Worldbuilding Contrasts

Introduction

Having interesting contrasts in your world is a necessity. This is what is breathing life into your characters and your story. You can use them to creatte different factions, differentiating between your heroes and your villains and avoid stereotypes and clichés. 


For example, you could take two contrasts below and apply two sides to a faction and the two other sides to a different faction. If you want to make things even more interesting, you can mix sides. What does it mean for a character to be blunt but also nurturing? How would a strong but tactful villain sound like?


We naturally understand things in dualities, trinities and so on. They are easy to remember and easy to compare. This is why you may want to base your worldbuilding on such concepts. In order to do that, you choose some dimensions of reality to split in opposites (such as colors, concepts, themes and so on) and have them interact together. It is just a matter of finding splits that make sense and produce interesting contrasts.


Nothing is more powerful than finding opposites and contrasts that have not yet been explored. This is the easiest way to produce original concepts and ensure that elements in your world play harmoniously together. If you follow this approach, consistency naturally occurs.

1 - Singularities

  • Zero
  • God
  • One
  • Soul
  • Sun
  • Black Hole

2 - Dualities

  • Peaceful - Aggressive
  • Dependent - Independent
  • Influenced - Stubborn
  • Submissive - Dominant
  • Passive - Active
  • Home-oriented - Worldly
  • Vulnerable - Closed-off
  • Indecisive - Decisive
  • Talkative - Secret
  • Gentle - Firm
  • Sensitive - Tough
  • Security - Adventure
  • Emotional - Logical
  • Expressive - Distant
  • Verbal - Analytical
  • Kind - Cruel
  • Tactful - Blunt
  • Nurturing - Protective
  • Weak - Strong
  • Receptive - Giving
  • Integrative - Differentiating
  • Collective - Individual
  • Internal Focus - External focus
  • Whole focus - Details focus
  • Process-oriented - Results-oriented
  • Collaborative - Competitive
  • Equality - Hierarchical
  • Planning - Action
  • Being - Doer
  • Intent - Effect
  • Patient - Urgent
  • Heart - Head
  • Listener - Speaker
  • Open - Directive
  • Accomodating - Assertive
  • Conscious - Subconscious
  • Random - Structured
  • System-Thinking - Linear-Thinking
  • Creative - Executive
  • Intuition - Logic
  • Victim - Perpetrator
  • Powerless - Abuse of Power
  • Weakness - Aggression
  • Manipulation - Control
  • Needy - Unsupportive
  • Water - Fire
  • Shade - Light
  • Cold - Heat
  • Wetness - Dryness
  • Faded - Vibrant
  • Discreet - Obvious
  • Indirect - Direct
  • Rounded - Straight
  • Softness - Hardness
  • Flexible - Solid
  • Stillness - Movement
  • Calm - Energetic
  • Slow - Fast
  • Tired - Lively
  • Interior - Exterior
  • Mental - Physical
  • Storage - Usage
  • Quiet - Loud
  • Death - Life
  • Higher - Lower
  • Negative - Positive
  • Black - White
  • Night - Day
  • The Moon - The Sun
  • Timid - Brave
  • Accepting - Rebellious
  • Graceful - Clumsy
  • Innocent - Experienced
  • Self-critical - Self-confident
  • Conservation - Conquest
  • Earth - Sky
  • Decrease - Increase
  • Downward - Upward
  • Woman - Man
  • Allowing - Controlling
  • Pull - Push
  • Trust - Authority
  • Feeling - Thinking
  • Matriarchal - Patriarchal
  • Spirit plane - Physical plane
  • Pessimistic - Optimistic
  • Liberal - Conservative
  • Responding - Originating
  • Depressive - Withdrawn
  • Flowing - Stiff
  • Isolated - Busy
  • Hypoactive - Hyperactive
  • Empathetic - Rational
  • Trusting - Responsible
  • Spontaneous - Strategic
  • Zero - One

3 - Trinities

  • Protons - Neutrons - Electrons
  • Body - Mind - Spirit
  • Masculinity - Neutral - Femininity
  • Father - Son - Holy Spirit (Holy Trinity)
  • Positive - Neutral - Negative

4 - Quaternities

  • Air, Earth, Fire, Water (Four elements)
  • North, South, East, West (Cardinal directions)

5 - Quinternities

  • Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Spirit (Five elements)
  • Water - Wood - Fire - Earth - Metal (Wuxing elements)
  • Platonic Solids

6 - Sexternities

  • Nothing

7 - Septernities

  • Chakras

8 - Octernities

  • Music Octave

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