World Building 101 – History

Over this month, I’ll be posting on world building. Throughout March, I’ll be posting on the basics of world building, geography, history, magic, religion, and government. Today, I’ll continue the series with HISTORY.

The history of a world can be pretty important. It can dictate the customs, traditions, and so on, of a nations peoples.
When creating the history, ask yourself, where did the people come from? Did they evolve, or did they migrate here? If they migrated, why? Perhaps where they came from was polluted, or they were banished. If the people evolved, decided a starting point for their civilisation. Which way did they expand?

Which races have traditionally fought against each other? Elves and Dwarves? Ogres and humans? Which races were allies? Which races traded amongst each other? Perhaps, if your Dwarves live in caves in mountains, they might trade with elves for wood and fruit/berries? In return, maybe they give elves gold or other minerals. Opals? Silver?

How do the different races communicate? Speaking English would be the most easiest option, but some authors *cough Tolkien cough* have created new languages. Perhaps there are different words for different languages. Eragon author Christopher Paolini came up with different words for different races. Perhaps you could do the same? But then you would have to think about a universal language. A language that everyone/most people could understand (like Latin, during the middle ages).

For each individual nations or race, you need to consider many things. Why did they settle there? Trade route, strategic location, for agriculture?
Also think about the heroes of each country. In America, they would be Washington and Lincoln. In Australia, they would be… um, James Cook (maybe??)
How do people make a living? Through farming? Fishing? Trade? A soldier, even?

Once again, this is only a guide. There are thousands of questions you could ask. Next time, I’ll be continuing this series with a post on magic.

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2 Responses to World Building 101 – History

  1. K.M. Weiland says:

    My first world-building experience (in the strict sense – technically I world build through research for my historical novels) came a few years ago when I wrote my fantasy Dreamers Come. I had a blast with it. All kinds of story opportunities open up when you truly understand your setting.

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