Tornadoes, Earthquakes, and Floods, Oh My!

Today’s post is going to be shorter due to its inspiration: Acts of God.

That’s what the insurance company classifies various natural disasters, much like the one I had Wednesday. Don’t worry, no one’s hurt though a neighbor’s truck and shed have seen better days. No power and no internet though, so let’s get right to the point.

Mother Nature didn’t like that fence.

What can an act of god mean in your world. The best way this can help you building your world is to think about the types of disasters would occur there. A desert area isn’t going to get a hurricane anytime soon, but it might get a sandstorm. Maybe you aren’t sure what kind of climate you have yet. Thinking about natural disasters you might want to occur can help you narrow down the area you are working in.

It’s also good to think about if your characters are going to be traveling. In the United States alone there are various different disasters a person will be prepared for depending on if they are in the south, near an ocean, in tornado alley (moi), near a fault line, closer to the poles or the equator, etc. This can give you the opportunity to work with many different kinds of settings and conditions. It rarely always sunny.

You do want to be careful that a natural disaster in your story doesn’t become too convenient though. Deus ex machina are dangers things to rely on. If a tornado appears and conveniently destroys an enemy stronghold, then it’s no longer an act of god, it’s an act of the author and the readers are pretty savvy about seeing through that.

Does this look convenient to you?

One last thought before I head out today. Acts of god can help in one more area: lore. Many mythologies and religions are based around natural occurrences (I’ll go into this more in depth late on). So think about how people would view a massive disaster, especially if your world in not scientifically advanced. Is this disaster truly an act of an angry god to them? What kind of stories would they tell of how to appease it or soothe it the next time it occurs?

Something to think about until next time.

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