For this section you should focus on one specific area and not the entire planet. Say the city/village where your story takes place.
Do Your Characters Match Where They Live?
Here is something that not every writer thinks of: Do your characters match their environment? Your world affects your people. You are a human, thus you require oxygen to breathe and certain proteins and energies to live on. You need sunlight and water and fresh air. Without certain things you will die. Without certain things your body changes. If you live on a diet of nothing but carrots, eventually your skin will turn orange and your eyes and teeth turn yellow, this is a scientifically proven fact, and has happened.
In a similar light, flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp. Take the shrimp out of their diet and they lose their pink color. Flamingos on a fish diet grow white feathers. Flamingos in zoos feed other shell fish, grow out orange feathers. Likewise you can turn a canary from white to yellow to pink to red depending on their diet. The same is true of goldfish and koi carp.
Animals that live deep in dark caves turn white and evolve to give birth to not only blind, but completely eyeless babies.
What does all of this mean to you the writer? It means that when you change your world, you may be changing your characters too. Taking out certain plants and animals means altering your characters diet and thus changing their skin color. Move them underground and they not only turn white but they a born blind. A very important part of world creation is creating characters who are physically able to live in the world you created. It is important that you keep in mind that when you create a world different from Earth, you will need to create creatures that are equally different from humans as will. Humans can not live in certain places or under certain conditions and your readers will not be willing to suspend belief in reality if you suddenly have regular humans in your non-earth like world.
How you design your world will affect how you should design your characters living within that world.
Here are a few questions you could ask yourself when creating characters and matching them to your world:
The list below are the original pages written in 2003, and republished on Squidoo in 2007:
Even more articles have been written for this series since then:
As there are now more then 100 articles for this series, it now has it's own index page on which to list them all, as there are just too many to keep adding them to this end of article list. You can find the complete listing of all the World Building articles here now: