World-Building 101: Inhabitants (Bonus Writing Weekend #7)

NewYork

Terribly sorry that this post didn’t go up yesterday. I literally had no downtime to write it, so here it is one day late:

For the previous world-building posts, click these links:

Setting
Rules
History

After talking about the basis for your story’s world, I’m going to talk about inhabitants. These are the people that live in your world. Depending on your story, you might already know a lot about them.

Stories set in the real world or worlds similar to ours have inhabitants ready-made for your story. All you have to do is watch people around you, study their language, watch how they behave, etc. This is also appropriate to do if your story is set in the real world, but some characters have superpowers or magic. It may be important for them to try to blend in.

Stories set in previous time periods require research, as said before. You’ll want to know how those people talked, how they dressed, how they behaved, how they got around. If your story is about a real witch during the Salem witch trials, you’ll need to research those so your reader (who may already be very knowledgeable about the subject) will be engrossed in your story. Going into a book like that, readers want to know that you did your research. They don’t want to know more than you because they don’t want to see historical errors.

The amount of research needed for historical stories is similar to the amount needed for stories set in different cultures. Unless you’ve lived there, you probably won’t know all the nuances of Japanese culture despite how much Anime you watch.

If you’re creating a world completely from scratch, your inhabitants can be whoever you want them to be. They can have magic or superpowers or be like normal people. But even though you have more free reign, looking at the people around you and studying their behavior will still benefit your book. What is it that make your people happy? Sad? Stressed? And then how to they show these emotions? People are people, regardless of where they live, and readers want see believable emotions.

Bonus: Writing Weekend #7

For the previous writing weekend challenges, check out these links:

Setting
Rules
History

Here are your questions to help you think about the inhabitants of your story:

1. What type of people are they? Mythical? Magical? Real-world? Some combination?

2. What is their main method of transportation? Walking? Driving? Flying?

3. How do they get their food? Do they have to hunt for it? Do they buy it?

4. What do they eat?

5. How do they make a living?

6. What language do they speak?

7. What are their customs like (regarding visiting friends/family, eating, holidays, etc.)?

8. What is their religion, if any?

9. How do they react to their form of government? Are they satisfied? Rebellious? How do they express this?

10. Do the children go to school or are they taught useful tasks by parents/mentors to prepare them for life on their own?

Thanks for following my world-building posts. I hope they have been helpful. Come back next week for a bonus post on world-building!

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2 thoughts on “World-Building 101: Inhabitants (Bonus Writing Weekend #7)

  1. Pingback: World-Building 101 Bonus: Setting as a Character | Write, Love, Breathe

  2. Pingback: Writing Weekend #8 | Write, Love, Breathe

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