Tag Archives: culture

Writing Perspective – Day 21 of 31

By Valerie Routhieaux

Day 21 – Culture

When you start with your idea, you put your characters in a setting and give him or her a personality, good or bad, along with all the problems that culture brings with it. You decide.

Today I conclude the science fiction world-building series with culture. Culture ties in everything discussed in world-building – environment, history, inhabitants, religion, and magic. Who you are is your culture. It is found in every genre, not only science fiction. Culture encompasses the food you eat, where you live, customs, religion, language, technology or lack thereof, government, money, occupations and the list expands. Everything revolves around culture.

As the author you have complete say over your characters, what they believe, where they live, this planet or another, how they live – rich or poor, who has authority over them – government, friends, parents. You make the rules and you must follow the rules you make. Your reader will accept your story if you stick to your rules.

Think about every book you’ve read, every movie you’ve seen. What did you like about it or not like? Did it stick to the rules the author laid out? Was the culture clearly seen in the way everyone related to each other?

Think about the earth. Where do you live, what is your culture? Could you easily move to another place on the planet and adapt to that culture or would there be culture shock as you got used to another society’s ways?

As the writer, how do the characters adapt if you relocate them to another city or country on your planet? Is the currency the same? There are a lot of variables to think about.

I recommend choosing a few basics so the reader doesn’t need to think about how everything works together because it does. Do you have anything to add to culture or any other aspect of world-building?

Thanks for reading.

Tomorrow’s Perspective: Self-Publishing