Welcome to another post in our ongoing series on World Building. Today, we will focus one again on the topic of Cosmology, and otherworldly realms. I was going to go into rules, but I decided to do realms instead. Next week. I think you will be surprised on what I mean by rules. Let’s jump right in, but before I do, if you haven’t read the first two posts in this series, you can find them here (intro to series) and here (1st post on Cosmology).

What do I mean when I say “Other Realms”? It is a good question as I could mean many different things, but there is only one that it could be. Since Cosmology is a top-down approach to building your storyworld, I taking realms in a broad scope. You have your main world or planet, then there are the other places. For example, Heaven and Hell. These are two other realms that exist according to the Bible. One is the place you go if you are a sinner the other if you aren’t. The more religious take is sinners who are forgiven under Christ Jesus death on the cross get into heaven, those who aren’t burning in hell. I don’t care where you stand on this issue it is just an example I choose this for two reasons.

In your storyworld is there an afterlife? If so, what is it? It doesn’t have to be two different locations. There can be many. Also, how do they get there, is there a trial one must take on to get into the best one and if so is it before death or after? Are there differences in beliefs among those who believe in the afterlife? Just like my example, some people today do believe in heaven and hell and but that all the murderers, sex offenders, and rapists will go there while those who did mostly good get into heaven. This differs from those who believe what the bible says.

These realms don’t have to be just the afterlife, but it can be a home to the gods or just another planet on a different plane of existence. Some can be realms that are inhabitable because it is where magic located or time or elements. Thinking through your story having different realms maybe something that can add to it or not. Hell, just knowing they exist even though they don’t impact your story, can be fun. If your main character enters a public drinking establishment he can overhear a debate between some drunks on their take on the afterlife. You can really play with how wrong both sides are or how each side has a piece of the truth and the rest wrong.

That take on realms is just ideas flowing from something different from the world your story takes place on. You could also have realms or planes on that planet. What do I mean about that? Well, you could have five, ten or even a hundred realms on the planet each one a high plane. This means that while the land on each plane is the same how it looks would be different. You could have a hundred different countries right on top of each other and no one knows it unless you move through the planes.

Just imagine having your character go from their plan to eight planes higher or lower than their own and describe how her surroundings change as she passes through the planes. Their plane kingdom could be a cottage there, where the next has a looming tower with a high tower surrounding it. The one after that just thick dark wood, and after that a massive palace. You get my point. There is so much you can do in this part. Have you an idea for another story but you know it can’t take place in this storyworld, how about a multiverse where this universe cosmos and that other storyworld cosmos are parallel universes. Maybe you can cross between them, maybe not. Is it possible one side can cross over by once of you’re stuck?

There is so much you can do in this part, even if it doesn’t effect your story. Now, this of course is for those who want to know their storyworld completely. For those who only care about what is in the idea for the book, they are going to write. You only need to do this part if there is something like another world or dimension in the story. If not, maybe you should think about adding one and see how it changes and mix things up in the plot.

Well, that’s all I got for this topic. There is so much you can do in this section as I mentioned before. All the ideas I mention above are on the spot, I didn’t think of these for an hour before writing this. That would mean these posts take more far more time than they already do. I could come up with probably more original ideas if I kept going. See what you can come up with. Next week will be the last post in the Cosmology section of the Worldbuilding series. It will be on rules, and like I said at the beginning, I think you might be surprised on my take. Until then, check back on Monday and see how my writing week has gone.

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