1) You’re going to kill yourself and 2) Ask EVERY question. Everything matters to a culture both the above and more: family dynamics, culture norms, education, jobs and government system. You must ask EVERYTHING.

 

Conclusion

We have worked the through the big background pieces of your world and story, now it’s time to work on the specifics of your plot and characters. Good luck Xx

 

Further Reading

https://www.jsmorin.com/2014/01/creating-fictional-cultures/

http://www.well-storied.com/blog/an-easy-guide-to-crafting-fictional-cultures

https://alyssahollingsworth.com/2014/11/02/10-questions-when-you-create-a-fictional-culture/

3 thoughts on “Worldbuilding: Culture

  1. These six parts of a well written and engaging story are key aspects that are critically important, not only to Sci fi, but to historical, time-slip, and probably almost every book written or to be written. thank you for sharing. I am reblogging! Thank you, Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on K. D. Dowdall and commented:
    These six parts of a well written and engaging story are key aspects that are critically important, not only to Sci fi, but to historical, time-slip, and probably almost every book written or to be written.

    Like

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