Make a list of the most controversial topics that you could include in your story. Though, I’m sure plenty of sex, drugs, and other taboos take up space, does religion manage to crack that list? It does for many people, and as a consequence, many choose to abandon it entirely. Should you include religion even if it’s fictional? That’s a question I and many others have mulled over. It can be complex and even controversial (don’t open those DMs!), but it fleshes out the worldbuilding. Just think, in what ways has religion impacted the world? Well, a lot of country borders wouldn’t make much sense without religion and that rock music you like traces back to gospel music. Religion influences everything, whether or not you’re aware of it.
In my current project, the fictional religion runs as an undercurrent throughout the story. Since it will play a much larger role in the future (it’s a series), I wanted to ensure that it was realistic and that it added meaningful elements to the fictional world it inhabited.
I came across this introductory article (https://themudworldblog.com/writing-fantasy-religions/) that addresses how to create a fictional religion in a fantasy setting. The article can help you pinpoint how much you want to involve religion in your story and what aspects you may like to include. It also helped me consider other questions. For instance, how does religion influence other spheres such as politics, education, art, etc? It’s important to remember that a story that includes religion doesn’t have to be at the forefront. It can be in the background and instead help build institutions that the character interacts with heavily. .
As always, let me know what you think in the comment section below or reach out to me on twitter. Happy writing!