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10 Tips for Fantasy World Building (or, How to Avoid a Fantastical Fiasco)

So you've developed a god complex and want to build your own fantasy world? Great idea! Nothing quite beats the feeling of crafting a fully realized, immersive world that you can lose yourself in. But world building can be a tricky business, and it's easy to get carried away and end up with a hot mess of a world that's confusing and unbelievable.

To help you avoid a fantastical fiasco, here are 10 tips for successful fantasy world building:

  1. Start with the basics. Before you start building your world, you need to know what kind of story you want to tell and what type of world will best support it. Do you want a high fantasy epic with sprawling kingdoms and ancient magic? Or a low fantasy story set in a more grounded, realistic world? Knowing your goals will help you create a cohesive and believable world.

  2. Keep it simple. It's easy to get carried away and go crazy with the details when building a fantasy world. But remember: less is often more. Don't try to pack too much into your world or it will become overwhelming and confusing for both you and your readers.

  3. Make it believable. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to remember that even in a fantasy world, there still need to be some rules and limitations. If you break your own rules or go too far with the fantastical, you risk breaking your readers' suspension of disbelief.

  4. Use real-world inspiration. Drawing onto real cultures and historical events to inspire you is not unimaginative, it is actually very useful in grounding your world in reality because guess what some of the shit you included already exists in our world.

  5. Pay attention to geography. A believable fantasy world needs a realistic geography, even if it includes fantastical elements like enchanted forests or floating islands. Think about the climate, terrain, and natural resources of your world and how they would affect the cultures and societies that live there.

  6. Develop your cultures and societies. Your fantasy world should have a rich and diverse history, with distinct cultures and societies that have evolved over time. Think about their values, customs, and traditions, and how they interact with each other.

  7. Consider the economy and politics. Every society has an economy and a system of governance, even in a fantasy world. Think about how your societies produce, trade, and consume goods, and how they make decisions and resolve conflicts.

  8. Don't forget the magic. Magic is a common element in fantasy worlds, but it's important to remember that it should have limitations and consequences. Decide on the rules of magic in your world and stick to them.

  9. Populate your world with interesting characters. No world is complete without interesting and well-developed characters to inhabit it. Give your characters unique backgrounds, motivations, and desires to make them feel like real people (or creatures).

  10. Leave room for growth. Your fantasy world should be a living, breathing place that evolves over time. Leave room for change and growth in your world, and be open to revising and expanding upon it as you write your story.

I hope these tips for successful fantasy world building are helpful! Remember, building a fantasy world can be a fun and rewarding process, but it's important to strike a balance between creativity and believability. Good luck, and happy world building!

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