We are not makers of history. We are made by history – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The ancient Greeks conquered the entire known world, the ancient Romans spread their culture throughout Europe, and the ancient Chinese built monuments that have stood the test of time. Your story is set in the present day, but many of the ideologies, beliefs, and inventions sprang from civilizations that lived long ago. While these civilizations may be long gone, their lasting influence remains. Continue reading as we explore the importance of historical societies in your contemporary story and see how to weave the fabric of mystery and folklore throughout your creative project.
Doomed to Repeat...
So what’s the real significance in ancient civilizations when writing a novel, or some other creative endeavor? While there’s a good chance your readers will never be given a history lesson, the brainstorming that comes from this process can be invaluable when fleshing out an original world and bringing it to life. Let’s take a look at some of the common ‘types’ of ancient civilizations and the influence they can bring upon your fledgling world.
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Some ancient civilizations transcend time, their cultural influence surviving much longer than they did. Prime examples would be the ancient Chinese, Babylonian, and Roman. In their respective regions of the world, there has been no greater influence on society and its culture than that if their ancient ancestors. Traditions, beliefs, ethics, and ideologies of the present day world are all adopted from those memories of the past.
These shining symbols of lasting tradition are the roots from which many different societies grow. Everyone in the world knows something about these ancient peoples and everyone with even the smallest level of education has come to know of these ancient cultures and the legacy they left their children.
Use in your world:
The cultural juggernauts of your world will be revered, remembered very fondly of days long ago. There will be a sense of reverie when discussed and an air of longing in the stories told by the bards and skalds of present day. While there may not be much known about your ancient inventors and spiritual leaders, it’s a pretty safe assumption that most people in your world will have SOME knowledge of your cultural civilizations. They will provide the richest source of story-making wealth, with many plots and subplots influenced by these ancient cultural traditions and effects in your present day society.
The present day conflict should always dominate your characters and the decisions they make, but don’t underestimate the power of the influence your ancient civilizations can create. Sprinkle in traditions, knowledge, and stories of a time long ago and you’ll bring a whole new level of life and credibility to your new world. Allow your readers to expand their understanding and dive even deeper into the universe you’ve created.
Hello, my name is Scott...I'm a husband, father of 3, and work full-time in IT. If that's not enough on my plate, I'm also tackling the biggest 'creative' project of my lifetime, bringing the world of Mists of Kel Doran to life. I hope you like what I'm trying to pull off and I truly appreciate all of those who have supported this dream of mine. Here's to following your heart and having the courage to put your ideas out there for the world to enjoy :)
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