Posted by: Jodi | October 1, 2010

Creating a Fictional Government

Fantasy novels almost always have some dealings with the laws of the land.  Most of the time the main character is either upholding them or doing their best to break them.  For fantasy writers out there this means that there must be an established governing system at work in your world.

My current stumbling block with the manuscript is designing how my world’s government works.  The story requires the magic users to have their own governing body that is distinct from that of the worlds.   This particular governing body is very active in the story so its rules, traditions, and customs must all be established.  The governing body of the world doesn’t come into play in this story but it must be well-developed as well because it will down the line.  This means that I must have it solid right from the beginning.   The prospect of having to create not one, but two realistic systems, is overwhelming.  I don’t want to slap on a preëxisting system and call it good; this isn’t earth, the rules are different.   However, I don’t want to create a governing system that comes across as contrived either.

This is where having a few hours to research different political structures can make a big difference. Until today I never realized just how many variations there were.  Off to the stacks I go.

Here is a handy list of systems to choose from (courtesy of Wikipedia):



  1. Wow! That’s some list.

    Have fun creating a government that works for your world.

  2. Good post, great list. I love stuff like this.

  3. I’m dealing with similar issues with my trilogy – a world that had a very bad past experience with the tyranny of a powerful monarchy and ovethrew it for a republic with a state-sanctioned religion. But now the magic once wielded by the evil kings is back and everyone wants to control it. I’ve had no choice but to create a “history book” complete with genealogies, scriptures, and conflicts. We who enjoy this are a very, very small segment of the populuation. ;}

    • Sounds like you are going to have your hands full coming up with something that will work, interesting stuff. I’m lamenting not paying more attention in Political Science back in the day.

  4. Amazing list. I had no idea there were so many forms of government. Some I’ve never heard of.

    • I didn’t either, I’m amazed at all the ones I hadn’t heard of.

  5. Who needs Sims when you can create your world from imagination?


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