There is a lot that goes into worldbuilding. When you are creating a fully fictional place, that list gets even longer. So much influences the lives of your characters that might not be an obvious part of them. One of those things is government, or in some cases a lack thereof, so our first Worldbuilding Spotlight will be on the topic of fictional governments.
When dealing with creating a government, you have to consider what kind of government it is, how long that government has been in control, how people become part of the government, what percentage of the people have control over the government, whether the government has good intentions or bad ones, and so much more. You will also probably want to deal with how that government deals with other governments and how much they pay attention to what the common citizen of the place they are governing is doing.
I might be a little biased here, but I have most if not all of Kylie Day’s books on writing. Upon seeing that she had a character interviews on her website, I definitely needed to include a link to it for you to check out.
One interesting post I found on character interviews is by K. M. Weiland. The post, called 100+ Questions to Help You Interview Your Character does not play the same way as most interviews. It is more like a questionnaire to fill out. While I do prefer interviews that are in an interview format, this is still useful as it covers a lot of things you might consider asking about your character.
The questions start about a third of the way down after an introduction which includes a link to a free copy of a book she wrote on these questions and fifty more. Especially given that the book is free, it’s probably worth your time to grab it up and add some more to it.
This prompt, like some of the others was inspired by something I read. I took the bare basics and made them into a prompt. As written it works best in either fantasy or religious fiction, depending of course on if the religion in question has temples where healers can be found.
Let’s be real, that’s a lot of qualifications since that’s not usually what the people at temples are there for. Now there are exceptions, especially in polytheistic religions that have a god of healing or the like. And religious groups did found a large number of hospitals and clinics, so it’s not as if religion and healing are not officially connected in many ways. The question here is more people designated as healers (or doctors or nurses) who are headquartered in a temple or other religious building. That is what is less common.
Of course another part of this prompt is a war wary soldier, so that might make it more likely that a religious building was being used as a house of healing in addition to a house of worship.
In this prompt from Maris McKay, there are two very distinct characters in just eleven words. That is commendable and I think she did well in conveying that as she did.
Rightly or wrongly, the first character has a high self worth. It could be situational. It could be a constant in their life. It depends a lot on who the first person is. They could be the head of a company or even a country who is being treated differently than they normally would expect. Or they could be someone temporarily put in charge of something. It’s also possible that they have earned respect through achievements or elegant words. What ever the case is, they are used to getting respect and they are confused as to why they aren’t getting it in this situation.
Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants to be noticed by someone. In this prompt from Shauna Philp, the point of view character is reflecting on someone whom they wished would see them, someone they knew for a long time whom ultimately didn’t see them, perhaps until this point, perhaps at all.
It’s a little hard to imagine growing up with someone for so long and them never noticing your existence at all. It makes me wonder just how close their situation was growing up.
It says in the prompt that they grew up together, but that could mean a lot of things. Perhaps they grew up in the same neighborhood, but didn’t actually interact much. Or maybe they went to school together in the same class and yet didn’t interact much.
Relationships are hard. Anyone who ever tells you otherwise either has not been in a relationship recently or they are not the one putting in the effort in the relationship. It can be easy to coast in a relationship where someone else is putting in all the effort and not demanding anything of you. At least it can be easy for the person coasting. For the other person things are getting harder and harder, especially if the first person chooses to see every little thing as expected and gets annoyed if the other person’s efforts aren’t constantly upped.
This goes for any sort of relationship, a romantic one, a friendship, family. It even works in enmity, although in that one, you probably want the other person to quit making the effort.
I didn’t actually dig that deep with this one. I just picked a common phrase and played with dialogue involving it. Dialogue is a lot of fun for me. I see the characters in my head better when they are speaking than when they are being described in great detail, so dialogue is always interesting to write.
Creating a character can be pretty complex. There is a lot that can and often does go into it and sometimes you just don’t know where to start. You want a character who stands out and is memorable without becoming an improbable being who is boring to read. Your character has to be someone who not only you like but also your readers find interesting and want to know about. And that includes more than just your main character.
Of course if your main character is uninteresting, you probably won’t have too many people interested in finding out what happens to them, unless of course the whole point is to show case how they react to extraordinary situations outside their comfort zone.
Getting advise from an expert is always a positive. Orson Scott Card is well known in sci-fi communities and his website, Hatrack River, has a place for writers to come, look for advise, and give some of their own. The forum also has a place where you can sign up for a writers workshop hosted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury, a published author of both sci-fi and fantasy works.