Culture is an aspect of world building that can be under-appreciated, but no proper world can live without it. Since it is more intangible than other things you may read about, the importance of culture is sometimes overlooked, but culture is the closest part of world building to characters. If you have ever read the genius Foundation science-fiction series by Isaac Asimov, then you would understand its great importance to both characters and story plot. Culture is akin to characters in that it is the aggregate of a group of people’s norms and values that differ from one society to another. In dealing with larger numbers of people, actions are more predictable. Why does a character make certain choices? Why will he/she refuse to make a decision that another character from a different part of the map, will (or vice-versa)? These kinds of things are influenced by culture.
The world found in FOTS is home to an abundance of unique cultures. As I have said before, all nations are heavily conservative, as you would expect to find in a city-state environment. There is one nation that lives in a more secluded region of the continent, and it has caused them to become less interested in the affairs of the other nations. This also means its inhabitants are more naturally curious to what lies beyond their borders. The POV character I use from that nation shares these attributes. Another nation is more committed on average to the religion, and more artistically skilled. A third culture that I’ll mention has the wealthiest city in the world, and its people are cocky and quick to anger, and tend to think everything unique to their culture is preferable to others. While most of the nations are uniquely different, during the Peace they have learned to tolerate one another. In many key ways they are actually quite similar. It is the coming of new cultures which sparks minor conflicts, a fire that spreads, awakening old disagreements.
I am almost done with these single word titled, Philosophy posts. Next will be GEOGRAPHY, RACES, WAR!, CHARACTERS, and finally, PLOT. Then I’ll move onto some really good stuff. PS: I hope you’ve thought this has already been interesting!
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