Worldbuilding 101: The next five building blocks in action

Worldbuilding 101: The next five building blocks in action

Greetings, Worldbuilders! I had intended to get this post up last week, but I changed my posting schedule. I’ve got a ton of writing projects going on right now, so I’ve got to reduce the amount of content I’m putting up. But I’ll continue with this worldbuilding series until it’s done.

All the information I’m posting about is coming from my new young adult urban fantasy series, The Legend of the Lightkeepers. Book one, Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal, just released at the end of March.

So the world and characters I’m talking about in these posts are featured in that book, which is something I started writing when I was 11 years old. Yes, the name on the book is Kimberly McNeil, but that’s a different blog post.

Today we’ll continue with a quick explanation of how I took my building blocks of culture and used it to create the world of Andaria, specifically the culture of Celtica, a country within the Andarian Continent. What follows are my decisions about Celtican culture based on what I know about Velanna Ittai. Obviously if you use this process to create your own culture, your conclusions will vary.


Building Block 6: Agriculture

Andaria, the main continent, is vast. Imagine if North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia were never separated into separate continents. That is the Continent of Andaria.

Countries of the Andarian Dimension (copyright 2016 A.C. Williams)
Countries of the Andarian Dimension (copyright 2016 A.C. Williams)

Celtica, vast and powerful in its own right, is a landlocked country. They do not have access to the sea, although there are several rivers and lakes within their borders. As a result, they must grow the foods they require or they must trade with their neighbors.

Celtica maintains several industries. Farming, of course, but they also farm materials that provide clothing, such as growing cotton and raising sheep for wool. There are several high-yield mines within their borders as well that provide the minerals they need for construction and other industries.

Building Block 7: Government/Law

Celtica is a nation of laws, but they are not a tyranny or a commune. They maintain a representative form of government, where leaders are elected for a specific term to a senate of sorts. The senate is in control of the country, but it isn’t popular voting. It’s representative voting based on a popular vote. For times when there are disagreements, there are rules for breaking ties.

Even though a Senate runs the country, Celtica also has a powerful and influential council of warriors that issue advice and opinions. This advisory group is called the Sage Council and is composed of seven accomplished Andai Warriors. The Senate carefully considers what the Sage Council has to say, but it is ultimately the Senate that makes the decision on how to run the country.

Most Celticans will join either the military or the Andai as it is a logical way to serve the country and the citizens.

Celtica has a standing military, but joining the military is optional and provides no benefit to the individual or the family as far as salary or education is concerned. Those who join the military and serve for their alloted span of years usually become law enforcement officers.

Most Celticans will join either the military or the Andai as it is a logical way to serve the country and the citizens.

Very few who join the military ever attempt to join the Andai, and none who train to become Andai and succeed ever join the military. However, those who attempt to become Andai and fail will often join the military as their second option of service.

Building Block 8: Economics

Celtica is considered the jewel of Andaria because of its orderly system of government, the integrity of its people, and its level of technological advancement. Celtica maintains strong ties with its neighbors through commerce. They use their technology to help everyone around them because when everyone around them profits, so do they.

With their long lifespans outliving everyone else in the world, they would also be the most numerous of the countries.

Building Block 9: Arts

life-863148_640Celticans are widely known as incredible sculptors and architects. Their love of science has helped them discover so many different aspects about the world, space, the interdimensional barrier, and much more.

They are also known for their love of history and literature. They keep detailed accounts of every event, and they are always eager to share their knowledge with others. That being said, not all Celticans are storytellers.

Most Celticans are scholars. It comes with living so long.

Some Celticans dabble in painting and other forms of artistic expression, but generally they focus their time and energy on scientific pursuits, which is an art all its own.

Building Block 10: Education

Celtica encourages its citizens to pursue a wide and varied education. With their lifespans so long, they are usually able to become experts in multiple topics before they have even reached marrying age.

The government as a whole has little to do with education. Every city has a regent, and it is within the regent’s purview to work with educators within the city. Some form universities. Others form single colleges. Either way, education is a function of the local community.

The Next Step

Using my 10 building blocks of culture and my knowledge of my single character, Velanna Ittai, I was able to create an entire, distinct race of people for use in my Lightkeepers novels. I used this same process for all of my races (and there are several).

Next time (April 26), I’ll go into a bit more detail on the real language and cultures I used to flesh out Celtica and its people.

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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