Writing Saturday; Creating Nonexistent Cultures

8:53 AM

One of the things that about writing Si-Fi, Fantasy, or books set in nonexistent countries is that you have to create a culture to go with it. But how do you create a nonexistent culture? What is it that makes a people group different from another?

These are the questions that I have been asking myself as I have been writing a Si-Fi book and getting ready to start a series set in a fictional country. I don’t have all the answers but here are some of the things that I have learned so far.

1. It is really good to read books by authors that have done a good job with creating nonexistent cultures. It’s a good way to get ideas. Although I don’t really like fantasy, C. S. Lewis is very good at creating nonexistent cultures. The two books of his that you can see this best in are The Horse and His Boy and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Do you know of any other authors that have done a good job creating nonexistent cultures?

2. One of the things that I have found to be key to creating nonexistent cultures, is to have some very different traditions and sayings. For instance they might have a saying like ‘He is stronger than Sir Early’ after some person in their history. Another example is perhaps it is a tradition for them not to cross a bridge after sunset on Saturday. Little bits like this go a long way to creating a nonexistent culture.

3. When creating a nonexistent culture, try to have something they are known for, such as apples, fine woodworking, friendly people, and things like that.

I hope this was helpful. Do you have any tips on creating nonexistent cultures
?

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2 comments

  1. That was a great post!
    I created a culture called the Faren for my book series, and they're awesome. I'm very proud of them :)
    But I made them unique.
    They have 'powers', are transparant, and nocturnal.

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