There are plenty of Fictional Universes that come to mind when I write this. Eragon. Lord of The Rings. Star Wars. These are stories told within a place that people adore. And I mean ADORE. They will go nuts over them.
They draw fanart, write fanfiction, decorate rooms based off the books, make them into blockbuster movies…Yeah…I think we can all agree that our current day culture loves fictional universes. And as writers, our common dream is to write the next ‘big thing.’ The thing fans will be waiting in line at midnight to buy. The thing people will be quoting and planning movie marathons over. A realm existing solely in your pure imagination.
But let’s back the truck up. Where do we begin? I mean, how do we write an amazing series bubbling at the brim with details you want readers to remember after they after read The End on the final installment to the series?
That’s what I want to break down starting today. However, I find this to be a complicated subject with many things to discover, which can’t be cut down to fit into one blog post. So that’s why I am creating this blog series: How To Create a Fictional Universe Your Readers will Love. And to be honest, I don’t know how long this is going to last. I’m just going to write until I feel I have nothing more to say. And if there comes a day when I do know when I plan on ending this series, I will let you know. Until then…On with the Series!!! 🙂
The foundation of any fictional universe begins and ends with characters. I mean, it’s characters we are writing about here–no setting or plot can be the savior of conflict. (I guess it could, but it’d be a pretty boring story.) So we are going to talk about race today. And keep in mind, even if you do have more than one race, which I highly encourage, I suggest using this formula for only one race of people at a time, so you are not overwhelmed.
Start by choosing the races in your world. Is this going to consist of traditional medieval races such as humans, elves and humans, or are you going to do something different, like maybe Merpeople, vampires and goblins? There are a whole lot of choices to choose from. However, I suggest putting a unique twist to all your races to make them memorable. For example, having werewolves whose specialty are inventing things, and are more advanced in their races than another. This is identical to my elves, who happen to use typewriters, running water and daffodil telephones.
WRITERS BE WARNED!!!
If you DO plan on using a familiar race such as elves, be prepared to make MAJOR changes to them in order to make them unique and solely your own creation. The last thing readers want is to have another Lord of The Rings. In my case, I made my elves have more of a steampunk theme, instead of pastel-angel-like-beauties. And they are not born immortal, as I was not fully interested in that aspect of them. Instead, they must take an expedition to blessed waters when they come of age. And not all elves have this option. Not all can use magic. They do not always look young, being this is a terribly unrealistic thing. Yeah.
Now that you have (hopefully) chosen a race to focus on, and a theme for them, making them more unique than ever, it’s time to move on. I have never written on creating a map for a story, as I am no expert myself, I am going to naturally assume you have a map and geography-related stuff already determained. (If not, Check Out this Blog post) So, you need to decide where this race is located. This will determine many things for you. Are they everywhere, or they located primarily within one certain area?
Once this is figured out, you need to note what the weather is like, and how this will effect your people. For example, is it snowy? What kinds of jobs might your elves do if they lived in a cold climate? Do they sell ice? Are they growing some plant which can only be planted in the winter? (This could be quite interesting. Hmmm…)
This Concludes pt.1 of our blog series on creating a fictional Universe. By today, you have determined what race you will primarily focus on, where they live and what their main occupation they have. Don’t be afraid to continue to brainstorm for your race. Making them more in-depth will add dimension to your writing.
What race will you be focusing on during the course of the series? Where do they live, and what is the climate? Does this pre-determine any occupations for you? Answer in the Comments Below!