World building in the Civilands series was an interesting process. The story didn’t begin with the continent of Duresia or the Murrieta Territory within it. It started only with Jeannie Morrell and a chase through the woods. So how did it expand as a function of my own experience? And how will it relate to you?
The Western That Wasn’t
In book 1, Crimson River, the focus is on the Murrieta Territory. The power struggle which occurs there is also the major point of conflict in the series. Its story develops from an interest in nature, manifest destiny, and the west.
However, I’m not from the west, nor am I ready to abandon my roots altogether just yet. The big city is a part of my non-fiction story as much as it is this fictional world. So, starting in book 2, Crystal Eyes, we start to see more of Duresia’s east and its sprawling cities. This is where it all began for many of the main characters like Jeannie and the members of the Keagan gang. Their transition to what are literally greener pastures is a major theme throughout.
And thus, from the country-convert that isn’t yet, comes the western that wasn’t!
How World Building Will Be Familiar to Readers
Whether you’re the type to start east and go west or do it the other way around, the transition to the unfamiliar will be familiar. Supplanting ourselves into new environments shapes the way we see the world. If you’ve experienced this in any capacity, the following concepts should be all too familiar and presented in exciting ways. If you haven’t yet, the journey will be more enlightening! 🙂
1. Personal Growth Through Change
When you leave home you observe a new way of living. When you do return though, you get to see the contrast in-depth. In Crystal Eyes, William Keagan goes through this during his trip back home to the city of New Berkeley. Along the way he’ll come to discover more about the place he left and whether his decision to leave was the right one.
2. Figuring Out Where You Belong
Not a fan of westerns? Good–industry is on the rise in New Berkeley. Do you prefer the more natural west? Good–let’s go to the Murrieta for a wild ride. Not sure which is for you yet? Even better to find out the hard way! And you will not be alone. Some of the characters also have these same questions to answer for themselves.
3. Sociological Impact
If you’re one of the less selfish among us, you’ll get to see how these budding societies will either come together or fall apart. Will responsible governments develop or will power be controlled by the few? Also, how will new relationships impact connections with longtime family and friends? Will you change too much while you’re away for their liking?
Find the answers and more in Civilands and thank you for reading with me thus far! Let me know in the comments about a time you changed environments. How did it impact you either positively or negatively? Which place did you prefer and why? If you do share, I’ll tell you which character you’d most relate to in the series 🙂