General / Plotting / World Building / Writing

World Building: How to Pick a Political System

Trying to pick a political system that works for your world is hard. It impacts a lot of the story directly and indirectly. The problem is we’re only exposed to a couple of ideas and everything else slides to the side.

So this week’s post is about a few extra ideas for your political system! 

We’ve all heard of a King/Queen monarchy, and democracy, but what if:

  • You become ruler by defeating the current ruler in combat. The challenge must be supported by any advisers, nobles, etc.
  • Merchants rule and run everything. Business is the most important aspect of this country and so they allow merchants to lead.
  • Only the most intelligent rule. After going through a grueling process to prove their intelligence and usefulness, they are allowed on a council that rules the country. (There are SO many ways this plot alone could make a good story, guys.)
  • Ruler is the head priest/priestess of the country’s religion.
  • A super computer rules, able to calculate instances and outcomes faster than a human, it cannot die, so no succession issues and needs only a way to access information.
  • A government that uses elected officials to define and upkeep a numerical expression of their people’s welfare. The market speculators would determine if the proposed law would be helpful to overall happiness or detrimental.
  • A pool of eligible citizens from the population is drawn from a lottery. Those chosen are the decision makers of the country.

All of these ideas have potential and can be manipulated to fit your story.

But when you choose one, be sure to backtrack and think about what effect it would have on your world.

  • What groups of people might support this government?
  • In what ways might it fail?
  • How would it affect the economy?
  • How would it affect the working class?
  • How would it affect the educational system?
  • Is there now a surplus of a type of worker/lack of another kind?

(Just saying, I’m not a sci-fi writer, but a country run by a computer might want to triple check their firewalls…maybe keep it away from, you know, buckets of water.)

Good luck building your world! Hope it’s destructive as you want it to be.

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Keep Writing, Lovelies


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