When world building, we often forget that certain cultural aspects of society can be extremely important. The arts and entertainment side of your world could add much needed depth to your story and could help explain why your characters are the way they are. Knowing what people from various levels of society do for fun makes your story realistic and helps humanize your characters. All cultures have some form of art and entertainment, so take some time to explore this in your own world.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are certain jobs considered art? For example, is magic part of your world? If so, are these people considered artists or is it an occupation?
- Is art culturally accepted or is it looked down upon?
- Which arts are the most highly valued? Are their “lower” forms of art?
- Where do people view the arts? Where do people go for entertainment?
- What form of entertainment is accepted by society? Do your characters have a favorite pastime?
- How do people judge art in your world? What is considered beautiful? What is considered talent?
- Are some forms of entertainment considered dangerous or reckless?
- Do people get paid for art? If so, how much? Are entertainers considered valuable?
- Are certain races/cultures considered better at specific forms of art? If so, why?
- Are the forms of entertainment different for people depending on their level in society? Does it make a difference?
Developing arts and entertainment when world building is important because it helps readers understand the type of place your characters are coming from. A world that has banned arts, for example, might be seen as a dystopia or overbearing. Arts and entertainment help create the cultural identity of an area and aid in explaining how people interact with each other. A world’s treatment of artists and forms of entertainment also help explain what the world is like. It might be easy to leave out, but spending time developing these things will make your world stronger.