Story World Building Part 1: Premise and Characters

Hey guys,

Today is day one of my new series which will be taking a look at my process for creating a story world. This series is sparked from a final for one of the classes I’m taking this semester. For that final, I have the opportunity to do pretty much anything art related. I chose to show the creative process that I’ve crafted over the last few years. I decided  since I was already doing this for a class, I might as well share it with you guys. The cool thing is that I will actually be developing a new story world as we go.

I want to give credit to the book Storyworld First by Jill Williamson. This book is a life saver and was instrumental in the way that I approach creating a story world

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This book is fantastic! Probably one of the most helpful writing books I’ve read.

Premise

Premise is a huge part of a story. You can’t really go far without deciding what, where, or when your story is happening. I normally start with figuring out what genre I want to write in. Normally, I tend to write in fantasy or sometimes contemporary. For this, I decided I wanted to try something completely new. My genre for this project is going to be space opera. No it will not be singing in space contrary to what the name suggests. A space opera is stories like Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galatica, etc. So now that we have the genre, we have to still figure out where and when this story will happen as well as what is actually going to happen. With some brainstorming, I decided to create a species of humanoids called The Others who will be struggling with the humans to find and establish colonies and planets to live on. I also created a history for this conflict, but that will be a later post.

So now we have our genre (space opera) and the what (The Others versus the humans). The where was relatively self-explanatory. The story had to take place in space, but where exactly? I ended up creating two new star systems that exist in a galaxy 40 lightyears away from earth. This also kinda gave an idea of when. This story takes place in the future.

Characters

So now that I have the basics of the world, I need to create the who. What characters were going to be driving the action of the story? What species would they be from? What would their connections be to each other.

This part of the process is one of my favorites. I love created fictional characters and then going onto pintrest to find pictures. For this story, I quickly decided that I wanted my main characters to be siblings, twins to be more precise. Out of the decision, Ailene and Niall Harper were born.

Ailene Harper 

  • Age: 20
  • Famous counterpart: Han Solo
  • Personality type: ENTJ
  • Titles: Captain, Federation Pilot
  • What she values the most: Her twin brother, Niall
  • Favorite thing to do in her spare time: studying the stars, playing liathroid (futuristic version of paintball), and hanging out at the local cantina with her brother and friends.
  • What is her emotional life goal: Getting revenge for her parents (Yikes!)

Niall Harper 

  • Age: 20
  • Famous counterpart: Flynn Rider
  • Personality type: ESFP
  • Titles: Captain, RIO (radar intercept officer) for his sister
  • Greatest fear: Losing Ailene and his girlfriend, Caitlin
  • Skills: expert sharpshooter and cooking
  • Personality: mischievous, caring, flirt

 

Ailene and Niall are both humans and inhabitants of Amhain, the main human civilization and the largest air force stronghold.

I also wanted to contrast the humans’ life with that of an Other.

The Others prefer to be called Galans, but when the humans first discovered them it was the humans and the Others. The name stuck. Meet Derrick Ja’av, Commander of the Galar First Air Fleet.

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Derrick Ja’av

  • Age: 20 human years, 60 Galar rotations
  • Famous counterpart: Grant Ward (pre-Hydra)
  • Personality type: ISFJ
  • Titles: Commander, Commander of the 1st Air Fleet
  • Personality: straight-laced, disciplined, cares for his people
  • Greatest fear: Being labeled a  traitor
  • Emotional life-goal: Peace between humans and his species

 

I created each other these characters by taking a look into what their personalities are as well as what motivates them in their different roles. Each character reacts to things different and the goal was to make them all different. The unique things about this project is that I didn’t really base them off of people I know. Often times, I find it’s easier to create characters around prominent personalities of people I know in my life. I wanted to create completely unique characters so I didn’t do that this time.

Hope to see you all next week for Part 2 of this series. Don’t forget to check out my Kickstarter for The Fallen Crown. There are only 30 days to go and I need all the support I can get.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1119960974/the-fallen-crown

Happy Reading,

Bethany

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