As a writer, no matter what sort of world you’re building, the chances are pretty high that your world has children in it. They may not become part of your story, but they almost certainly exist nonetheless. And so, part of the culture of your world will be devoted to those children, and that culture had better be part of your story, even if the children themselves never appear on the page.
That’s why I am about to write a nursery rhyme.
No, I’ve never done this before and I’m pretty sure I haven’t a clue what I’m getting myself into; but I’m about to dive in, nonetheless. I’m actually going to read nursery rhymes to get an idea of the feel of them: common uses of meter, typical metaphors used, that sort of thing. Then, I’m going to take the seed of an idea that sprang out of one of the character treatments I posted recently and attempt to write a nursery rhyme that could conceivably have been inspired by the event.
It’s very unlikely that any of this will end up as part of my story, of course. After all, I’m trying to write dark tales in a fantastic and gothic setting. Children might appear in the story, but I’ll be taking to care to keep them as part of the tragic background and a dim sense of hope for a brighter future. The nursery rhyme will serve to simply add to my understanding of the world I’m writing.
I posted this in the hope that it might serve to be helpful to others of you who might be struggling with some aspect of world-building. The answer, as it is in most cases, is to write.