World Building 1
January 29, 2018
World Building Part 3
February 10, 2018
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World Building 2

Hi guys, lets continue looking at world building.

If your story has a large group of people living and working in an small area, commonly referred to as a community. A form of governance will need to be considered, especially if the main characters are going to live and work in that setting.

For most stories the assumption that there is an authority is enough for the story to progress. However there might be a case when your character either is, becomes, or contends with the authority established in your book. The type of authority that is present in your setting needs to be at the very least considered so that you at least know what sort of response is reasonable for the authority.

There are two extreme poles of response the oppressive and the enlightened. The oppressive will come down hard on the characters for even the slightest misdemeanour while the enlightened might not even care.
Lets take a quick look at an example.

The main character drops some rubbish on the side of the road. How the authority responds to this will set the authority’s presence on the oppressive to enlightened scale.

The oppressive will seek that person out and either fine them or imprison them in jail for a couple of days. The enlightened will ignore the small piece of rubbish on the side of the road and might even have a street sweeper come in and clean the road.

The main difference between the two will ultimately be the how heavily the authority will influence the main characters choices. If the authority can be seen impacting ever choice the main character has to make that would be an oppressive authority if the government is barely presence except for the occasional guard or police officer then that is more of an enlightened government.

An oppressive authority can make a good antagonist to the main character driving them to do something to change the status quo. On the other hand the enlightened authority is so low key that whole story could run from start to finish without the authority even being mentioned.

The level and type of authority that is present your story is completely your choice, though what you choose will have an effect on the tone of the book. A main character fighting to overthrow an oppressive authority will start off dark. If the authority starts the story as enlightened then the tone of the story will be bright.

I know this is a simplified look at the authority but it is just something to get you thinking.

Let me know what sort of authority is present in your next work.

Keep reading, keep writing.

Peter.

2 Comments

  1. Sandy Cee says:

    I”m a Trekkie fan. In one episode the main away team is on a planet where there is no apparent law. Only that you must not trespass upon some grassed areas. The penalty is death. This is the planet’s God law. Eventually, the outcome is favourable as only can be in these episodes.
    My story is the Supreme God (of course every populace needs a God) and the authority(ies) come and are known as The Elders, or The Ancients who rule the land like Matriarchs/Patriarchs. However, there is always God who has the Supreme Rule.

    • peter says:

      Thank you Sandy.
      There has to be some form of law in the story you create. It could be unspoken or it could be the major tipping point for the story.

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