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Creating the Fantasy World you Need

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, July 15, 2017

image by me

There are many ways to create a fantasy world. Sometimes you need something very elaborate and thought out in the minutest detail and sometimes you need just enough to sketch out a minimal stage for your story to work.

So the first thing to do when deciding to write fantasy and build your original fantasy world, is to make a decision on how detailed and how much work you need to invest in making it. I’m not saying how much you want to invest in it, but how much you need to- and there’s good reason for it.

There’s no limit to what to can do, how much detail you can add, how much you can expand the world you are making. So much so that it can swallow up too much of your time making it or even cramp up your story telling if you spend too much time presenting the world you have painstakingly built.

So when deciding to write fantasy and create your fantasy world, the first question you should ask yourself is “why do I need fantasy to tell my story?”

Why is fantasy necessary for your story and your characters? Why won’t a regular slice-of-life setting do? What is the special addition that fantasy brings to your story, that you must have it?
Is it the magic? Is it the capacity to make a world you can design just right for what you want? Is it the perfect way to make an allegory or a political statement/criticism? Is it to put a spin on a relatively well known tale?

Knowing why you need the fantasy setting will guide you well into how and what you will focus on while building it.

If it’s the magic you need, that’s what you will start with: decide on the type of magic, the rules it follows in your world, the limits of what magic can do, how it looks, who can wield it and how, and so on. The magic is going to be the focus of your detail, and depending on what you decide on, the rest of the elements of the world will start falling into place naturally, with the magic rules as your basis for everything else.

If you need fantasy to make circumstances that don’t exist in the real world, then it’s setting up and delineating those circumstances that will be your focus, starting point and basis for what you will create, and those special circumstances you need will be the frame in which you will paint the rest of your world so that everything caters to those.

Same for when you need to make an allegory, or a political statement about our actual reality, through the fantasy world you will create.

Consequently, how much detail goes into your fantasy world will be effortlessly and smoothly determined by how you answer that one question.

So once you have your answer, you’re well on your way to do your world building research. But first you must make your construction plan, so you’ll continue being efficient!

More on that next time.



Tantz_Aerine at 7:41AM, July 16, 2017

Banes: glad you can use this!// KimLuster: Completely agree! Hm... language definitely CAN be another article altogether... //bravo1102: hahaha I see what you did there.

Banes at 7:54AM, July 15, 2017

This is just what the doctor ordered - I've been putting together a series that's magic n' monsters oriented. Excellent stuff, can't wait for more!

KimLuster at 6:32AM, July 15, 2017

Oh yeah, you want your world 'rules' to stay consistent!! Not much is more jarring than to have a character do something that, pages prior, was set down to the reader as impossible!! Also, if your world is going to have a unique vocabulary (like Dune, with Muad Dib and Bene Gesserit, you better have those rules lined up too - or... is language gonna be another article?)

bravo1102 at 12:38AM, July 15, 2017

Definitely need a plan or else you'll paint yourself into a corner and have to resort to retconning. ;)

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