Well, the epic computer struggles continue! Now having to do with Powerpoint and Office some how shutting off my internet… I still haven’t figured out how that happened. Anyway, no worries, I’ve got this… …it is possible that ‘got this’ might involve beating my brand new computer to death… and possibly beating a few microsoft employees as well, but I’m almost convinced the jail time will be worth it… almost… meaning not actually convinced… does anyone else have revenge fantasies about computers? Anyway, we’re still working on fleshing out your world, so today’s plot challenge is a pretty basic one. I’m going to give you a very general idea for a setting, and then a few basic character archetypes to work off of. Feel free to alter things as you see fit.
Your Setting: A Fantasy World. You should already have a basic map of your world drawn up. Now I want you to focus on a particular nation. Identify and name landscape features (i.e. specific mountains, rivers, lakes, bays, forests, etc) and national borders. You might want to look at actual maps before drawing your own. Remember that the world is shaped the way it is for a reason. You can’t have a forest in the middle of a desert, rivers flowing away from the ocean, or mountains that shape into a perfect square. You should also name the major cities/counties/states/etc of this nation. It might be a group of loosely aligned city-states, a feudal land, or a democratic nation made up of voting states. Identify the key-working parts in the social, cultural, political, religious, and academic geography. Is there one city that is well known for its universities? Another that is a center of culture and political power? This is the time to figure these things out. You should also decide who lives in your nation. Demographics are helpful here. Different races, ethinicities, etc may exist in different proportions. List them out. If you want to get really involved, list out the demographics for each specific city.
A hardy general: This is a battle-hardened veteran. He might be crafty, conniving, straight-forward, or all-bluster and wrath, but whatever his personality, he has been through hell and back on the battlefield. He’s seen war and won, and now he’s one of the major figures in this nations military.
A Heirophant or Demagogue: This is a religious leader for your nation. However, a demogogue isn’t really just a high-priest. He’s a high-priest who is also a persuasive leader, and often one who doesn’t necessarily believe what he’s peddling. This probably isn’t the only religious leader in your nation, but he is important, and he is not sincere.
A Powerful Woman: Depending on your world or nation this could be anything from an influential courtesan to a noble queen. In the beginning of the 8th century prostitutes virtually ran the Roman Catholic church (I had a professor who called this time the Pornocracy). Alternatively, this could be someone like Elizabeth the First or Jacquetta of Luxemborg (two very influential women in British history).
A Cripple: This is a character who is in a position of power even though he/she is handi-capped in some way. This could be a person in an inherited position who is mentally deficient or insane (consider Caligula as an example), or this could be a mental prodigy with a broken body (such as FDR). That is entirely up to you.