To develop a comprehensive world, the creation of a fictional universe is essential, as this will allow your characters a place to work, live and interact. It is also possible for the universe to play an active role in the lives of the characters, creating conflicts between the beliefs and goals of the characters, and the rules and customs of the universe. To create a fictional universe, you can define its physical characteristics, determine who will inhabit it, sketch the social and political elements, and devise its daily rituals and routines.
Part 1 of 4: Determine the Physical Characteristics of the Universe
Step 1. Consider the scope of the universe
This refers to the physical space that the universe occupies in a larger world and should be one of the first elements that you focus on. Think about how big you want the universe to be. To do this, it might be helpful to consider what you want in that universe and its size compared to other universes or worlds.
For example, it may be that, from the point of view of your characters, your universe constitutes that larger world and, within it, there are several planets or lands. You can also set the universe to be very small and encompass a single planet or a single earth where there are several different cities and towns. If you consider the scope of the universe first, you can get an idea of the bigger picture. Then, after determining the more general details, you can focus on the more specific ones
Step 2. Determine if your universe will span different terrain or landscapes
Another consideration is what the universe will look like in terms of its geography and landscape. Will it contain different terrains depending on where you are? Will there be a dominant terrain (for example, a universe made of ice or made up of jungles)?
- You should also think about the number of different terrain or landscapes that you will include in your universe. You can divide them into different zones, provinces or even planets.
- You should also consider the effect that the landscapes of the universe will have on elements such as the economic systems, social structures and customs of that world. You can set specific terrain or landscapes only to be inhabited by certain beings (for example, humans in cities and towns, and mutants in jungles).
Step 3. Determine what the climate and weather will be
Another important consideration is the mechanism of time in your universe. For example, are there always rains and monsoons on certain planets in that universe? Are there always droughts and forest fires in certain areas of a planet or an earth within the universe? Try to be specific about the mechanism of time in each area of the universe.
Remember that since the universe you are developing is fictional, it could be that the laws of physics and nature do not work in the same way as they do in our world or on Earth. Keep in mind that the laws of our world do not have to govern those of your universe and this can be as strange and inverted as you wish. For example, there may be landscapes in which rain of fire falls, jungles that are next to ice caves, and waterfalls in deserts
Step 4. Draw a map of your universe
You can take the time to draw a map to get a better idea of the physical character of your universe. This map can consist of a detailed sketch of all the lands and areas that make up the universe along with their names or you can also do it using a computer program. The latter could allow you to proportion the elements of the universe to each other and go into greater detail.
- The map will serve as your point of reference when it comes time to tell stories set in that fictional universe, so try to draw the map in as much detail as possible. It includes not only basic information about the landscape, terrain, and climate, but also the names of cities, towns, areas, and lands. You can even colorize the map so that you can refer to it more easily when setting your stories in that universe.
- You can find examples of various drawn maps of fictional universes and worlds, such as an interactive map of Middle-earth from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Part 2 of 4: Determine who or what will inhabit that universe
Step 1. Determine if those who will inhabit the universe will be humans or humanoid beings
Consider who the inhabitants of the universe will be. Will they be human and humanoid? If so, what type of human beings will inhabit this universe? To create the human beings of your universe, you can base yourself on human groups that exist in our world or merge several of them.
- For example, you can determine that a hybrid race is the product of the colonization of one race of humans by another. You can use some elements of slavery in the US or the colonization of indigenous populations in Canada as templates for the human groups in your universe.
- In case you choose to use existing human groups as templates to create the humans in your universe, make sure you are not relying solely on stereotypes but instead creating multidimensional beings. Keep in mind that you can incorporate all the nuances and peculiarities you want, even to the human beings that inhabit that universe, since, after all, the universe that you are going to create is fictional.
Step 2. Incorporate supernatural beings or creatures
It could be that your universe also inhabits supernatural creatures or beings, such as elves, dwarves and fairies. You can also establish that these supernatural beings inhabit among humans or create a universe in which only these creatures inhabit and there are no human beings.
You can also create your own species so that the beings that inhabit your universe have both magical and human elements. Let your imagination run wild to create a unique and captivating species
Step 3. Consider whether you will assign any value or meaning to certain objects
You may also want to address certain objects and the role they will play in the universe. These could be items used by all inhabitants of the universe or items that only a privileged few can use. It begins with objects whose role is important within the universe and then moves on to objects of less importance used for the more prosaic aspects.
For example, you could establish a central object that holds the entire universe together, such as a shard of dragon glass or a ball of molten gold. You could also establish that there are special objects throughout the universe that grow on trees or on the graves of the dead. Make sketches of various key objects within your universe using your imagination. In this way, the universe will be more detailed and complete
Step 4. Address the role magic will play
It is not necessary for there to be magical elements in all fictional universes. However, it could be that a little of these elements is beneficial for your own universe. If you choose to include magic, you must establish how much of it will exist in your universe and who will have access to it. You should also think about where the magic will originate, such as from nature, ancient artifacts, gods or a god, or powerful humans.
- Also consider the treatment that magic will receive in the universe. Will there be guardians or keepers of magic if it is very powerful? Will only a privileged few have access to it, or has magic been forgotten and waiting for a chosen hero to bring it back?
- You can also determine if the magic of the universe will be considered something positive, such as a sacred gift or treasure, or if it will have negative connotations that associate it with fear and evil.
Part 3 of 4: Outlining the Social and Political Organization of the Universe
Step 1. Determine which system or systems of government will be
When your characters begin to move and interact in the story, it will be helpful to have determined what the system of government will be. You can create conflict and tension between characters through their political allegiances, particularly if two characters are at opposite ends of the scale.
- Does the universe constitute a democracy, a dictatorship, a republic or a mixture of different systems of government? Is the government of the universe stable or in turmoil? You could establish that each planet or earth within the universe has a different system of government and they compete with each other or fight to gain power over the entire universe.
- You can use an existing government system and add things to it until you get a weird, hybrid system. For example, the system of government could have certain elements of a democracy, but with supernatural beings as rulers and where some of the decisions are made by magic.
Step 2. Determine the mechanism of the economy within the universe
You should also think about the way in which the inhabitants of the universe exchange goods and services. Do they buy items from each other with foreign exchange? Is the currency in the form of paper money, gold coins, or live birds? In order for the reader or viewer to get a better idea of what it means to exist within this universe, you must establish specific details about the economy.
- If you have established multiple earths or planets within the universe, you must also determine if each will have a different currency and also if each earth or planet will have its own economic system.
- You can take an existing economic system as a base and make modifications or add other elements to it. For example, you can use elements of capitalism, but also adding elements of socialism.
Step 3. Consider the role theology will play
Some element of theology can be found in almost every world, such as organized religions, pagan beliefs, or beliefs in a single higher power. You could establish a single theology in your universe, such as an organized religion, or more than one. You can also base the type of theology on the beings that inhabit a certain area and on their system of government.
You can create the theology of your universe based on an existing religion or belief system. For example, you can create a hybrid theology that exists in a certain area of the universe by mixing elements of Catholicism with some of Haitian Voodoo
Step 4. Establish which will be the dominant and non-dominant cultures
In most worlds, the organization is based on a hierarchy that encompasses a dominant culture and several non-dominant cultures. The dominant culture could be made up of a certain group of people or type of creatures and have certain privileges and rights to which non-dominant cultures do not have access. You can use these elements to create tension and conflict in the universe, as many non-dominant cultures rebel or rise up against a dominant group of people or force.
- By incorporating different types of cultures, you can also create classes or social hierarchies, which may later conflict with each other, particularly if the characters in the story belong to different classes.
- The version that dominant cultures have of their own history is usually the one that becomes part of the official history of an area or a land. Therefore, you can establish that the dominant culture of the universe that you have created defends its version of history but that it contradicts or oppresses the history that non-dominant cultures have experienced. In this way, you could develop tension and conflict within the universe.
Part 4 of 4: Establishing the Daily Rituals and Customs of the Universe
Step 1. Consider what your transportation system will be
You must consider the ways in which people will move through the universe, such as using a super plane with which they can move through the air or if they must use horses to move through various lands. In the universe there can also be cities whose public transport system is operated by magic. It will be useful to consider the transportation system so that you can create the infrastructure of the universe and make things easier for you when it comes time to place the characters within it.
You can also consider whether there are certain means of transport that can only be used by certain groups or beings, such as the wizards of the universe traveling using flying brooms and fairies traveling on flying dragons, or humans traveling by bus and elves. by horse
Step 2. Determine what the acceptable and unacceptable customs will be
Consider the ways in which beings in the universe would interact in a public space, such as on the street, on public transportation, or in a village or town. Do certain groups use special signs or words to greet each other? Are there customs that are common to all beings that inhabit the universe or does each group have unique customs? By focusing on acceptable and unacceptable customs, you can also get a better idea of how your characters will act within the universe.
For example, you could establish that human beings living in the universe greet each other by saying "hello" through computerized glasses or that members of a group recognize each other only with a facial gesture or a wave of the hand. You could also establish that ignorance of acceptable customs carries certain consequences within the universe, such as being excommunicated from a group or community
Step 3. Consider clothing within the universe
Another aspect that you should consider is the clothes that the inhabitants of the universe wear and the way in which this affects their status within a group or community. You could establish that all male beings dress in leather loincloths and carry swords or that all female beings dress in pants and carry whips. You can use clothing as a way to denote where in the universe a character belongs to.
You should also consider how your protagonists would dress depending on their status within the universe. You could establish that a character belongs to a certain group from birth and that is why he dresses all in black or that a character belongs to one of the highest social classes and that is why he always wears long and loose dresses
Step 4. Sketch a day in the daily life of one of the main characters
Writing a day in the daily life of your protagonist could be useful to better understand the daily routines of an inhabitant of that fictional world. You can start by establishing the way the character gets up in the morning, the way he prepares for the day, the way he dresses, the way he talks, what he eats and if he prays to a higher power before leaving. to face the world.