Friday, July 6, 2012

World Building in Fantasy

Part of writing fantasy is creating a world for your characters to live in. Plenty of questions come to mind. What's the weather like? Terrain? Economy? Religion? How do people mourn or celebrate? Does this take place on Earth or an Earth-like planet, or does the story take place elsewhere? There are many questions to ask oneself, and SFWA has an extensive list to get you going.

Sometimes writers draw inspiration from real-life locations. According to some articles I've read, George R. R. Martin drew inspiration for the massive ice wall in The Song of Ice and Fire series from a real wall that he visited.

The valley in which Shards of History takes place is loosely based on the Valles Caldera, which is a volcanic caldera in New Mexico. The flora and fauna in the story are similar to what you'd find in the Valles Caldera, but the valley in Shards of History is much bigger. Still, the real valley is awe-inspiring. Gently rolling, pine-covered hills give way to a grassy plain, a narrow stream snaking its way down the center. There are only a handful of buildings, some horses, and very few people. It's easy to imagine a small western town nestled in the valley, or in my case, a Taakwa village. And the fact that it's part of a volcano adds a feeling of immense power to the entire place.

Tuvin's Falls were inspired by Multnomah Falls. I remember standing at the bottom of the falls and looking waaaay up and thinking it would be the perfect place to find Jeguduns, the winged creatures in the novel.

I'll leave you with some real world places that could provide a little inspiration.

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