I just created this topic for people that write Fantasy. Feel free to share any tips and tricks in areas such as world-building, magic systems, etc.
Hey! I’m not currently writing a fantasy novel but I am editing one, and its sequel is on the agenda.
Also, here’s a fun question/conversation starter for everyone: what are your favorite parts of writing fantasy?
@TheKingStarfish Hmm… right now it’s making new worlds and sometimes new beings that don’t exist in this world
I also really like the conworlding! So much so that I have a hard time with the actual, you know, writing part…
But in general, I really enjoy thinking about the social aspects of worldbuilding–thinking about how magic, supernatural beings, etc. interact with society. What kind of governments would develop? What kind of systems of law? What does science and cutting-edge technology look like? What’s a typical family? How are people educated? How do they think about other people? I find this stuff particularly fascinating. A lot of conworlds don’t focus on this side of things and end up just copying the real world (specifically the Western world), which I personally find boring.
Awesome! I love conworlding too. I don’t often sit down with the intention of planning out my universe, but I do daydream a lot, and I end up learning a lot about my world that way. I actually have one story (the one I’m editing right now) that I thought about so much I didn’t even realize how much I knew about it until I tried to write it all down.
It’s so fun to just get lost in the fictional world sometimes, and think about the way that everything works. Writing the actual story is great, but learning about the universe, the people, and the magic system will always be one of my favorite parts of the fantasy genre.
Worldbuilding is my favorite. I will literally sit down and just build worlds that I never actually end up doing anything with. My favorite thing to do within that, though, is to come up with new magical races. It opens up so many possibilities that aren’t available to human characters, and there’s a 100% chance I’ll do it right cause nobody can tell me otherwise. Kind of a cool thing.
My favourite part? I don’t have to be accurate to the real world, because it’s a fictitious world. So that horse of a different colour can be green if I want, or that rock that the villain carries around with him can actually give him superpowers if I so choose…
It’s so freeing when you realize that you can literally write anything because it’s not the real world!
Probably the fact that I can literally make up anything and people will be fine with it xD
Creating the world to be what I would like it to be.
As many have already mentioned, I love the worldbuilding aspect! Creating new worlds, rules, and races can be a huge amount of fun. (It’s also one of the things I love about SF, which is my other primary genre.) Even things like: Do I need to try fitting the rules of magic into our current knowledge of the Real World or not…
Another thing I rather like about both fantasy and science fiction is that while those are the overarching genres, there’s always at least one subgenre that gets used, because the fantasy or SF is really the setting, more than the genre, in some ways. So you can have things like fantasy westerns, SF mysteries, etc. Makes things even more fun.
Plus, fantasy and SF are both “escapist” literature; they’re excellent for if you’re not interested in reading about the “Real World”. If you want to escape (especially when the news media is often grim) the mess of Real Life for a while, fantasy and SF are good genres to go to.
Anyway, that’s become an answer for both fantasy and SF, in part because I tend to group those together as speculative fiction (the way they used to be just under a century ago) anyway. If it’s got (or I’m writing it with) magic, it’s fantasy; if it’s got space travel or advanced tech that is not magic, it’s SF.
When it all comes together. The rules for the magic system that ties into the culture (laws, customs, and such), which builds conflict and profiling for the characters.
To give a short bit of example. Let’s say the magic, when active, turns a characters eyes purple. All over town there are “No purple eyes” signs that must be obeyed or a criminal offense occurs. We have a character that can not deactivate their magic and has to hide out, befriend others to buy groceries.
I love it when it all comes together.
Cheers, J. McCoard
Or, alternately, they could wear shades, depending on the world.
Oh man, I feel like I haven’t been bit by the world building bug in ages.
Curse you anxiety, ha ha!
But something I really enjoy doing for world building is drawing maps.
It’s nice sometimes to just have a physical representation of the world, and then you can just… fill it in.
Magic systems are always hard for me though. I always feel like I’m ripping someone off (…Avatar TLA/Bionicle. I really like elemental magic…)
I’ll get it eventually though. Any tips on magic systems?
No tips on magic systems, but I completely agree on maps!
My only issue with my current most-written world’s map is that I have so few coastal provinces/cities, and I haven’t drawn rivers on the map (because it’s mostly a political map). I’m not sure how this happened.
Take a look at the Sanderson Law of Magic – It’s a good muse. https://coppermind.net/wiki/Sanderson’s_Laws_of_Magic You could build something unique within those guidelines, I think.
Hi! I write all Fantasy, all the time. I’ve been playing with a lot of magitek recently, because combining magic with technology is fun.
I’ve gotta look into this, because it’s one of the biggest areas I’m overhauling for my main novel. Trying to make my no cars/yes maglev trains system make sense. Because damn it, I like fantasy with fantastical space goat mounts, but I also really frickin love trains. Trying to find an acceptable level of tech without putting in vehicles or arms that I don’t want breaks my brain and it’s the main thing holding me back from working on my novel.
Trains are awesome. I will have a rail system in my fantasy. And in Divergent the rail system played a big role. Lots of stories with trains. Stephen King’s Dark Tower, then later made into a children’s book: Charlie the Choo-Choo, written under the pseudonym, Beryl Evans. The Polar Express. Harry Potter. Murder on the Orient Express. Even Shazaam! and the new Spiderman had a train scene. I don’t think you are alone @yuuen uen.
I’ve got some recs for alternate tech!
The Aeronaut’s Windlass is called steampunk, but it’s actually magitek. It has flying ships powered by magic crystals (not steam, which is necessary for steampunk). And I seem to recall magic gauntles as weapons? It’s been a little while since I read it.
In the Vanishers’ Palace has future/alien tech with magical dragons (and specifically, the dragons trying to figure out the alien tech and make it work).
God’s War by Kameron Hurley has both vehicles and guns, but just about everything is powered by bug magic/bug guts, so that might be something to check out.
I think The Perfect Assassin has some water-based tech, but it’s set in a desert during the dry season, so there’s very little of it moving about. There’s also zip lines and camels, so things aren’t fully magically/water powered.