Creating your fantasy world is just as important as any character or plot creation. Here’s a few tips on doing it right.
*Note: Instead of saying people/humans/animals, inhabitants will be used most often. I apologize for the overly repeated word, but I couldn’t think of anything better.
In A Real Place
If not, go down to the second tab. When you choose which it is, continue reading.
1) WHERE: Where do you choose your story to be heavily based off/inspired by or taking place in? Once you’ve settled on that, move on to the place’s research if you haven’t done so already.
2) RESEARCH: Make sure you know your place well. Researching every detail you need makes a story more believable and accurate to its reality.
2.25) CULTURE/LORE: What is the culture and folklore of your place’s inhabitants? What do they believe in, and why? How did it spread? When did it start/How long has it been around? What are some festivals or traditions? Go into as deep of detail as possible.
Ex. Buddism/Hinduism is very common in India. Shrines dedicated to various god/goddesses are built in many cities/towns, such the temples of Mother Kali, a Hindu goddess.
2.50) GEOGRAPHY/PLANTLIFE: What is the landscape like? What type of plants grow there? The more detail/mapping done, the better.
2.75) HISTORY: What is the history of your place? Is it more peaceful or malicious when it comes to wars/battles? Are they a powerhouse, or weaker than many other places? Find the good, bad, ugly and dirty. Any weird search could be excused by, “I’m a writer.”
3) WEATHER: What are the weather patterns?
4) EXTRA: Just extra fun facts about your place that contribute to your story.
If not, go to first tab. When you choose which it is, continue reading.
1) WHERE: Is it on another planet, or still on Earth? Does it have any qualities/inspiration from a real place(s)? If so, what do you take from that place(s)? If not, then choose where it is. Real or fictional planet/universe? Alternate universe, but real place? Futuristic world? These questions can be endless.
2) WHAT: What type of world is your world. Is it heavy with war, light with peace, or balanced? Is it dystopian or utopian? Past, present or future? What is your current society and economy? Media/News work; what’s currently going on with your world? How does it work? Again, there could be countless questions.
3) CULTURE/LORE: Easy to say, hard to complete. What does your world believe in? What is it’s lawful, traditional, festive, cultural, religious, mythological, and/or folkloric stance?
4) GEOGRAPHY/PLANTLIFE: How does it look? What grows there?
5) [Pretty Optional; Unless Needed] HISTORY: What has happened and how did it alter your world? Has it been forgotten/erased/hidden from common eye? Or is history just now being made?
6) WEATHER: What are the weather patterns?
7) EXTRA: Any extra details of your world?
Who Is In Your World
1) Human or not?
1.25) If not, then what are they? Humanoid, animal/animalistic, alien, mythological or completely new?
1.50) What are the wild “animals” and how to they affect other inhabitants?
1.75) If you have purely animal/animal-like characters, then how do seperate species interact with one another? What is the food chain/web like? Where does the main species stand?
2) Their abilities; mythical or regular? A mix of both?
Ex. Elemental magic, resurrection, ritualistic, spellwork, witchcraft, unnatural speed, and so on.
3) Language; how do they speak? Is it regular, or do they have different speech patterns, or even words?
Ex. Backwards descriptions, hand/smoke/other signals, coded
4) Extra details that make the overall character(s) complete.
What Is In Your World
Most of this is covered in the first and/or second tab(s), this simply extra details that may or may not be needed.
1) Earthly or not?
1.5) If not, then what is it? Does it have properties of other planets (in and out) of our solar system?
2) How are the inhabitant’s resources gained/recieved?
3) Tribes/Clans/Groups/Villages etc.
3.5) Are they peaceful or malicious with one another, if there is more than one?
4) What is the plantlife like? Is there earthly plants, such as berry bushes, ferns and trees, or is it completely different?
4.5) What is the animal (tamed and untamed) life like?
5) How is the landscape/plantlife altered by its inhabitants?
6) [Very Optional] Creation Story? How do your inhabitants believe their world was created?
How Is The Plot Affected
How does every factor of your would mess with the plot? Is it in favor of your pro, con and/or antagonist?
Act, React & Interact
1) MAIN CHARACTER(S):
-How does your main character(s) act in this world/place? This is the nature vs nuture factor of someone’s personality.
-How does your main character(s) react to this world/place? This is when you decide if they hate, dislike, like or love the place or certain factors of that place.
-How does your main character(s) interact with this world/place? This is when you decide how hostile or peaceful the geography, plant life and (other) animal life is towards your main character’s, and how they react towards that hostility or peace.
2) BACKGROUND/FILLER CHARACTERS:
—The other inhabitants that don’t do much more than exist and come up at plot’s convience. Ex. Other townsfolk that surround the main character(s).
-How do these characters act overall here? What is a common behavioral pattern, regardless of if the main character(s) and/or plot follows it or not.
-How do these characters react to their place? Are they settled here, or do they want to leave?
-How do these characters interact with one another, as well as factors outside their own place/group/species? What is their stance in the food chain/web and how is it different from the main character(s)? Are they hostile or peaceful towards the main character(s) or outside factors?
-How does the overall world change your plot? What challenges does it present? What threats does it hold off?
-Are the common and uncommon resources that the main and background characters want/need/have easy or hard to obtain?
-How are they obtained? Do they hunt and gather? Trade or raid? Do they create/grow the resources themselves, and if so, how?
-If any, what are the challenges for gatheing the resources?
-How do they all act, both together and alone? Why do they act that way?
-How do they all react to the other place(s)? Are they enemies, allies or neutral? Why is who hostile to what? Why is who peaceful to what? Do they trade with one another, or raid? Defensive or offensive when another declares attack? How do they react to gifts from the other place(s)?
-How do they all interact? Trading or raiding one another? Go deeper into the enemy, ally or neutral relationship. How did they become that way?
6) OVERALL SPECIES:
-Food chains and webs. Who is the predator to what, and who is the prey to what?
-How do different species treat one another?