Well, after a brief pause from world building, we return with the second phase of progression: civilization. After you have established the geography of the world, it’s time to develop the history.
Every story is only as good as its history. The best stories are ones that have deep, well developed backgrounds that extend centuries into the past. Your backdrop is vital to the shape of current events and establishes a connection between the world and the reader. The more descriptive you are in the details of the land, the kingdoms, and the culture, the more interesting your story will become.
When you create a world, it’s not enough to only create a surface for your story, you need a depth to it. A story is not a circle, it is a sphere, a multi-dimensional orb that is the culmination of every necessary element. The progression of your characters, the knowledge of your reader, and the impact of your story all find their effect in the depth into which you go to create it.
What are the ingredients of a good civilization?
At the formation of any kingdom is government, a legislative organization to create codes and rules to protect the populous. A solid governmental hierarchy is tantamount to any great civilization. The question to follow is: what form of government?
Democracy? Aristocracy? Anarchism? Republic? Monarchy? Dictatorship? Communism?
Well, democracy is the obvious choice for the intermediate world builder; simple to set up, has a good track record, and is the most well know of the presbytery type, communal government. Democracy is a peoples’ governments, not a autocracy run by one man, and gives you leeway to be intuitive.
For the beginner however, monarchy is the choice of the lot. It’s the standby government for fantasy and medieval stories and is practical set up for you. Your standard everyday kingdom is run by a king, which is… clue: monarchy.
Communism is not even a legitimate form of government as there is no practical example of it working. In most cases someone always ends up on top of the community and it converts into a dictatorship.
Anarchism is also inconsistent. Though fun to toy with, it’s difficult to work a no laws, every man for himself kind of government.
For the expert, aristocracy is immensely entertaining to work with as it is composed of many aristocrats whose position in legislature has been passed down by their fathers. This tribunal of governors is unique.
My personal favorite is Rebuplic, a kind of conglomerative, cooperative organizational government, with stages and levels of legislature and law enforcement to keep a clean, balanced government.
However you figure it, the government is the groundwork for the civilization. What form of government you choose determines the direction of your civilization. The best kinds of government are implanted with checks and balances to prevent any one person from taking absolute power.
The government provides your stability, no matter how corrupt it may or may not be. Government is square one, from there, everything else is decided by legislature created by that government. Your independent factions and institutions all line up afterward. If you start right, you’ll finish right.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist