Fantasy World Building: Plants and Their Uses

If you’re writing a post-apocalyptic story or a tale set in the Middle Ages, you might’ve found yourself doing some plant research.

The Sciell’s Legacy: Book 4 of The Merging Worlds Series involves this kind of research. In The Lost Sciell: Book 3, we see the world slowly crumbling as war begins. In The Sciell’s Legacy, the world’s ended. People have been fighting for a lot of years. The safest place is away from everyone, living off the grid.

My characters don’t get sick, at least not the normal way, but they need to make things like soap, shampoo and laundry detergent. Even if they don’t use medical herbs, they could sell them for resources. They also want to do things like clean their teeth or even care for their skin.

I tried Googling and searching Pinterest for plants and their uses. You get a lot of results, mostly medical. That’s a very broad topic. If you don’t know where to start, I’d suggest you go broad at the beginning, then dig in as you learn new things. Or, try researching “living off the grid.”

If there’s a Botanical Garden near you, visit that for some inspiration. I’ve learned a lot just by walking around the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

I’m researching to get inspiration for my plants. For my story, I won’t always stick to real world uses for plants because I’m writing fantasy. I can make up my own plants. It’s more fun that way. I still want it to be believable, like I’m not going to create a conman plant that cures every illness. You have to be aware that every plant does not grow everywhere. Researching plants and uses give you the nature of plants so you can write them in a believable way. You’ll learn how to turn them into what your characters need.