Fantasy world creation can be either a very easy thing or a very difficult thing depending on how imaginative you are and whether or not you know how to approach it.
The fantasy genre is huge with so much potential for so many different things yet we are often stuck using the same ideas over and over again.
Well, no more!
In this article I shall tell you of the various aspects that you should consider when creating a fantasy world. By fantasy world I mean the land or world that it is set in, just like our world is Earth the land itself is the different countries that are within it and that is what my focus shall be.
If you look at the different lands in the many different stories/games out there you can see just how diverse a land can be. It can be difficult knowing where to begin so I suggest you start by drawing a random shape on a piece of paper. You do not need to be good at drawing at all to do this as long as you can hold a pencil and make it move.
Take a look at the shape you have drawn, that is essentially a continent surrounded by ocean. Now draw random lines through the shape, not straight lines but bends and curves and jagged edges, and hopefully you will end up will what will resemble countries with the lines representing the countries borders.
Take the time now to refine the edges, expand upon certain zones or cut into the shape you have drawn to create coves, stretches of land that poke out into the sea. Draw a couple of small islands just off the coast of the mainland and you will start to see you land take shape.
You may have noticed by now that the way we are looking at the land is as though we are looking at a map and that is how we will continue to shape our fictional land.
Now use basic shapes to create mountainous regions, trees, lakes and rivers etc. and use rectangle or circle shapes to define at least one main city in one of the countries.
Remember- Trees and mountains and rivers are not country specific they cross the borders of all countries without bias and are likely to feature in more than one place just not in the same volume.
You should now have a half decent looking layout of your land. It will not be perfect but it is more than you had before and is great point to continue working from.
Refine your map by continuing to add terrain features. Some parts of your map you will be very happy with and may wish to keep, other parts you may want to get rid of- you can if you want to. Or you could start the process again and create a different land and merge together the parts you like.
Keeping it diverse is important and for more ideas you can check out my website Creating Lands where there are some images as well as text to show you what you could do to create your own fantasy worlds as well as much, much more.
About Christopher A Alcock
Since about the age of 14/15 I have played the guitar, I have always enjoyed music and my favourite genre is rock music but I do like other genres. My favourite bands are AC/DC, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Slade, Thin Lizzy and Alice Cooper plus others but I can’t list them all here.
I have always enjoyed fantasy worlds and I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings series and the Hobbit and the books are some of my favourites as well as Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I never used to like reading but it has been a hobby that has taken off in recent years and my book collection is steadily growing.
In addition to reading I enjoy writing and hopefully in time I will publish some small works of mine, once completed, for other people to read.
I make scenery and terrain pieces for Warhammer and other miniature wargames, I do have some models as well and when I find time to paint them I quite enjoy deciding what colours to paint them before the painting process. I have made some tutorials showing how to make and paint scenery and I intend to make more so that people can learn how to make their own pieces at very little cost.
As you may have noticed I have a thing for the creative arts and it continues with drawing. Drawing allows me to put ideas I have in my head onto a piece of paper when words aren’t sufficient. That’s why as I am creating my own stories I am drawing the ideas as well as writing them so that the world that I am making becomes more real because I can actually look at it.
Since I was a child I have liked watching martial arts films like the Karate Kid and Kickboxer. I do Tai Chi as it is good for both health and fitness in a physical and mental way. I like to jog and do weights which is something that started when I was in school and I would go the school gym at lunch time with my friends to work out.
Another hobby I have enjoyed since a child is snooker. I always watch it when I know it’s on television but I would rather be the one with the cue in hand.