Well, we’re still on setting challenges. For those of you who haven’t been following this series, the goal is to walk you through the prep work for writing a full story. So far we’ve done seven character challenges (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) and three setting challenges (1, 2, 3). Today marks our fourth setting challenge, and the first broad setting challenge. So far I’ve had you doing basic locations (city, dungeon, etc), but this week I want you to create a country. This could be the nation that your other settings are in (in which case some of your work is already done), or it could be another nation entirely, perhaps somewhere that your characters will go. Either way, answer the following questions about your nation.
What is the geography of your country? (draw a map!) And what are it’s borders? (Are they natural borders [rivers, oceans, mountains, etc] or artificial borders [butting up against another country, a realistic extent of the nations influence, etc]?)
What is your nations capital? (Where is it? Why is it the capital? What are the major imports/exports?)
What cultures live in your nation? (Is it inhabited by a single xenophobic people group? Are there several people groups vying for control? Where did they come from and why do they live together?)
What is the political foundation of your nation (Monarchy, Despotism, Oligarchy, Theocracy, Democracy, etc)? (Why? How do the people respond to this? Are there other political philosophies or powers vying for control?)
What level the technological, sociological, or magical development is your nation at? (What do they focus on? Who are the arbiters of truth in your society (see priests in the ancient world and scientists in the modern world)?
What is social mores are important in your nation (i.e. what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’, ‘polite’ and ‘impolite’, etc)? (Where do these mores come from? Why are they still held to?)