When you think “fantasy races,” chances are you think elves and dwarves, but they’ve been done so much. (Says the author who has elves in almost every one of her fantasy worlds… *cough*) How do we break away from these generic races? How do we come up with something unique and original? That’s what we’re going to explore today. Continue reading “Discovering Your World: Developing Fantasy Races”
Due to a week of massive sleep deprivation and the realization that I’ve actually already written a decent post on developing wildlife that said everything I’d say now (see here), I’ve decided to replace my intended post on wildlife with a post on organizing your worldbuilding, to keep things on-schedule.
Worldbuilding is a massive undertaking, and there’s a ton of information to keep straight. Chances are you have info scattered everywhere–a sticky note with a handful of city names, a map tossed in a desk drawer, a binder that has some of your worldbuilding, but not all the stuff that you wrote down in various notebooks. Fortunately, there’s a cure for this! Actually, multiple cures, depending on how you like to work. Continue reading “Discovering Your World: Organizing the Info”
You’re building a world, and hopefully at this point you have a map. What do you do with that map? Aside from using it as a reference point for where your characters are and where they go, of course. How can you use it to further develop your world? Well, chances are you’ve filled it in with landscapes (mountains, forests, deserts, craggy cliffs…), which is a great starting point. A town in the forest is going to act very differently and produce very different materials than a town in the desert. So, how do you tap into these landscapes to develop your cultures? Let’s find out. Continue reading “Discovering Your World: How Regions and Landscape Affect Culture”
Some of you may remember the “Deep Worldbuild Project” that I did in January and February 2017, a blog post series which continues to consistently get traffic to this day. I thought it was time to revisit that series and update it with some of what I’ve learned in the past two years. I’m going to cover most of the same things I covered in the original series (map-making, how landscape affects culture, wildlife, technology and magic, religion, and history) but with some new additions. Instead of seven installments, the new series is going to have nine, including a guest post near the end by Kate Flournoy.
Also, I feel obliged to mention that I’ll almost certainly be referencing World Anvil a lot in this series. No, I was not paid to promote the tool, I just really appreciate it and think it’s super helpful and recommend that y’all try it out for yourselves as well. (Also, there’s a free version that includes the core features and then some, so you can learn how it works, experience it in almost its full functionality, and fall in love with it before committing to pay for extra features.)
However, I may include Amazon affiliate links to books or other tools. These will always be marked with an asterisk, and a little note at the beginning or end of the post will give a brief explanation of affiliate links.
With all the technicalities and explanations out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff!
I usually like to start with a map, or at least Continue reading “Discovering Your World: Map-Making”
There are no current fall superstitions in Mandoria, but when the faeries were around they would have a week around the autumn equinox where they went totally crazy and often wreaked havoc on human settlements for that week. After the faeries were defeated in the Lornean War and vanished into their own parallel dimension, the Mandorians were still terrified that they’d return on the autumn equinox and make messes like they had for centuries prior. It was an ongoing fear for a whole generation after the faeries’ defeat, and it was a legend that they’d still come back to Mandoria in the night and subtly alter things (rearranging bookshelves, flipping things upside down, etc.). People would have new doorknobs and window latches made of iron to keep out the faeries, and this lasted beyond the legitimate fear of faeries returning as a silly tradition and a bedtime story for children.