When you begin a novel, there are many things that you need to consider. Characters, purpose, the setting, the genre, and the world.
Out of all these considerations, this week I would like to focus on the world in which your story takes place.
Designing the world takes a lot of time and care, especially if you are creating a brand new world of your own.
Restrictions and Laws
What’s one way to make your world feel realistic? Laws and restrictions need to be established in the world, customised to fit the overall story.
For instance, if you are using today’s modern world for your characters to uncover a mystery then you need to take into consideration the laws and restrictions that follow.
Additionally, if you are including something like magic into your world then you need to set restrictions for it. There needs to be a limit on what it can accomplish and that needs to be stated in your work. Otherwise, the reader may begin to think that all of the protagonist’s problems can be dealt with using their magical ability.
Customs, Religions, and Beliefs
In your world, are their gods that the inhabitants believe in? Do different groups have different beliefs or just slightly modified versions? Are their rituals that they perform? Are there sacred places? Is there tension over which faith to believe?
This isn’t a requirement, but it is good to consider. As shown in today’s world, many people have beliefs and religions.
In your world, however, such things may not exist. Or maybe they do, but if so then it is good to plan to make it as believable as possible.
When designing the world, you need to be able to convey to the reader what the currency is.
Having a set currency rate will help to establish how the world works, for instance, one gold coin is equivalent to five silver coins.
Of course, purchasable items need to be established with an appropriate cost value. For instance, if it has been established that jewellery costs anywhere from 10 gold coins, then you wouldn’t have your protagonist by a loaf of ordinary bread for 12 gold coins. That is unless it has been established that food like bread is more costly than jewellery in this economy.
Those are my three recommendations for creating a world for your novel. As always, if you have any tips in mind that you would like to have included in future posts, please feel free to comment them below or to message me on Twitter.