Apr 102018
 
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5 World Building Tips (Vol 2, #10): Places of Interest

Here are today’s world building tips! The theme is places of interest. You can read more in Chapter 11, “Creating Places of Interest”, from Creating Places, (The Art of World Building, #2).

Tip #1: “What Lives in the Catacombs?”

If we create catacombs, decide if monsters, animals, or other creatures live there. Do the species know of those inhabitants or the passages? Do they use them, too? What gets hidden here? Try to be creative about your use of these and make it important to your story because just about everything has already been done. We just need a believable reason for their existence, abandonment, and current usage.

Tip #2: “Use Step Wells”

Google “step wells in India” and you’ll see some interesting images we can leverage if we have water dwelling species. These could connect to underground rivers and allow for interesting escapes or arrivals. Are they guarded? Are some of these made by that species or by others hoping to reach them?

Tip #3: “Create Phenomenon Sites”

Places where an accident happened are good for magical, supernatural or technological sites of importance, especially dangerous ones. Just imagine what could go wrong and choose a location and result. These can be good for creating monsters, too, if there’s radiation or something similar still going on there. We don’t even need good explanations, making this fun to do.

Tip #4: “What’s Under Water?”

A settlement under the waves offers chances to be innovative. A water-dwelling species makes this more attractive. Shipwrecks of wooden kinds (or fallen spacecraft) can also harbor treasure or items that need to be recovered, and which can fall into the wrong hands. They could spawn monsters, too.

Tip #5: “The Ordinary Can be Famous, Too”

Sites of wars, religious incidents, and prophets or martyrs making themselves famous can also acquire significance. Use these places inside settlements or nearby because these can be less dramatic, with no radiation or other residue left over. Not everywhere has to be amazing.

Summary of Chapter 11—Creating Places of Interest

Even seemingly ordinary locations can acquire significance due to scale, features, or people associated with them. These include monuments, graves, catacombs and hidden passages, and unusual buildings, whether built in stone, flying in the air, or floating on water like Venice.  Ruins offer places for treasure to be found or horrors unleashed, including magical or technological items. Event sites and shipwrecks also give inhabitants places to reference, seek, or avoid, and can be where items of our invention originated.

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