Things to Consider When World Building
The World of Rosella Tolfree
As I build the politically complex world of Rosella Tolfree, there are many things to consider. Rosella Tolfree is a special agent at the Federal level of the U.S. government, so there’s politics of Washington D.C. to consider.
But also, Rosella is in a period of my future time known as the “Ross Perot Period of US Presidents” where there’s 40 years of despot presidents. Before this period was a time of isolationism between nations globally called the “Economic Isolationist Recovery Period”. I’m currently working on a story set during this time in Germany and Belgium.
When you build a world filled with a political timeline, videos like Vox’s on the history of the Strait of Hormuz become important. As a Sci-Fi writer you are not only looking to the future events of things, but you are trying to understand the present day.
Current Events to Consider
The current White House administration has limited all press coverage to basically Presidential tweets and memos of corrections regarding those tweets. Trying to determine exactly what are the main goals of any foreign policy is impossible except one basic theme- isolationism. But isolationism does a country no good unless its economy can fully meet all its demands. As things stand, the U.S. really does not meet all the needed consumer demands without some amount of international trade.
In my future time, countries can easily isolate themselves from others because the world flooded with 216 feet of water and the weather patterns have changed. There’s so much disruption ecologically nations have little to no choice but to isolate themselves to rebuild. There’s still some international trade, but it’s mainly business to consumer, or business to business. Governments do not involve themselves in trade negotiations. Sure, it would make a happier world to have cooperation between nations, but in dystopia all bets are off and it’s a free for all.
Getting back to my point about the Vox video. As a Sci-Fi writer, I watch YouTubes like this Vox video on the Strait because I’m trying to read between the lines. What would we get if we keep going in this direction? What I see is an American foreign policy designed to force our allies into total economic submission at some later date. We’ve appeared to partner with an axis of evil nations only to use this to cause the collapse of the European and Japanese economy so they will come crawling back to the U.S. like after WWII. Then America is once again an economic giant on the world stage, and everyone will come to America for goods and services.
Sounds great in theory, but the world economics have evolved far more than what I’ve written above. So complex is the economic web, that it’s more likely that disrupting the world in this way will cause a world-wide recession taking the U.S. along with it.
(SIDEBAR- I’ll be honest, in watching the tit-for-tat between China and the U.S. on trade, I would contend that China is more than likely to ruin the U.S. economy before November 2020 to secure a new U.S. President they can cut a better deal with. No doubt you will see soon Facebook and Twitter posts and ads showing how the current President is killing the U.S. economy with its trade war with China and you need a new one.)
When I was writing my story dealing with Germany, not only did I have to consider future technologies involving androids and how much international trade was happening despite isolationism, but what happened to society as all northern Germany flooded. I had to consider current social trends I was seeing in Germany from sources I know and project them in a dystopian manner. I then had to look at the politics of Germany and understand them and plan from there. I had to do the same with Belgium, as half of Belgium disappears under the waves.
With Belgium I had to eliminate the monarchy because it helped with the story but keep the Parliamentary government intact. I then had to integrate Belgium into German control without using warfare. My Belgium was an interesting experiment as a Sci-Fi writer because Belgium is a mix of mostly French and Dutch. German is just a little slice of Belgium, so that part had to increase. Thankfully, I had a flooded northern Germany to help with that. These are all the kinds of dynamics one gets into with world building.
A video like Vox’s can help a writer understand the historical events of politics, but also allow those of us writing the future understand how political events unfold and how they interconnect. We see with the Strait of Hormuz going from conflicts over oil to peace and now back to conflict again. All because the U.S. has a four-year presidential cycle. With longer political cycles there can be greater stability in policy, but shorter cycles can cause a back-and-forth reality if everyone is not on the same page. Just more things to consider when world building.
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