||"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Chinese Proverb
Creating a fictional world is a journey that can start in many places and end in many more. For some, a story starts the world. For others, it’s a character, a concept or a mental image. There is
no right or wrong way to start the journey.
With any journey, neither the beginning nor
end matters as much as what’s developed in
between. The world, real or fictitious, needs
numerous details including: climate, weather,
wildlife, plant-life, culture, government, religion
and many more. Each is a goal post as important
as any other. For it’s the details that make the
world come alive.
Determining the starting point for your journey,
if it doesn’t come in a burst of inspiration, can be
daunting. Outlines can be very helpful. List each
detail as a bullet. Post at least three examples
beneath each bullet. When the first draft is done,
read through it, revise and repeat. The details
will slowly build the foundation of the world.
Beyond the physical aspects of the world are
cultural. Social standings, interaction and religion
are as important as climate and terrain. What
type of relationships, both social and personal,
exist? How do government and religion affect
day-to-day lives? What is important, required
and/or taboo? Picture your characters dressed for
different events. What do they wear? What do
they say? How do they stand? For a character is
much more than hair and eye color.
A journey worth taking is not simple. There
will be obstacles to overcome. Questions to
research. Puzzles to create and solve. Whether
you are writing a short story or a novel, it begins
in the same place. Take that step and create.