5 Tips to Building a Fantasy World


I had the pleasure of meeting author Terry Ervin, a fantasy and science fiction author (check out his works here: http://www.ervin-author.com) who is an expert on creating and building fantasy worlds. I was so inspired and in awe of the presentation that he gave on how to build fantasy worlds that I started to delve into the art of creating believable, make-believe places. If you are looking to get into fantasy writing, but are not sure on how to get started or how to move forward with your project, check out the following 5 tips:

  1. Decide the time period. Will it be in the past? The future? Perhaps in an alternate reality? Setting of time and place is key to getting started in building your world.
  2. Who is your protagonist and in what viewpoint will the story be told? Deciding whether or not to tell the story in first or third person can have a big impact in how your story plays out. Think about your story and its plot points to help make a decision on the best viewpoint. Also consider writing a couple of pages of your story in different viewpoints (I find this helps me discover the story’s true voice).
  3. Make the unbelievable have a convincing explanation. Consistency and convincing details are key with magical objects, occurrences, and places. Think about the Harry Potter series – every fantastic thing in the wizarding world has an explanation that is believable to the context of the story and therefore, the reader.
  4. Please give your world rules. Everything, even magic, must abide by some law or limit.
  5. Think about your characters – the way they look, how they speak, their desires, and their fears. Fleshing out your characters is necessary for any writing genre and should not be forgotten when in the process of building a fantasy world.


Now get writing – magic doesn’t create itself!


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