Hello family, friends, and fans!
Crafting a fictional world takes time, not only in the writing of but the reading of. You can’t come right out and say culture A is blah blah blah. Subtlety rewards the careful reader… those rewards lead to an expectation, a familiarity that fosters a prediction of action, behavior, and voice. When your reader can anticipate the actions and motivations of distinct groups of people, you as a writer have successfully cemented the first stones of cultural worldbuilding. But it is a tricky thing to balance between predictability and familiarity.
In A Promise of Iron, you will find that cultures encompass religion, dogma, sexuality, and ethnicity, a common theme in our history until the onset of national identity. This division, borrowing from history, has been at the center of conflict through much of our past. There are three distinct cultures explored in A Promise of Iron, four if you count Roharan, which I do not. Seveli, Cyllian, Rukish are the main points of interest, the main points of contention, and the main background for the forces at work within the story.
I wrote this story with an aim for realism. In that effort, I may have labored far too much on the motivations, then that much more on hiding those motivations within the pages. Writing first-person arguably makes that task easier. I can use the ignorance of my characters as a way to hide information just as much as I use it to discover. You will need to read the book to get the finer points (no spoilers here), but I will pose a few questions as you read. Why are these cultures different? What makes them so distinct? What events lead to those distinctions? What common themes run through all cultures of men?
Thanks for reading.
Salt and Ruin,