Hello everyone, and welcome back to Novel With Me! The series which takes you on a writing journey from start to finish.
Last week we continued our discussion on world building, and this week… we’re going to continue that discussion. If you would like a more in depth video on the subject, you can find it here.
Today on world building we’re talking about Law, Education and Economy.
There are four separate categories within law that we’re going to talk about. All are important to creating a realistic system in your world.
What determines a crime in your world? Remember that different cultures will view different actions as crime, and it’s your job to determine what.
Is there organised crime?
Are there any guilds, such as assassins or thieves?
Do white collar crimes such as forgery or fraud fit into your world?
Is there an area in your country which has a higher rate of a certain crime?
Who maintains the order, enforces the laws and hunts down criminals? Who keeps the peace? This will depend on the size of your city and who is in charge.
What is the procedure after catching a suspect? Are they questioned and locked up? Is torture the norm for getting information, or is it more interrogation? Is there a limit on what the officials can do to get the information they need, or does anything go?
And what about corruption? Can your officials be bribed, or bought off? Are there those who take payments to ‘protect,’ businesses, or those who cheat the system while committing their own crimes?
What laws exist in your world? Do they cover just crimes, or are there other laws that control other aspects of people’s lives?
What is the system for implementing the law?
What procedures and systems are in place in your world, and which crimes determine which procedure is used?
Do all who are found guilty share the same punishment?
Is there a different punishment for smaller crimes than there is larger? And what type of punishment do you use?
You have small punishments like fines, or imprisonment. Physical punishments like flogging, mutilating or branding. Maybe the crime warrants a public execution, or even banishment.
And do these punishments change depending on wealth and stature? A peasant committing a theft might get a thumb chopped off, but a noble involved in forgery might be able to weasel their way out of anything more than a fine.
When you think of the law, think of how that law can be broken, and how people can get around the law.
Does your culture favour knowledge as their education, or skills.?
Is there a school system? How young children are when they start learning? Who is able to attend? Does gender play a role in learning at all? Is education even required?
If someone wants a specific job, is there an academic path for them to take, or is higher learning reserved only for those who seek a high-powered job? Are there apprenticeships people can do instead of getting an education?
Who runs the education system? Is the system the same in every city or province, or does it change depending on where in the country you are?
This is heavily determined by your geographical location and your climate.
Your country needs to make money. Or it needs to make sure that there are enough resources for everyone.
What resources does your country have to offer?
How rare, or valuable your resources are, and what resources is your country lacking to create reason for trade.
How are your products produced? Which resources have the biggest production and how much labour is required?
How are your products and resources distributed?
Are there market places in your world, or travelling sales men?
How do your people pay for goods and services?
Are there banks in your world, or rich who lend money to the poor? Does lending money even exist?
If these elements aren’t important or focused on in your novel, don’t feel like you have to figure them out before you start. Or at all. World building is all about going to the depths you need for your novel, so don’t feel pressured into figuring out every detail.
Next week will be our final post on world building. Yay!
Good thoughts and happy writing