Hey guys SolZen here for another help guide in making Fan Fiction, actually in writing in general.
Now many of you are probably asking, 'what is world building'? To answer this, let's go with why a majority of Fan Fictions take place in the same world as the official series and by official series I mean the Showa Universe. The answer is very simple, the world has already been built. Does that answer you question? No? Alright, here.
World Building is the act, art of creating a world and making it feel real, this is done by four main aspects, physics/logic, History, Lore and Customs. A believable world has these four things, no matter how wacky or bizarre it may seem, so long as these four tenets are kept true it will be believable as a world onto itself, even if it doesn't match up with reality.
For much of this blog I will be using the Orion Universe and let's start with physics. Now while I may have put Physics and Logic together, they are not exactly the same thing.
Physics in literal terms, is matter, energy and how they interact with each other. For example, Gravity is a form of energy, but how it affects matter is listed as a 'law of physics'.
Now when it comes to changing physics, making them different from real world physics, the 'laws of physics' are the best means to use, that is, what we call laws of physics are often scientific dogma, rules that people have come up with but have never really been tested, especially when talking about outer space, other dimensions. Just be sure to make that clear when you introduce a law, that it's dogma and not fact.
In the Orion Universe, I have 'Phase Theory' (note to self make a page for this), which, having borrowed a lot from Star Trek, explains Flash Travel, other dimensions, faster than light speeds and why Ultra Beams are so powerful. That is the physics of the Orion Universe, the powers of the Ultras explained away.
Now general, everyday physics doesn't need explanations, you don't need to explain to people how someone walks down the street and not fall of the planet. They get that already, but for the fantastic, if you so chose you can explain away.
NB: Note that you DON'T have to explain things to people, not unless it gets really confusing, I mainly wrote Phase Theory, so I can remember how the universe works and not hurt myself, trying to remember all of that stuff.
Now Logic on the other hand is how your Universe works, now that may sound confusing but listen. Logic is the rules of the Universe, often as set down by your Laws of Physics. To make it easier to understand, Logic is determined by precedence, what has already happen. In the Orion series, I established that Ultras and Dark Ultras have energy at polar opposite charges to each other. When Orion fought a group of Dark Ultras, he was able to defeat them using this logic and another logic, they were animal like in mind.
Logic often comes in rules, the most common piece of logic all fan series have in common, 'Kaiju/Monsters are immune to conventional weaponry'. That is to say, bullets, normal missiles etc are useless against monsters. Non-conventional weaponry is another story. In the Orion Universe, STAR, the resident Defense Team, uses lasers, plasma loaded missiles and such to fight monsters and they do hurt them. This is not a law of physics, it does not explain HOW the universe does but WHAT the universe does. It is a rule of the world where the story takes place, this is the logic it follows.
Another example, say I wrote a story where a wormhole appeared, why it just appeared doesn't match up with what we know in real life, but suppose I have another one appear, and why it appears then does. I may have satisfied the demands for 'realism' (why I don't know) but I have broken the internal logic of my world, the same thing happened but without good reason, it doesn't behave the way it does before. Now that could be a window to a storyline, making sense of why the logic was broken, determining if it reallly was broken or if another logic is taking place etc But generally people have just broken the logic and if your world doesn't follow its own logic how can you expect a reader to?
Logic also affects characters, this is not the same as personalities, but their abilities. Orion is strong, how strong he is has been shown in the first couple of episode, but by the end, he is fighting and defeating enemies his earlier self would've had no hope of defeating. Yet, why is this not breaking logic? Simple, before hand I explained that Orion was getting stronger, if I remember correctly I put that in the story. Ultraman Zwei, he doesn't have that gift, if he just made such leaps in strength, I would've broken the logic of my world
Every Universe, every world in the context of the story wasn't made yesterday. So obviously things had to have happen. In the first episode of Orion, it was made clear that Kaiju have been appearing for sometime, maybe a long time. STAR was fighting these things for a while. The Land of Giants (Orion's version of the Land of Light) has history, a history that explains were some villains come from, items etc. There is also backstories, but there is another blog for that.
Simply put, the seeds of the future are planted in the past. Events in the present of the Orion series, a lot of them were made inevitable by events from the past. Orion's relationship with his step-father, his relationship with his step-brother and mother, why Prime was such a petty jerk at times, why Mizuki tried to kill him, why Tori was effectively a housewife, despite being stronger than Prime, Torrent and Gigas. These characters were made who they are by their histories, the same goes for the world.
Most people will skip the history of the world and just put it as, it's an alternate version of real life or an Ultra series. That's okay if you are doing nothing new but then you go and introduce something that breaks the logic of the world you are borrowing.
The sense of history in a world, the feeling that time has run its course, gives credibility to your world.
If History is 'what happened' then Lore is 'what we know happened' or believe to have happened. Lore can be stories as much as it is history and can even just be stories. Our mythologies, our stories about vampires, werewolves, monster, heroes, etc that is lore in real life, stories that have been passed down, generation by generation.
History provides context and set the Logic of a character's behavior or situation, but Lore gives life to your universe, it makes it feel like people are actually living there with their own stories and tales.
The Great Ultra Heroes, yes, they are history, but they are also a story passed down in the Land of Giants, most people didn't even know King was the last member. King himself is a thing of legend, both Ultraman King and Orion's King, both are figures, sources of lore. The Ginga Spark is said to be a thing of Legend in the Land of Light, that means there are untold stories about it, we the audience don't know yet. This tells us the Ultras as a society have their own stories and legends. Ultraman Legend and Justice are said to be subjects of Legends about them, this imples they have greatly affected a society to the point they have been deified.
Lore can be about a place, a person, people, an item or a part of history. You may have heard the saying, truth becomes history, history becomes legend, legend becomes myth. Well that can happen, lore could be totally different but started by a historical event.
Customs are like Lore in that they help enrich the world, but while Lore is about passed down stories, Customs are things people do, often times being connected to lore/history. Usually the customs seen are borrowed from real life.
In most Ultra Series the 'Customs' are the rules of behaviors the Defense Team does, like how Team Guys would say 'G.I.G.' A better example is the Advent Festival, a christmas like holiday shown in Mebius, where people dressed up like Father of Ultra, this being the result of the time he used a street santa clause as a human form.
The only example I can pull from the Orion series is the Maternal Cloak worn by Ultrawomen who are mothers-to-be. The cloak is a tradition passed down from before they were Ultras, like the games at the Ultra Colliseum, which has not been showed. This simple thing makes the Ultras a people and not just a collection of superheroes. Even the cloaks worn by the Ultra Brother, implies a custom not directly stated to the audience but gives the feeling a deeper universe.
Now don't go hurting your head trying to get all of this done, heck I wrote a good portion of Orion's world building while I was writing the series. Your story doesn't have to be full of explanations of the laws of physics, details of logic, lore, customs, sometimes, a lot of the time, the best examples of world building are the subtle ones, the ones that don't try to force the 'world' down your throat and instead let you digest at your own pace. For example 'Galactic Law'. When characters mentioned Galactic Law in the series and then explain it, it's not really for the reader, it's for another character. A reader would see Galactic Law and with the context it is being used in (calling out an alien on their invasion plans etc) they can easily guess that it is the body of law for the universe.
If sitting down and just making a page like that is not your thing, you can just make mention of something in the story and explain it later.
Long story short, don' try to force this stuff into the story if it doesn't drive forward the story, character development. Having it here and there, certainly helps but too much is well...too much, distracting from the story at hand. So keep that in mind.