Category: Writing

Creating Fictional Funerary Customs

Creating Fictional Funerary Customs

Today’s topic might seem somewhat morbid, but it’s one that may be important if you plan to kill off any significant characters. (Don’t worry; I’ll be balancing it out by talking about the ceremonies surrounding new births next week!) If your character dies (or is thought to die), how is that handled in your world? How does your culture view death? That’s what we’ll be getting into today. Continue reading “Creating Fictional Funerary Customs”

Worldbuilding on a Small Scale

Worldbuilding on a Small Scale

Most of the time I write about how to build whole, sweeping settings and deeply nuanced cultures… but what if all you need for a story is a single town, a school, etc.? What do you prioritize when you’re worldbuilding on a small scale instead of an epic scale? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Core culture

First, as with larger cultures, you’ll need Continue reading “Worldbuilding on a Small Scale”

Fantasy Cuisine & Mealtimes

Fantasy Cuisine & Mealtimes

Are you tired of feeding your characters generic medieval fare? Do you need to figure out who should be eating first or how food should be served up in your mealtime scenes? Are you just curious to see your world through the eyes of a foodie? Then this is the right post for you. I’ll be getting into what your characters eat, why they do or don’t eat the things that they do or don’t eat, and how meals Continue reading “Fantasy Cuisine & Mealtimes”

Birthday Celebrations in Fantasy Worlds

Birthday Celebrations in Fantasy Worlds

When I wrote about how to develop your culture’s timekeeping ideology and methodology last month, I concluded with a brief section on “lifespans and personal timekeeping.” Y’all expressed interest in a post that focused on that topic specifically (and I was recently inspired by a letter in which Tolkien went into great depth about the birthday customs of hobbits, which I highly recommend checking out as an example of this done well), so here it is! Let’s talk about birthdays.


To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate

The first thing to consider, of course, is whether your culture even celebrates birthdays in the first place. As I said in my general timekeeping post,

In a society that thinks more communally or that doesn’t make a big deal of keeping time, birthdays might not even be a consideration; it may not much matter how old you are as long as you’re doing things with your life. The same may be true in a culture that sees time as something designed by a deity; to mark time around your own life may be seen as selfish and even idolatrous.

But there are options between Continue reading “Birthday Celebrations in Fantasy Worlds”

Creating Fantasy Etiquette

Creating Fantasy Etiquette

Do your characters mind their manners? If so, this post will help you determine what manners they’re minding; if not, this will help you determine just how rude your characters are. Etiquette differs from culture to culture, and this post is for you if you haven’t yet considered what good manners look like in the fictional culture(s) you’ve created!


Greetings & Farewells

I’ve discussed how greetings and farewells may be communicated in terms of language before, and saying the right thing is an aspect of a polite greeting or farewell. Your characters should Continue reading “Creating Fantasy Etiquette”