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lindsay beth @ellle_em
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THINGS FANTASY WORLDS SHOULD HAVE, EVEN IF ONLY MENTIONED IN PASSING

-sports. so few fantasy worlds have established sports but look how important sports are to our own world. it'd be remiss not to at least mention sports
-newspapers or other forms of public communications
-famous people who aren't the king and/or queen. even in medieval Europe there were famous knights, poets, performers, etc.
-fashion trends that change fairly often
-some sort of musical tradition
-memes. seriously. memes are basically big inside jokes at a societal level
-different political factions with different interests
-shared stories; fairy tales, well-known narratives, poems, etc.
-salacious gossip
-cross-cultural connections; fusions of different cultural elements; cultural enclaves in different places; cultural sharing
-Pop culture v. high culture. Again, even in medieval Europe this was a thing. There were bawdy plays as well as solemn religious performances, lurid soap operas and intense meditative literature
-Holidays--whether holy days or something else
-trendsetters; famous, visible ppl
I guess what I mean by this thread is that a lot of fantasy reads as only half-complete; a world that exists primarily for the MC to do stuff in, a world that feels more like a stage than an actual world
Does your MC have to care about sports or whatever Hollywood analogue may exist? Nah of course not. But even people who don't care about football in the US know about the Super Bowl & would acknowledge it in passing
Worldbuilding is hard because you have to make it more than just a set-piece for your MC. You have to make a world that would believably keep functioning with or without your MC in it.
"Jade City" by Fonda Lee does this suuuuuuper well, btw. Her world has sports, movies, and a whole host of things going on beyond the main conflict. It may not all be 100% relevant to the MCs but it makes the world feel believable and interesting and real
oh hey this is gaining some traction; if you like my words consider helping me out?

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