Building a World for a Novel – Part 13
New to this project: Start with Part 1
Part 13: Life on Your World
So far we have looked at Basic Theory and the General Design of your new Physical World. In our next few posts we will take a look at almost everything that lives there. While we will examine the sentient races of this planet later in the week, we must understand the needs of people as we design the rest of the Flora and Fauna.
On Earth, at least, people were not the king of the roost when they started out. Animals were huge in number, traveled in packs and herds, and were vicious hunters.
Early men were hunters and gatherers, and even a small group would need large tracts of land to scrounge enough food to survive. Eventually humans created weapons, then tools, and with them were able to track and kill larger beasts. Hunting tribes would follow the herds from a safe distance, pick off outriders, and use the hides and bones for clothing and shelter. Eventually, through experimentation, people saw that certain plants grew better than others, and that they could actually cultivate food. Of course it was agriculture that allowed more people to gather in a smaller area, to form villages, towns, and eventually cities.
As we go on today we’ll look more closely at the needs of animals, how they feed, where they get water, how they propagate.
Side note: Yes. You can have a world where none of the “usual things” apply. You can have sentient rocks that roll around and absorb nutrients from the ground and the bodies of creatures they crush. You can, and may, produce any flights of fancy you want, but if I may offer a word of caution… the more alien your world, the harder it will be for your reader to identify. By all means throw in some great monsters, wondrous features of land, air and sea, but while you probably do not want your new world to look like earth, some resemblance will help.
Ready to get to work? Let’s go!
Continued in Part 14