Developing the technology of your world
When you set out to write speculative fiction, many times you’ll be writing within a world very different from our own. Whether your story is set in ancient times or the far future, your people will still have a set understanding of science and, thus, a certain level of technology.
In order for your readers to feel oriented within your fictional world, it’s important for you to establish what kind of technology they can expect to find within your book. Any deviation from what is “normal” will need to be clarified and used consistently. If your world is mostly medieval but they’ve discovered radio communications, that needs to be made clear and it needs to make sense…otherwise the random radio in the middle of the stone, torch-lit castle will be very jarring.
Using prophecies in fantasy without making eyes roll
Good ol’ stand-bys, ubiquitous fantasy tropes, are difficult to avoid. And sometimes we don’t want to avoid them. Goddammit, sometimes you just need a good, solid prophecy to write the story your want to write.
“It’s not my fault all these other people before me have written prophecies, too!” you say.
And you’d be right. Unfortunately, they did. So us modern-day writers have to live with the it. So what do you do when you want or need to use a well-worn trope?
Know the trope. Make it your own.
Foundation of currency and its use
Money! My fictional world needs money!
No worries. If you’re writing a fictional country, nation, kingdom, or alliance that uses currency, then chances are you’re going to need to make one up. All you or your fictional country need to start a currency are three basic things:
Is it possible to have a planet without a certain kind of environment? Like a world without tundra or deserts?
In a word: Absolutely!
In many, many more words (and a picture):
You have several options here. The first and most obvious one is simply this: Do whatever the hell you want. If you want your world to have never seen snow, then go for it! No rainforests? Be my guest!
But since you’re asking about possibilities, I’m assuming you want something more scientific than that. And I’m always happy to oblige.
So your fictional world needs its own language, huh?
I guess your first question should be: How much of a language do you need?
There are several levels of fictional language that you can utilize for your world. It really just depends on a.) how/how much you’ll use it b.) how important it is to the setting and story and c.) how much work you as a writer want to put into your world that most likely won’t make it into your novels.
Deepening Social and Political Conflict in your Fiction
In many speculative fiction works, war or civil unrest is common. Sometimes a given. And yet so often, these grand, world-shattering wars are shallow when looked at straight-on. If you think about the history of the conflict or the spark that sent the nations to war, you can come up kind of dry. A lot of readers are tired of “WAR” being the default backdrop of a story, especially when it’s used as a prop rather than handled with the care it should be.
So how do you make sure that your social and political conflicts don’t just provide a canvas to your story, but help deepen and strengthen the world and the characters therein? Simple! Just do a little thinking!
“DON’T INFO DUMP,” said every writing-advice-giver ever.
And that advice is so annoying, isn’t it? You’re going along, writing your first draft…or maybe you’re revising your old draft…whatever stage your in, if you’re trying to build a world in a well-paced, interesting story, then it can be difficult to find places for brief bouts of exposition and backstory.
It would be so much simpler to just have a paragraph or seven where you spout out all of the relative information in one go so you can get to the meat of the scene. Or maybe you could find a way to use your powerful brain waves to transfer all that information to your reader. Or…can information be absorbed intravenously?