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STEPS FOR DESIGNING A FICTIONAL COUNTRY

When you design a fictional country you will often do this in a number of steps. These are shown in the diagram below.
Being:

DESIGNING A FICTIONAL COUNTRY

BY FOLLOWING THE STEPS BELOW YOU ARE ABLE TO CREATE YOUR OWN FICTIONAL COUNTRY

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STEP 1: CHOOSE A LOCATION

The very first step you take when making a fictional country is determining where the country will be located. The location determines everything for the future. All other features depend on the location choice.
When determining a location you must first of all make the choice whether the fictional land will be on our planet or on an (unknown) planet.

Is the fictional country, just like Montenera, on our existing earth? Then you are more limited in what you can imagine. But it may also be easier because a number of data are already known, such as the climate in your country. However, it can also be a challenge to place some limitations on yourself. For example, in a country on our existing earth you have to take into account many local factors. This way you immediately learn about many things that play a role on earth.

EXAMPLE OF A FICTIONAL COUNTRY MONTENERA

I commissioned myself to design a fictional country in the Atlantic. That turned out to be no easy task. What did I actually know about that area?

I started by consulting an Oceanic Atlas of the World. What does the seabed actually look like at that location? How exactly do the golf currents run?

Soon I started making sketches of my country. The problem was that every time I wanted to change the shape of my country. Sometimes that is frustrating. You then discover that certain things are simply unlikely in reality, or just geographically incorrect. You learn by doing during your fictional journey.

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STEP 2: CHOOSE A LEVEL OF REALITY

When you design a new land on the existing globe (as Montenera is on the earth) you have to deal with earthly reality. The country is located in a certain climate zone and in the vicinity of other countries. That affects how your country will look. You will get a lot of knowledge from reality. Moreover, you have to deal with the earthly laws of nature, such as gravity. You can't ignore that.
This may be different for a self-made planet. For example, gravity may be missing or there may be other elements that do not occur on our earth. When you think of a country on a foreign planet, bear in mind that it will be more difficult to give a good explanation for the choices the country looks like. It may be a major challenge, but it can also involve more work.

Photo left: Pexels

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STAP 3: CHOOSE AN ERA

Just as in reality, a fictional country takes place in a certain era. That can be the past, present or the future. The choice for a certain era has consequences for all other things that you imagine. For example, in the Middle Ages there were no cars on our existing earth. But maybe in a fictional world. Anyway, determine in this step in which era your world is set.

Foto links: Pexels

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STEP 4: CHOOSE THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

School subjects that may be important in this step: geography, biology, mathematics, physics and chemistry.

After you have determined the location of your country, choose the level of reality, choose an era, you can describe the natural features of the country in step 4.
The location determines the natural conditions. For example, a country close to the equator will have a warmer climate than a country closer to the poles.

Points that you could describe are:

* the landscape (mountains, plains and the like)
* the climates that occur in the country
* the presence of hot or cold wave currents
* the presence of lakes or inland seas
* the vegetation present (in relation to the landscapes)
* the animals present (in relation to the landscapes)

EXAMPLE COUNTRY MONTENERA

Now that the location of Montenera is known, the next assignment was to read a lot about the local climates and circumstances.
Since Montenera is near the Azores, I have gathered a lot of information about these islands. I also used an Atlas of the Oceans to study the ocean floor well.

Montenera is located just east of the mid-Atlantic ridge. Because of this it has quite a few volcanic phenomena. There are also earthquakes because of this.
Montenera is located just east of the mid-Atlantic ridge. Because of this it has quite a few volcanic phenomena. There are also earthquakes because of this.

The landscape is therefore formed by volcanic activity. There are some, still active, volcanoes. The country is mountainous, hence the name Montenera.

The Strutasaurus (dinosaur bird) is a species of bird that only occurs in Montenera.

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STEP 5: DETERMINE THE CULTURAL FEATURES

After you have determined the natural characteristics of your country in step 4, you can describe the cultural characteristics of the country in step 5. This is about what people have done with the land and the landscape. After all, the location also determines human conditions.

Points that you could describe are:

* how many people live in the country?
* what is the capital?
* local traditions and customs / local culture
* the spoken languages
* the local dishes
* political developments

The following school subjects are important in step 5:

* Geography: population density
* History
* Language courses: which languages ​​are spoken in the country 
* Social sciences

EXAMPLE COUNTRY MONTENERA

For centuries the inhabitants of Montenera have been staring at the many volcanoes in their country. She increasingly noticed the more or less triangular shape of these mountains. For that reason, they increasingly considered the 'triangle' shape as the main symbol of their country.

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STEP 6: BUILD YOUR LAND FURTHER

After you have determined the social characteristics of your country in step 5, you can design your country further in step 6. You can, for example, make objects that have to do with the characteristics of your country, as described in steps 1 to 5.

Things you could make are:

* a model of a part of the country / buildings
* clothing
* a website
* a flag
* food and drinks
* a national anthem
* traditional folk dance / music
* and many more things

The following school subjects are important in this step:

* Crafts
* Cooking 
* Technics 
* Informatics

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