Got world building block? Welcome to the party. I’m still having trouble with my work in progress. I touched on it in the post a A Different Fantasy Land. So, let’s go back to the basics. Where can fantasy world ideas come from?
Getting ideas can be difficult if you’re like me and don’t want to do the typical medieval setting. Getting ideas for a fantasy world can be hard in general. You don’t want to do what’s already been done.
Don’t Think of the World
When you say world, your thoughts might go a little big. The word can be intimidating. I have this problem. Fantasy world also means people, magic system, a city, religion… Think small. Don’t over complicate things. You can model a world similar to ours and populate it with non-humans beings.
The world in The Merging Worlds Series is like ours only it’s different enough to feel like a fantasy land. The series isn’t urban fantasy because none of the places are recognizable. But, all my landmass are modeled after our continents. Think of your own city and turn it into a fantasy land. The locations don’t have to be so “fantasy-y.” Your entire book could take place underground and it would be awesome.
Ask Yourself What If
For one of my stories, I started out with “What is there was no money?” For another, I started with “What if people couldn’t go out at night?”
You can have the most imaginative fantasy world and it will fall flat if the people are flat. For most of my stories, I start with characters.
Everyday Culture Exaggerated
Clare Dunkle’s post on world building said, “I believe it is Ursula K. Le Guin who once described fantasy as a genre that allows authors to take issues from our everyday culture and focus on them in an exaggerated form.” Storytelling and Fiction Writing Clare Dunkle’s ideas on creating fantasy worlds
Out of curiosity, I wrote a story where everyone was selfish, where criminal activities were celebrated and the street was a 24/7 orgy. The story was told from the POV of a female who was raised on the old values where families looked after each other and people had some sense of decency. Visible Through Darkness was hard to write, but I felt I had to go there for the story.
Write What You Want to Read
I’m a bit tired of reading fantasy worlds with no people of color. The books that have PoC are usually race focused. I want a regular fantasy book with a diverse cast. Turns out, I have to write one to get that.
I like haunted house stories, so I wrote one from the demon’s point of view and set it in the demon world.