Even if you don't consider yourself much of an economy person, you do have to consider economy when you're doing world-building. Otherwise, the world has a gaping hole and doesn't feel as realistic.
Economy consists of three main parts: money/currency, resources, and means of production. This means you must figure out:
- how resources are used
Currency doesn't always refer to paper money. The movie In Time uses time as currency. A fantasy world could use magic as currency. Your world could be a bartering society. Importantly, figure out who produces the currency.
You need to know what resources the people in your world have access to (and how much of that your main character can access, too). Does the country specialize in a certain resource? Do they lack something? How does that affect them? How do they make up for it, if at all?
If they rely on others for a special resource, that can be a source of tension and insecurity.
Developing these aspects is important for knowing the type of world your characters live in. Economy affects every part of your character's lives, and where and how they fit into it often plays a significant role in their values and motivations.
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From an Editor: Common Writing MistakesNon-Fiction
As a content and copy editor, I see mistakes that many writers make. I've compiled these into some quick tips and examples for anyone who may find this helpful. (Adapted from a Twitter thread I wrote.)