When I open up Pinterest on my computer and click on the search bar, my lovely previous searches come up “world building”and “writing prompts” and “exotic places” and “writing tips.” Because, as it so happens, I’m a writer. And, as it so happens, Pinterest is a really great place to learn and plot and be inspired.
The last two days have been fun as I’ve begun receiving feedback back from my beta readers for Echoes. Apparently I need to do more world building in the land of Kios, which in reality doesn’t surprise me at all. I hadn’t thought it through carefully, but after it was pointed out to me, I realized I just took it for granted that the world would make sense.
The world – as in the physical world has been a jumbled mess in my mind. I know some basic facts about it: They lived in a land were there were hills, rocky outcroppings, lots of green pasture land, and a four-season rotation. One of the borders was a gigantic forest, another was the ocean, and who knew (or cared) about the rest?
The ruling system was fairly familiar to me, because it played a much bigger part in the plot than the landscape did. Sadly though, I didn’t do the best job of portraying it to the readers (probably because I didn’t realize how unusual it actually was). It’s a constitutional monarchy, but with the royalty having a lot of the power – just not all of it. What makes it unusual is that 1) Male and female royalty have the same amount of power, and 2) From the time the heir to the throne is mature enough to take part in ruling, they’re brought into the Judgment Hall and take part in the politics. That means that by the time the princesses in my story are sixteen, their voice is one the people (and the king) listens to regularly.
Another part of the ruling system is the Year of Proof, which happens whenever the king/queen and wisemen of the kingdom deem the heir to the throne educated/ready/mature enough to rule on their own if something would happen to the current reigning monarch. For the Year of Proof the heir to the throne chooses any city in the country, and goes to live there for a year – ruling over it, settling disputes, and connecting with the people. This is to prove to the whole population that they are a fit ruler and have been well-prepared.
The land’s main source of prestige among other countries is their superior skills with dyes, weaving, fabric making, and sewing.
Other things I know about Kios:
- Slavery is illegal (although that’s not the case in some of the neighboring countries)
- Echoes (twins) are thought to be cursed, or not fully human
- Electricity, motorized vehicles, and sky-scrapers have not been invented
- During the last 20 years Kios has risen greatly in terms of education, economics, and social standing with the neighboring countries
- Even poor children are given the chance at getting an education
- Cleanliness is highly valued – the Royal City employes street cleaners, etc….
- They have a lot of sheep, cause, ya know, fabric
- For the most part the royal family is in good standing with the people and well-loved
- Although not extremely prosperous, the country is doing well financially
There are several more things, but that’s what comes to mind right away. Now that I have my groundwork though, I’m realizing I really need to organize this country a little bit better and really make it complete.
I’ve been working at deleting my previous Echoes storyboards on Pinterest (because they were rather vague), and starting over with all the details. So, stay tuned, and within the next few days I’ll (Lord willing) be posting more about where the country is after some brainstorming sessions.