Building a World for a Novel – Part 20
New to this project: Start with Part 1
Part 20: Whence the People?
Terrestrial history shows us that nearly every culture has its own unique set of Creation stories. As fascinating as those are, this time we want to discuss how the people actually came to being on your planet.
There is room for many possibilities if you are pursuing a scientific origin, and a great many more if your world is one of fantasy.
For example, in a fantasy world there is no reason your people should not spring from the pollen of a great flower or the tail of a comet as it passes your planet.
If you are going the scientific route, you will want to consider:
- Natural evolution
- Placement by an older alien race
- Marooned voyagers
No matter how your people actually got to your world, they are likely to have a very different view of what happened. Even in the case of colonization from distant–and advanced–world, a colony cut off from the “mother world” for a long enough period, may easily slip into a belief that “human” life began on the world on which they stand.
Why does it matter if you know how people actually came to your world? It might not. However, a story where the truth of that origin must be revealed, being clear can make all the difference.
Also, as I’ve said before (and will likely repeat), the more you know about the people you describe, the more realistic your story will feel. Personally, I prefer a well-reasoned and developed back-story.
So, what will it be? Will you start you planet pre-peopled, so to speak? Will you bring them in a colony ship? Will the secrets, the science behind their origins be lost in the past? You get to say.
Continued in Part 21