Fantasy writing life without sunlight

Fantasy writing lets you create any kind of world you could imagine. You’d think with the year we’re having, that I’d be sick of dark and apocalyptics settings. But, I’m not. It’s still an escape. It’s a little uplifting. Putting characters in such a terrible world and seeing them thrive despite that.

By Book 4 of The Merging World Series, Darkness has put a barrier over nearly every land. It blocks out all sunlight. The barrier opens once a day, giving people about 30 minutes of sunlight. 

Years ago, I asked a fantasy Facebook group about any issues that could arise in this world. From the response, I realized I need to do more research,. 

Are you writing a world where people don’t get a lot of sunlight? Maybe something happened to the sun or people were forced to live underground. Here are a few things to consider. The below topics are good starting points for deeper research.

Determine What Happened to the Sun

The sun being destroyed will have a different effect than it being blocked out. Similarly, your world will be different if the sun still exists but humans have to live underground.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a hormone that’s created in your body when your skin is exposed to the sun. …Some supplements and foods, such as fatty fish, help your body produce vitamin D, but the best way to get enough is from the sun.11 scary things that can happen if you don’t get enough vitamin D

Mental Health Issues

Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression with seasonal pattern (formerly known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD). This is a form of depression triggered by the changing seasons.What Are the Benefits of Sunlight?

What Happens to Plants and Animals

Without the Sun’s rays, all photosynthesis on Earth would stop. All plants would die and, eventually, all animals that rely on plants for food — including humans — would die, tooWhat Would Earth Be Like Without the Sun?

Nature needs sunlight. They’d die without it which means humans would die. In my world, the change wasn’t sudden. It happened over the course of several years giving nature time to adjust. Plants and animals mutated to survive in the dark world. But, as a side effect, plants aren’t safe to eat right off the vine. Animals are harder to catch.

Plants and animals glow. I’ve been having a lot of fun writing that part of the world.

fantasy writing and world building underground city

Weather Patterns Could Change

“The sun keeps the engine running for the water cycle: evaporation – cloud formation – precipitation. And it shapes the weather on earth by heating the earth’s surface to varying degrees.No sun, no life on earth

Never thought about that. Will it still rain if the sun’s covered? I may have to extend the sunlight time to an hour.


Even fantasy writing requires a lot of research. These are only a few things to consider. I’ll be diving deeper into each of these topics, especially the weather. More posts to come.

Do you have anything you want to add? Comment below.

More Resources

Why is the Sun important for life on Earth?

Vitamin D: Vital Role in Your Health


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