Fantasy World Building: A How to Guide

Fantasy world building can be a fun adventure for old and new writers alike. However, it can also seem like a daunting project. The scope alone can seem intimidating and a lot of people don’t know where to begin.  They might lose motivation when they start their book and realize how much work goes into creating an entirely new world.  This article will talk about how to go about building a fantasy world.

Fantasy World Building

Continents and Geography in your Fantasy World

One of the most important things to figure out when your building your fantasy world is the size.  How large do you want your world to be? Is it only a few continents? Are there dozens? What are the sizes of the different geographical locations?  How religious are they?  Do you have deserts?  Mountains? Plains? Each continent can be different depending on where they’re located.  This can determine a lot, such as the wildlife that grows there, the population density, even the style of dress your characters prefer.

 

Breaking Down the Government

Once you’ve decided on your continents, you need to decide how your continents are broken down into different regions.  How many kingdoms belong to each continent?  Are any of them  divided into countries? How many are empires?  This can be important to figuring out governments. Each different region could have similar or vastly different governments which could, in turn, lead to disputes among the different countries, kingdoms, and empires. Depending on the geography, mentioned above, knowing your government can help you consider trade routes among different regions. If, for example, the northern continents are mountainous and snowy, crops might not grow there.  They might have to trade ore for food.

 

Religion in your Fantasy World

What kind of religion does your fantasy world practice? Does the entire world practice the same sort of religion or is it broken down based on where characters live?  Is religion mandated or voluntary? Do your characters worship one god or multiple? Or do they worship no god at all? This ties into magic.  Is magic related to religion or is it separate? Can your characters even use magic?  There are also ceremonies to consider, holidays, and other religion related topics.  Are there religious zealots in your world? Do they fight among the different regions, trying to spread what they believe as truth? This can lead to civil unrest and even war.

 

 Starting off Small

If all this seems rather daunting, it can be easier to start small when building your fantasy world.  Take your main character and consider where they live. How is their bedroom set-up What knick-knacks do they keep? Which style of clothing hangs in their closet? Then compare it to the rest of their household.  Are there other characters have similar taste? Is it possible these people wear similar clothing? Do the practice similar religious and societal beliefs?  Move on from there.  What’s the neighborhood like?  How does this compare to the city they live in?

Compare the city to the kingdom, empire, or country? Now compare this to their neighbors.  Do they practice the same views? Do they have the same beliefs? Once you’ve figured that out, keep moving outward until you’ve compared it to the world at large.  You’d be surprised at how simple it can be once you break it down to one character and move to include your entire world’s populace.

 

Make a Map

A map doesn’t have to be something fancy.  You can start by just scribbling down a few continents, drawing in mountains or coloring in deserts.  This will give you a general idea of how big your world is, and how it relates to each other.  This can help you figure out trading routes, compare religions, and ultimately set up for whatever plot you’ve decided to write. However, you can also use a map making site to help you out.

 

Have fun with your Fantasy World

The most important thing in building a fantasy world is to have fun. Because you’re creating something from scratch, it can seem like a huge project. Therefore, remember that it’s your project.  There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to setting up a world for your story to take place in! Just stay motivated and remember to think things through and you’re going to wow people with your fantasy novel.

Writing: Stay Motivated in Order to Finish that Novel

There are a million quotes out there about writing a novel.  Chances are, if you’ve ever had the dream of writing your own book, you’ve spent hours combing the Internet, looking for inspiration among those who are already famous. Don’t misunderstand me: I’ve done the same. I can’t count how much time I’ve wasted trying to find that one quote that would motivate me to open my word processor and get started.

 Writing is hard work.  Nobody’s denying this. That being said, you are what’s going to start your novel.  You need to find your own motivation, and you’re not going to find it in the form of a fifteen-word quote, no matter how well it’s written.  In this article, I’m going to offer examples of how you can motivate yourself into sitting down and pumping out those words.

Keep on Writing: Start Now

Set Deadlines for Writing

One of the easiest ways to procrastinate in writing is to treat it like a hobby.  Hobbies don’t care if you push them back a day, a month, or even a year.  Think about it.  Does it really matter if you finish knitting that scarf by three o’clock on Saturday afternoon? What’s going to happen if don’t? Nothing.  There’s no repercussions.  Imagine if people went to work that way, though! Imagine telling your boss that you don’t need to get that assignment done because your work is just a hobby.  That’s a fast way to find yourself on the unemployment line, right?

So, treat your writing like it’s a career.  Set deadlines and make sure you have consequences for not meeting them.  Maybe you can only get that blended Frappuccino on Friday afternoon if you finish your wordcount every day on time.  Maybe you can’t watch your favorite television program if you still have a chapter unfinished.  If your writing is important to you, then make sure you act like it.

Get Rid of Distraction

Everyone loves the Internet.  Reddit is a godsend, right?  And how many hours a day to you spend on Facebook browsing funny pictures and looking at your friends’ new baby pictures?  Do you constantly check the latest news, gossip, or memes? The Internet isn’t solely responsible for distraction, though.  Do you watch television as you write?  Do you read as you write, constantly trying to finish that interesting new novel you just bought?

Remove distractions from your work environment. Make sure that you aren’t wasting time watching funny ads on Youtube, that you aren’t constantly checking your phone for text messages from your BFF, and filter outside noise.  Maybe turn on some relaxing music so you’re not constantly listening to your son play his video game in the living room ten feet away.

Get Respect and Help from Others

One of the quickest ways to lose motivation in writing is when someone comes in for a quick chat. Imagine that you’re in the middle of a heated battle scene and that your main character is about to take an almost fatal blow, only to come out victorious at the end.  You’re caught up in the moment, your emotions are all over the place, your fingers are flying across the keyboard… and then someone asks what you want for dinner.

Set aside time for writing and asks others to respect this time.  Make sure your partner knows that you need an hour in the evenings for writing and that any conversation they want to have can happen once you’ve finished for the day.  Make sure your kids know that you need some personal space and time and that they can entertain themselves for a little while.  If your kids are younger and in need of more attention, ask for help from your partner.  There’s no reason that your husband or wife can’t feed the baby for an hour in the evening or tuck your daughter into bed if you’re on a roll.

Write Every Day

An easy trick to keep yourself motivated is writing every single day.  Even when you don’t feel like it, write anyway.  Try to hit your minimum word count at the very least.  If you start taking extended breaks, your going to lose your feeling for the story, for your characters, for your world, and ultimately, for your book in general.

Set up a schedule so you know when you need to write.  When that time comes around, sit down and write.  Use a writing prompt if your stuck on your story.  Look up character dossiers and write one out for your side characters.  Come up with a flash fiction that involves your main character in a situation you hadn’t previously thought of. Writing something is better than writing nothing.

In the end, your success is up to you.  If you want to write a novel, the most important thing you can do is sit down and write.  Make sure you write even when you’re tired, or your kids are screaming, or dinner is going to be late. Forget everything else for just a little while each day and remind yourself of why you started writing in the first place: because you have a story inside you, and that story needs to come out.