Laying the keystone

Laying the keystone

A Lesson by AJChallenger

We're going to make a quick overview of the first steps to creating your own fantasy world. Some of it may seem basic, but they're things you have to make sure you include so the reader can really get into what you're saying.


So you want to make your own world?

Maybe you want to make a different version of the world we already know? 

Either way, we'll take a look at what you can do to make whatever your fantasy world all it can be.

First, you need to think about some of the basic principles of science. This applies more to fabricated realities than to alterations of the existing one. Here are a few of the key items.

--Does gravity work the same way?

--What is the atmosphere?

--What is some of the indigenous life? In biology life is related, we see variants of the same species. Your world should have some of this.

--What s the most abundant resource?

--What is the plant life like?

--Is there a moon? Are there multiple moons? 

--What is the sun like?

Those are a few of the key things, now you need to look at the society of the people of your fabricated reality. Here are some things to keep in mind there. Remember, all things are linked together. The hours in a day would affect when they eat, the number of moons might change their spiritual worship. The lack of a moon could do the same. Here are some things to look out for when thinking of the culture

--How many hours in a day? 

--How many days in a week? Weeks in a year? 

--How long have they had written history?

--What is war like? Societies that have lived in peace for a long time tend to have more ritualized combat moves. 

--What is the art? 

--Are they tribal, democratic, authocratic, theocratic? What is their government?

--Who are their Gods, if there are any? Two moons may mean there are is a male and a female god and during the day they unite to give life to the world in the form of the sun.

--Where did their civilization begin? Forest people would have old forest legends, even if they now live on the plains. Coastal people would have deep seeded legends about the coast and fish.

--What are their diets like? 

--Think of their social interactions, is it okay to touch the opposite sex? If so, why? If not, why?

--What is the class system like? 

--Economic system? What is it and how does it work.

Again, these are just a few things in a list to help you really look into the basics needed to establish a successful world.

The last item I'm going to give a list for is physical/architectural charactersitics. I lump these together becaues they are, in many ways, linked. If your race are half a meter tall they probably won't have steps, but ramps and lifts. Their buildings might be smaller, even though they would seem huge to them. Here are some other items to look out for.

--The physical description of the people and why the environment made them that way. 

--How their physical appearance changed their technology. People with no thumbs would not have doorknobs. People with no eyes would not have windows. 

--The design of the buildings reflects the thoughts and attitudes of the people. Industrial buildings of steel and glass imply progress, a constant desire for knowledge.

--Agrarian buildings of stone and wood imply a slower pace of developement.

--Thinkg of the building styles of the past. Have they changed? If so, why? If not, why? 

--Have the people of your reality changed in any way? Are they taller than before? Shorter? 

--Are there people of extreme deformity? What is done with them?

--Are their ruins of older civilizations, or have your people always lived where they live now? 

These are just a few things to review, and I encourage you to explore every aspect of your fabricated reality. Just because you've thought about it, though, doesn't mean you have to write it. Just having thought about and developed the society, the science, the art, the history, the philospohy will help you when it comes to writing. You'll find that you have your characters doing this because it is what the people from the southern village do. The northern village may look at them strangely, or they may be okay with it. 

The more developed your thoughts are about the reality you've created, the more developed your writing will be. Don't bog us down with detail, but small, familiar things help ground your writing, they help transport the reader to your world, where you will hold them captive with your words.

I hope this has helped, there will be others. :-)

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Posted 4 Years Ago

Excellent post! I totally agree that it is vital for every fantasy writers to explore every details of their world.

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Posted 11 Years Ago

This is excellent! It really makes one think, and encourages people to dive fully into the horribly difficult but also indescribably amazing world that writing a fantasy is.

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Posted 11 Years Ago

This is amazing! I've never realised how many details I would need but it's great! Thank you!!

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