Welcome back to this week’s craft post. I hope you are looking forward to this as I am, especially after having to take last two weeks off due to my move. We are in the middle of a large series on Worldbuilding and focusing on people of your world. If you are new you can catch up by clicking on the worldbuilding link in the toolbar, it will take you to a page with links to all the posts in the series thus far. Or you can just put your mouse over the link see all the sub-series. To get caught up our current sub-series you can click here. The link is to the first and only post thus far in the sub-series on inhabitants.

How many races live in your world? When I say races, I mean sentience. For example, many animals on earth have a level of sentience but are not at the same level of human. Before I go any further, the word race is a wrong word to define different people. Species is the better word, race social construct to help categorize the differences between people within a species.

“Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics, as well as shared cultural practices and affectations. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, by the 17th-century race, began to refer to physical (i.e. phenotypical) traits.” Race from Wikipedia

While I don’t want to get into the whole arguments of racism, but because of this is one of the reasons we have racism. Humans are one race or species. Moving on, I am going to use race because it is the accepted term and people know what you mean by it. I will be defining Race as different people of intelligence and sentience that do not share genetics. For example, using classical fantasy races. Humans and Elves are two different races as they have different bloodlines. Now if you have human’s and elves in your storyworld and one came from the other due to whatever reasons then they would be part of the same race but different cultures and appearances.

My question remains, how many races do you have? One, two, ten, a hundred, a thousand? You can have as many races as you want in your world, and you should have a clear understanding of each race, but do you need to flesh every single one out to the point of you know everything? That is for you to decide, but for me, the answer is yes and no. You should know enough about each race that you can talk about them or drop hints about the race in your story even if they don’t appear. However, if they don’t appear it is up to you do decide if you want to flesh the race out to know everything about them.

Once you know how many races you will have, where do they live? This is where that map I like to bring up all the time comes in handy. Where they live and more importantly where they began plays into how they developed. That will be the topic of the next post. Today, I just wanted to get you thinking about the number of races and define race. Next week, we will look at how to develop a race and what kind of questions to ask. I will give some examples. Before I end, let me just say this last thing. If you are doing fantasy, create your own races and don’t use the classics, they have been done to death. Sure use them as examples if you want, maybe take traits from humans, elves, and dwarves and make a new race.

If you are insistent on using the classic races then at least reimagine them bring something new to the table. In my experience, those who want to use them are new writers who just found Lord of the Rings or Terry Brooks the Shannara Chronicles. I am sorry, but I am sick of seeing the same races appear in fantasy over and over again. It is your story, but just note the trend is not to use these races.

That’s all I got today. I wanted to go into more, but after two weeks off, I need to get back into the swing of things. Check back next week’s post on developing races. Usually, on Monday’s I have a writing wrap up post. There will not be one this week as I haven’t done any writing. The hardships of moving are getting settled in. I may try to post something, but the next scheduled post is next Friday.



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