Greetings fellow blog enthusiasts and welcome to this special edition of The World Building School.
My name is Simon Provencher and Nate was kind enough to allow me to make a guest post here in order to share some of my experiences relating to the creating fictional worlds. More specifically, I wanted to take a moment of your time to talk about one of the most fundamental sciences of worldbuilding, namely, Cosmology.
Put in a nutshell, Cosmology is the science that deals with the nature of the universe as a whole, and what allows us to understand just how our world works and where it comes from.
Usually, there are two different approaches to help determine how a particular world has come into existence. The first of which would obviously be the creation of the universe by a single super-being or a group of particular deities, usually tied together nicely with a creation story.
That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways through which a world could technically have formed. After all, how does one go about creating a new world when we don’t even understand how our own first came into existence?
The Genesis of a Planet
Well, there are a few clues left here and there that can allow us to make an educated guess about our universe’s particular Cosmology. So maybe science can give us at least a general idea of how our world was first formed.
It’s usually accepted by the scientific community that the solar system was initially just a cloud of interstellar dust that was drifting aimlessly within a much vaster universe, until the explosion of a supernova sent it into motion, which eventually turned our nebula into a flattened rotating disk.
These events, eventually led to collisions between a large number of space debris that led to the creation of large agglomerations of rocks known as planets, which orbited around the center of said nebula. However, as our galaxy began to flatten, the heat generated by the compression created a nuclear reaction that eventually evolved into the aster that we now know as the Sun.
Eventually, the action of the sun upon our nebula warmed up the construct now known as Earth, until the heavier metals that formed its structure began to sink inside our planet, forming the different planetary layers that we know today.
Following that, the impact between the Earth and the Moon as well as the movement of the tectonic plates gave rises to the first continents, until finally, the interaction between volcanic gases and other elements created the water and oceans that characterizes our planet.
All of these factors led to many chemical reactions that in the theory of evolution eventually gave life to primitive organisms that replicated and in theory continued to evolve until finally life appeared upon the surface of our planet.
The Theory of the Multiverse
Of course, there’s a lot more to Cosmology than that. After all, when we’re talking about the likes of deities or the creation of fictional worlds, we’re also brushing on the subject of parallel universes which houses the beings we’ve created.
Whether we’re talking about heaven and hell or the elemental planes so common to fantasy worlds, it’s usually a given that there may be as much as an infinite amount of worlds which differs from our own. Therefore, one might wonder how this affects our particular approach to world building.
Usually, this will often be left to the discretion of its author, allowing him to decide just where his world stands in the grand scheme of things. But what if that wasn’t really the case? What do we know for sure about what lies beyond our naked eye?
These are all issues to consider when building your own world, particularly if you’re into horror or science fiction. And that is something that’s also inherently tied to our subject.
Though, after all’s said and done, the bottom line is that while Cosmology allows us to have a pretty good idea of where our world comes from, you should always remember that first and foremost, it is YOUR world that you are building. And therefore you should always keep in mind that you’re free to design your fictional world however you like.
Still, it’s good to know that there are already a few models out there that we can rely on whenever we need to, so it’s a good thing to keep in mind don’t you think?
Worldbuilder is a blog that began back in 2012, whose intent is to serve as a starting point for people interested in the creation of fictional worlds.
Throughout each post, we aim to provide you with the tools and the means to create your own fictional setting, as well as promote the sharing of ideas and literature associated with world building.
Furthermore, Worldbuilder also features many original examples of how one goes about creating his own fictional world so that we can help you apply what you have learned upon your own creations.