A Guide to World Building

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photo by deborahtereramischristian.com

photo by deborahtereramischristian.com

You can’t open a fantasy novel without a map, language guide, and historical record. I think Tolkien has a lot to do with this. He set the standard for world building very high. For those who are not familiar, world building is essentially planning the setting for your novel (the when and where). While I enjoyed creating the fantasy world for my series, to be honest, I have two or more races and have not invented any languages, all the important historical events that shaped the world will be mentioned in the book instead of outlined in an appendex, and I have a map I use as a guide when I write that I will probably not include in my book. Does this make me lazy? I don’t think so. I just think readers want a story, not a history lesson. So I’ve chosen to keep it simple.

Creating a world can be exciting and at the same time daunting. I was on Youtube the other day, when I should have been working, and found this wonderful video by Kate Messner where she brillantly summarizes the process. It’s fun to watch and very educational. I think she does a great job breaking it down into simple steps. Please enjoy and if you have some advice on world building or anything you want to share about creating your own worlds, please leave them in comments.