In the Writing Away series of posts on my blog, I’ll be writing about random tidbits that come into my head during the writing process. Today, world-building.
Why I don’t want to focus on the dystopia aspect
As I’m going through my manuscript and editing my first draft, it’s interesting to see where the story has gone, as opposed to where I thought it would go. The first few chapters are full of random bits and bobs that are all very interesting, but are never mentioned in the story again.
This prompted me to think about the world-building aspect of my setting. I haven’t done a terrible amount of it, to be perfectly honest, but knew that I wanted to set the story in the future after a global disaster.
Which, I know, isn’t very original or inspiring these days. So my twist would be to not focus on how bleak and grey everything is, but instead to focus on a thriving medieval-ish society with remnants of modern technology scattered throughout.
By showcasing a vibrant society that is doing just fine, I wanted to circumvent the slightly worn-out trope of “society is in shambles, here comes the one hero to fix things”. As great as the Hunger Games books were in my opinion, I was personally beginning to feel the fatigue when I was reading the Divergent series.
So how does the world work?
In my opinion the amount of world-building I need to do (as a minimum) is everything related to “how the world works”. From plumbing down to electricity or this world’s economical system. How is the law enforced? What are the customs that survived this cataclysmic event?
Not that all this information would necessarily end up in my story, but for me writing it, it’s important to be consistent and somewhat believable (insofar as a futuristic medieval society can be believable).
It’s raised some interesting questions as I wrote a large group of people into living in an underground bunker, for example… we’ll see how it all works out. I hope to be moving towards alpha-readers over the next few months, so we’ll see what feedback I receive.