Building a fantasy series, part one: Creating the world

I ran across a great article from NowNovel that came with an infographic laying out some things to address when creating a fantasy world. For convenience, I’ve included it here. To get things started, I’ll share a quick breakdown of the answers for a few of these, as well as which ones I’ll be bundling together at a later date because of how the story will work.

The first question on the list was a pretty simple one: Where is the story located? I immediately knew it was going to be a non-earth high fantasy novel, set in its own world. But that meant creating a world for it to happen in… and that meant creating a home for the characters in the story.

One of my favorite features in fantasy books is the maps. I’ve tinkered with drawing maps before, but the world always came first. This time, I decided I’d use the map as a key part of creating a world that sort of makes sense.

I’ll share more on the map creation next week, since it kind of evolved into a huge thing of its own. But it gave rise to one important thing: The name of the place the story happens in.

The Allied Kingdoms of Amroch.

That helped me answer a few more questions. I already knew the answer to #2, who lives in the world and what sort of fantasy races we’ll be dealing with, but I hadn’t touched on #3 yet–the world’s governing system.

Amroch is composed of a handful of smaller kingdoms that eventually banded together and submitted beneath the king whose forces had the best chance of survival against their foe. While the map I’m working on leaves a few mysteries, all of Amroch will be pictured–and the whole story will take place on the map.

As of yet, I’m unsure if I’ll be naming the world. Naming the kingdom alone is probably enough; the events are such that it doesn’t need to be much bigger than that.

Question #4, about the social differences in people, I’ll answer when I start introducing the characters. I’ve been working on artwork for them, as well.

Question #5, how the history has shaped the world, is kind of the basis of the whole plot, so I’ll get to that in another post as well.

Question #6, touching on the world’s technological level, is another easy one; it’s medieval-type fantasy. Bite me, it’s what I like. There will be some basic mechanics going on, but I picture it as slightly less advanced than my Snakesblood Saga, which brushes up against steam power (without becoming even remotely steampunk anything.)

Question #7, the standards of living, varies greatly from people to people. Since Amroch is made up of a bunch of different groups, the different regions of the large country have different standards, so that will also be explored as characters are introduced.

And question #8, about whether or not there’s magic… Of course there is. Magic will be a central part of the story, but I’ll probably devote an entire post to that when I get to the subject.

That’s it for today, but next week, a first look at the map of Amroch.

Oh, right. There is one last thing.

The series and books within the series have been named. I’ve been told it sounds more sci-fi at first shake than expected, but as I start explaining the world I’ve put together, I think it’ll make more sense. For now, we’ll be venturing onward into the beginning of the new series with book one: Spectrum Blade.

See you next week!

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