Sorry that this is late. I had an argument with my tablet last night... I lost. I celebrated its victory by crashing the app and deleting my post...*sigh*
But I won the war.... *evil chuckling at the low battery notification*
Okay, back to the topic at hand. Part two... lets make out world messy and nuanced. This post will explore: causes for conflict in your country; the customs that bind people together; and the daily grind that we call life.
Problem Three: Causes of societal conflict
All our worlds have conflict, if they didn't they are either a) a utopia or b) so unrealistic... if you're anything like me you've made the latter. So down the rabbit hole we go...
It seems to be everywhere in YA at the moment. And for good reason, a well thought out oppression can give your world some grit. It can add fuel to your character's fire. It can even add tension to normal daily life. It's pretty sweet when done right. I did not do it right. Here are some things to consider when creating a dystopian society:
The police are always the good guys right... well, no. The laws are there to protect me right... again, no. Let's stack the odds against our characters.
Last but not least, good old human vs human conflict. That nasty decay of attitude, (racism, sexism, ageism, et al.) that is like trying to punch the wind when you fight it. Good times (NB: this is not a good time). Now let's think about how to make some isms:
Problem Four: Customs
Customs are an important part of a society, they are the ways of doing thing that are accepted as normal; that identify a person as a part of that culture. I ignored this part and thus my civilians read like they were westerners stuck living in a fantasy world. There was nothing about how they interacted with the world, or each other, that made them unique. To not have euro-centric societies that are all kind of the same, have a think about the questions below.
Religion is often a feature in worlds; as people try to explain their origin, death and why things happen. If you are anything like me you made a religion but forgot about the customs that go along with worship. Here are some questions to help our more pious characters:
Customs of important events:
Not everyone celebrates birthdays. New Years is celebrated differently in different countries. When creating a culture it is important to look at what is important to them, what they celebrate and how they celebrate.
How do we say hello? Goodbye? A lot of what we do tells others what sort of person we are; if a hand is presented to us and we don't shake it we are seen as rude... kinda weird when you think about it. So what weird stuff do people do in your world?
Problem Five: Daily life
Ah, daily life. How little we think about it. We just slog through it hoping for something fun or interesting to distract us. But in world building, as I discovered, it is very important. Knowing these things will help you make rounded background characters and keep everything feeling... *does a hand joining together motion* ...cohesive.
So that concludes the mistakes I made when world building. Are there any areas that you find challenging that you would like me to write a post about? Comment below.
Next week... very exciting news!! We will be having guest bloggers who will share a little about their writing process and their genres.
Until next time, build the worlds that your characters will fight to save.