The Yolíja (Let’s Talk About Worldbuilding, pt. 2)

I guess at some point I am going to have to get into explaining what my world is all about, and for that matter, what’s up with this blog’s name?

When I started writing, I thought there were going to be nine planets: one for each of the nine races. But this, easy formulaic universe where people fit into nice little boxes started to bother the heck out of me. It didn’t feel real. So, I changed it. Three “planets” came into being:
-Terra, the lowermost world
-Ardún, the largest world
-Rax, the uppermost world

Now, I’ll get to that lowermost/uppermost thing in a sec. While still in the initial world-building stages I only had a rough idea of what these three worlds looked like, where they were in relation to each other, and how they interact. In my process of building I like to talk things through with my friends and family, and my friend Jack had a real problem with what to call my creation. She didn’t like to call it my “world”, because there were three. This makes extra sense because the characters in my book call the three planets worlds, because, well, two of them aren’t planets. After a while I decided to figure out what the people of the three worlds would call it. Would they have a collective name?

The answer is yes. In Nímar, an ancient language used for magic, the word for “world” is “olíja”, and the word for “three” is “york”. So, it stands to reason that eventually a collective name might appear, and it felt right to have it be a compound word from the phrase “three worlds”. And thus, the Yolíja was born.

Now, that lower/upper thing. The worlds themselves do not occupy the same space. They are not all orbiting one sun or anything. But there is a sense of position in relation to magic. All magical energy flows downwards, starting outside and above the world of Rax, passing into and through Ardún, before finally flowing in and out of Terra. This is not super important to the lives of the inhabitants, nor the story, except when it comes to travel. Traveling with the flow of magic is easy, but going against is hard. This means that for most intents and purposes, Rax is safe from interference from the other two worlds. (Although it has not always been this way).

I’ll talk more on magic in a ranting series later, and hopefully make it easier to understand. But for now, I’ll rap up. I said above that originally there were nine races, that has changed. There also were for a time only nine nations, but now there are many more. In summary, the Yolíja is a term that encompasses the three worlds, and everything happening in, on, and around them. It is a catch all for any happenings in the universe I’ve created. And so, it is a fitting name for a platform through which I will continue to rant about creating said world.


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