Welcome to Part 4 of my World Building blog series 😀 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 🙂

Relationships are going to be one of the big building blocks of your story. If your MC isn’t in a romantic pairing, they’re going to have friendships, or maybe they’re an island unto themselves and that’s part of the plot. There are so many types of relationships and even if you’re not putting your MC into one for your story, chances are they’re going to encounter other people who are in relationships.

Does your society place more value on romantic or platonic bonds? Why? Are there any restrictions as to who can enter into these bonds with one another? Are there stigmas, laws or taboos that inhibit people from one group forming bonds with individuals in another group?

What is the average age people in your world tend to get married? At what age is someone considered an adult and are there protective measures against people under this age from being married? How much does love and consent play into marriage in your world? Do people get to choose or are marriages arranged?  If marriage ceremonies exist in your world, what is involved in them? Is there an option for religious vs civil marriages and what are the differences between them?

Relationships are a great opportunity for you to write diversely. Consider the possibilities of these relationships where one or both (or more) of the people are:

  • Part of different classes/wealth strata
  • Part of different races
  • Part of different religions
  • Part of different cultures
  • Polyamorous
  • Homosexual/bisexual/pansexual/asexual, etc.
  • Genderfluid or non-binary

All of these things can be considered with platonic relationships as well as romantic relationships. Develop friendships and relationships that are diverse and engaging. The important thing is that you’re aware of how the differences are going to influence the relationship within the context of your world. It doesn’t have to have the same restrictions as real life, that’s the great thing about fantasy.

How does your MC feel about marriage and relationships? How does their family/friends feel about the type the MC is involved/wants to be involved in? How does society feel about it? People are generally not isolated and will have some sort of romantic or platonic relationship with someone. The friends and love interests of your story are your supporting cast, make them interesting and engaging. You can explore your full cast and how their differences enrich the story.

Relationships are a huge part of people’s live and identities. The presence (or lack) of relationships, the qualities and types, can have huge impacts on your characters and the story itself. Treat relationships of all types with respect and you can build an interesting and enriched story out of them.

Happy writing!

-Erin