Writing Perspective – Day 17 of 31

By Valerie Routhieaux

Day 17 – Inhabitants

Today in world-building, I will discuss the inhabitants of your world. Are your inhabitants a completely different alien race? Are they human or non-human? Are they mythological or magical? Are they monsters? Are they on earth or another planet?

There is a lot you can do with your story. You can base your mythological, magical, and monster stories on earth or create another planet for your story or don’t name the planet or place of origin as was done with Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. All you have is a map of Middle Earth, you don’t know where it’s located.

In the Star Wars universe, George Lucas introduced you to a myriad of creatures, supposedly human in nature, some looking half animal and half human. In the wizarding world of Harry Potter, you know you’re on earth, particularly the UK in an unseen magical world only seen by wizards. Any human, muggle, who came in contact with wizards either have their memories wiped of all knowledge or are sworn to secrecy about wizards, as Harry Potter’s muggle family was.

Where do you start with your story? First, determine where it is. Are you on earth or in another galaxy? Next, determine your inhabitants. Are they humanoid, or extraterrestrial? Then you need to determine how they are the same as or different from humans. Do you have a combination of humans and extraterrestrial species? What are their life spans?

Once you determine your characters, you need to consider where they live and how they live? What are the main biomes of the planet? Are the plants and animals friendly or dangerous? Will they kill you or can you live side by side with them? Even on earth, we have deadly plants and animals. We have deserts and rain forests, and every ecological system living together to make the earth a living breathing planet. You need to determine the amount of land to water. Do your inhabitants dwell on land or in the water? What makes your inhabitants unique to what we’ve already seen from other authors? What makes your inhabitants stand out? Remember, if you thought of it, someone else has too, so how different can you make them to what we’ve already seen in books and movies?

Tomorrow’s Perspective: World History