Borders are nothing more than lines on a map. They have no meaning or value except that which we give to them.
That said, what makes a border? How are they determined?
Most borders are naturally defined such as coastlines, rivers and mountain ranges. Others are completely arbitrary political devices such as the one between the United States and Canada.
My interest in this right now is that I am creating a map for my fictional world. I am creating those natural borders out of nothing by building those rivers, oceans and mountains – geological features that have to make sense. The placement of cities and fortresses, farms and villages, all have to have a reason to be where they are.
I have a general idea how I think my world should look. There’s a north and a south. There’s the western hills and the central plains. Several large cities, islands and another land across the sea.
Add to all this, there are the political boundaries. Political boundaries separate people groups. People groups have histories, cultures, religious traditions and so much more. And unlike natural boundaries, political boundaries have a way of shifting. War and conflict seem to be an inevitable part of human interaction.
World building is a difficult, time consuming process. But at the same time, it’s fascinating and exciting. It’s a process worth taking the time to do well. I’ve been spending a lot of time in this world, I may as well do it right.