World Building: Fantasy Elements

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fantasy and sci-fi genres may – more than any other genre – allow you to explore people, themes, and issues in larger-than-life scenarios. While world building is an important part of any story, it is especially important to the fantasy and science fiction story. A fantastic world is part of these genre’s appeal.

These
genres allow you to develop exotic settings that cannot be found in
the real world. Even so, they typically are grounded in real life in
some way so that readers can appreciate them. This is typically done
blending, taking out of context, or exaggerating subjects found in our
real world.

  • Animals:
    What species qualify as
    intelligent or non-intelligent will vary from series to series. Be
    sure to know their eating habits (carnivorous? Eat magic?)

  • Races:
    For maximum effect, races need
    to be different in more than appearance. Consider giving them
    different speech patterns, social structures, and abilities.

  • Magic:
    There is a whole series of articles on this blog about designing
    your magic system. Don’t forget the social, environmental, and
    social effects.

  • Alternate
    world:
    Giant forests,
    floating islands, and multiple moons are all ways to introduce
    fantastical elements

  • Technology:
    Whether steam-punk, magic-driven, or futuristic, part of the appeal
    of non-contemporary genres
    is
    the different
    technology. Alternate technologies enable and restrict character
    actions so choose careful how advanced, wide-spread, and esoteric
    your technologies will be.

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