Welcome to Part 20 of my World Building blog series :D I’ll be covering just about every topic I can think of that goes into world crafting. If you have any topics you’d like me to write about, please let me know :)
How did your world get into its current state? What is the current political, economical, social, etc. situation and what happened to create it? Was there a long and bloody war? Was there conflict in succession? Revolution? Famine? An era of peace and prosperity?
Understanding the history of your world is integral. The history is where your traditions come from, where stories are rooted, where the foundations of the current world are built. Your history is a compilation of all the world building facets we’ve looked at so far. If you look back at what you’ve created so far with your cultures, chances are you already have a decent start at the history of your world.
How was each country formed? Are your characters part of an indigenous population? Are they colonizers? Conquerors? What is the history for how each group of people came to live where they do now?
What is the political relationship between countries and how did they get to be that way? If your main setting has unfriendly neighboring nations, what happened in their history to make that happen?
How have patterns of immigration, colonization, trade, etc. influenced the make up of your world? How recent or distant are those events and how does it impact the treatment of those groups in the setting of the story?
How is your knowledge of history as the creator different from that of the characters? Remember that the experiences of oppressed people are often written out of history so your characters may have an entirely different version of events than what actually happened. How does this fuel prejudice and cultural norms?
History is a long and complex interweaving of events that create the world we live in. You don’t need to go into the same complexity when developing your world, though you can if you want to, but you should be aware of why your world is the way it is and what lead it to be that way. The different groups of people in your world are going to have different histories, so be aware of that as well.