October 7, 2016

How to Create a High Fantasy World

By Joseph P. Macolino

As an author of high fantasy, there are a lot of elements that go into writing. Much deeper than the individual story, authors in this genre need to have an entire world fleshed out and ready to go. If you want to be known for creating good fantasy books, the first consideration needs to revolve around how you build your world. So, how do you get started with this?

If you love learning, building worlds should be easy for you, because the first step to building a believable fantasy world is to start studying. Read text book, search online, watch Discovery Channel specials, and check out some books from the library. What exactly are you looking for? Anything and everything that gives an overview of history, geography, religion, and culture. These are going to be the foundation of your new world.

For me, the first step was actually tackling the geography. Start planning out major cities, states, continents, etc. And write down where they are in relation to one-another. From there, draw a map (it doesn’t have to be anything special at this point). After you have it laid out, start building it up with terrain, land features, make sure there is enough water, think about weather patterns, etc. From there, you can start building the history.

History is important to any world-building effort because it helps form the fantasy world you are building. Good fantasy books are made great only when they account for a detailed history. Use your own knowledge of human history and start creating events that might mirror those you already know. Create historical figures, make holidays, name some locations after these figures, and make it your own.

After you have a history, culture and religion should start forming itself. Since you are writing fantasy, perhaps you have multiple gods that are active in your new land. Or, maybe gods are just a myth. Either way, how does magic affect the everyday life on the citizens in your new world? How has it shaped their attitudes and traditions?

Just as you studied history, geography, culture, and religion, write all of this down for your records. Use this as a reference as you craft your story, and you should have an endless supply of fantasy adventures up your sleeve. More important than this, you won’t have to worry about running into inconsistencies within your world, because you will always have a reference handy to consider. 

When Joseph P. Macolino is not pouring his heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into writing good fantasy books, Joseph spends time studying the politics and economics of Earth, and also enjoys studying philosophy from nearly every school of thought; if it has anything to do with social philosophy, he wants to know about it. Through this learning, he admits that most philosophy books are relatively dry in their presentation, but hopes to convey these concepts in a way that people can enjoy and relate to. He looks to accomplish this by providing good epic fantasy books for years to come. Ultimately, Joseph Macolino built Evorath to be his ultimate fantasy book getaway and wants his readers to enjoy the same luxury. My Social Media links are: Website: Blog:  Twitter:

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