The ‘origin story’…Comic book powerhouses like Marvel and DC have been banking on them for decades, giving a glimpse to ‘how it all started’. But what does it mean to your new world? As far as your readers are concerned, what is the true origin of the world they’re reading about? What is the origin’s significance, or does it really even play a role at all? In this article of our World Building 101: History series, we’ll jump to the very beginning and work to bring your universe to a proper existence. Let’s discuss a few of the more common ‘origin stories’ to see which one works well for your world, and see how we can use pieces of it to enhance your reader’s immersion into your creative endeavor.
Over the years, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Native American cultures have used their own pantheons of mythology and various deities to explain the world’s origin, but it inherently all comes back to a belief set. One society’s origin story could vary drastically from another’s with each believing their own to be true. We’ll take a MUCH closer look at religion and the role it plays in your world shortly, but for now, it’s imperative to understand that the beliefs of a culture often dictate their ‘origin’, even though those beliefs may turn out to be inaccurate.
So with that disclaimer, let’s look at a few of the more common ‘origin stories’ and see how they might help frame your new world:
All in all, the concept of Titans can create a rich history of mythology and legend as brave men and women would unite over time to defeat them. Tales of Hercules, Pericles, and Zeus abound with the war against the titans, and their eventual banishment from the world.
The more scientific your world, the less ‘unexplained’ phenomenon. As a result, reliance on Gods, Titans, or mythical beings to represent the unknown becomes less apparent in daily life. In time, your world may come to the conclusion that they can explain everything imaginable through science; thus, the idea of evolution is born - the belief that otherwise inanimate particles came together over time, adjusting and evolving to their environment in a way that forever changed their destiny. Evolution is the idea that something came from nothing, creating life when it didn’t previously exist and becoming better and more efficient over the years until eventually, you have the world as you know it.
Use in Your World:
The idea of evolution would exist in your more futuristic worlds, possibly even reserved for science fiction. In a world where man feels they have all the answers, the stars and the cosmos no longer represent mystery and awe…just a random collection of planets, suns, and meteors. The ideas of birth, death, and life are all explained and can even be enhanced. Man has reached a point where they no longer search inward for questions of the unknown, which is the perfect time to hit them with something completely unexpected. Can you say, The Matrix? J
Putting it All Together...
For those that have been paying attention, you may be thinking to yourself ‘wait, earth has experienced ALL of these origin stories,’ and you would be right. In the early days of man, much could not be explained. Rather than ‘wonder’ what was happening, mankind would create means for which the unexplained was possible. Child birth, the growing of corn, the changing of the weather…none of this was understood by early man, so Gods, Deities, and Titans were thought up to give a name to something that was otherwise unknown to them. In time, religions became commonplace and Titans became a thing of the past. In more time, the concept of evolution took hold as more and more adopted scientific reasoning to those age old questions.
Join us next time as we go into ancient civilizations and how they continue to impact your current world.
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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