How to Create a Fantasy World

by , Wednesday August 27, 2014
How to Create a Fantasy World

Author Elizabeth May shares her top tips...


1. Draw inspiration from real life cultures

Part of what makes fantasy worlds feel real is that they are grounded in some kind of reality. Fantasy cultures have languages and taboos and beliefs just like cultures in reality; these are aspects that bring fictional worlds to life in a reader's imagination.


2. Let the landscape frame the narrative

Landscapes are a vital aspect of culture and can help frame the context for your fantasy world. In my novel, The Falconer, I used the cityscape of Victorian-era Edinburgh as a metropolitan backdrop that contrasted to the wild fae of Scottish myth. Landscapes can set the tone of your story and can be just as important to creating a sense of fictional place as the characters in your story.


3. Remember the wider context

In creating a fantasy world, it's easy (and tempting!) to focus solely on the location your main character spends the most time. But it's important to consider that your fictional setting is only one aspect of a wider fictional world. While writing, consider what this wider fictional world is like and how it impacts your character's home culture. Keeping this in mind makes your world feel more multi-dimensional.


What's your advice for crafting a fantasy story? Share your secrets in the comments!


Enter our writing competition with Elizabeth May here. 

Elizabeth May is the author of The Falconer. Read an extract here. You can follow Elizabeth on Twitter: @_ElizabethMay

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