First, some other people’s Preptober-related links:
I was all ready to start this post with “Oh bog, I forgot technology”… and then I remembered that I’d covered it in a handwave in the basic questions post.
So, with technology handled, at this point, I look at my story, and see what I need to know to get it started.
My protagonist starts out at home, so, as mentioned in the Family post, I need to figure out what that looks like.
Here’s a bit of my process in picking family type:
I was super tempted to go with line marriage, because I’m a Heinlein fan and because I’ve never played with it before (the basic concept: a group marriage continues to add spouses over time, so that the family never ends as a unit). But the premise of my story is that it’s based on YA tropes, and attempting to find a line marriage to join wouldn’t fit the young-romance sort of thing well (brb, adding that to my what-to-write-later list in my bujo).
On the other hand, I want to play with some non-“traditional” relationship types, so it can’t be just “man/woman all the time,” hetero-monogamy.
The only other thing I know going in is I don’t want a dead/absent/checked out mother. Divergent had its flaws, but I really liked that there was an active, involved mother figure.
I ended up settling on extended family living arrangements with group marriages of three to five being common. This provides more family support, less duplication of both effort and things needed, and the ability to easier cover for a missing family member, should the government or other circumstances call them away.
So that’s her home life. Things I’ve already picked because of the nature of the story fit in here, too.
Their government does yearly testing on people, although I haven’t figured out when it stops. Students gifted in a given area are tracked into that field. Schooling is directed by that testing, leading students into very specific areas. There is no opting-out of the testing, or of the directions it sends one.
This gives me: a governmental, nationwide educational system. A testing system, and the authority to carry it out. Adults who have been tracked into fields they are capable in.
It also gives me the question: what happens to people who aren’t skilled in anything? What about people who hate what they’re best at?
Also, what about people who are skilled in several areas? Or people tracked their whole life into something that’s made obsolete?
What parts of your world does your story dictate you understand? What parts of the world are themselves dictated by the story?
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