When I do world building in my fantasy books, I explore it from the point of view of my characters and flesh it out as I go. Around the second draft is really where I nail down what’s possible, impossible, and how things impact one another (and more importantly, how that affects my plot). For The City of Veils, my awesome YA epic fantasy about a princess vigilante, the protagonist gets a crash course in all manner of things, including economics.
It’s the Economy, Stupid
Do any of you young people get that reference? I’m so old, y’all.
In any case, Brynna (the aforementioned princess vigilante) is very concerned with the economy of her city and country. Because of the way Forcadel is situated, their biggest industry is trade and shipping. They’re a perfect hub between the very fertile country of Kulka and the very ore-heavy country of Niemen (who also have a highly-contested border). Ergo, they’ve made an industry of being the middle-men.
What does this mean for Brynna? Well, it means she’s got to keep both parties happy, and that’s hard when they’re both out for their own interests. Not only that, but she also has to keep her own industry thriving by implementing smart tariffs and taxes. For a girl who’s been running around on the streets for a few years, it’s a lot to take in.
Unfurling without the Info Dump
Writing fantasy means the world is open to your imagination, but it also means you have to bring your reader along for the ride. With a highly political book like City of Veils, I had to be careful to show the world without leaving anyone behind. Luckily, Brynna is about as interested in economics as most other people, and she had little patience for her sister-in-law’s long lessons.
It also meant she made ton of political blunders. Through those blunders and missteps, she and the reader then begin to get a better picture of the world and how each country interacts with one another.