A World All to Your Own...
Much like a kid in a candy store, the idea of creating an entirely new world from scratch can be daunting. The options seem limitless!! And with so many options, where do you even begin? It's very easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities, but it's in this moment that you want to refer back to your puzzle...building the outside first. Set the elements that are required for your story and add those that complement one another. Whether your world requires floating islands and waterfalls from nowhere, or Dragons and Orcs from the underworld, it's important to choose elements that make sense.
This is the section where you start to really piece together your world, and the reason for everything in it. If you want to have magical elements in your environment, you should ask yourself, "why?" Why is there magic here and not there, why does he have it but she doesn't, why does this sword glow but this doesn't? What makes your elements make sense? For example, is magic an element in itself that can be obtained, or is it a gift? Is it accepted by society or is it a curse? Why does magic even exist at all? Using Lord of the Rings again as an example, we all know why the Ring was magical. We know what power it was infused with and what its purposes were. We even know why Frodo's sword would glow blue. Things like this make the reader believe in the magic, and its purpose.
And finally, we ask ourselves about the world itself. Is the sky blue? Why? Are there 2 moons instead of one? Why? What happens when they line up? What happens if ALL the planets line up (Pitch Black)? Why does the magical floating island have a 400 foot endless waterfall? Just set each element aside for a moment and decide what questions you should ask about it, then place them all back together and start to see your world unfold before you!
I encourage you to spend time, preferably outside, thinking of a few amazing things that you've seen within your life. Think about how you were able to experience them. Then think of how you could try to describe them to someone else, using as elaborate of words as necessary. Then, go a step beyond and build a story behind the description. Think of fantastic reasons that experience may have occurred and then try to make the same logical connections your readers would. It'll make you a stronger writer while giving your world a deeper richness.
Both of these examples would actually be more suited for an 'alternate reality' world, but the point made is the same. Let's go back to the Lord of the Rings...the world is dominated by Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Orcs, Trolls, etc...yet Tolkein incorporated a race relatively new to the realms. A race easily swayed by Sauron and was drawn to power and wealth...humans. By adding the human element to an otherwise fantastic world, he created a race that was familiar to the readers. Since the reader could bond with and relate to the strife of the human clans, they were more emotionally available to accept the new races, and thus the story was made more believable.
In essence, make the world your own. Make it as unique as you are. But if you're able to add some elements that are familiar to your reader, even if everything else is foreign, then it will add credibility to the environment and your audience will be more inclined to accept everything else.
Hello, my name is Scott...I'm a husband, father of 3, and work full-time in IT. If that's not enough on my plate, I'm also tackling the biggest 'creative' project of my lifetime, bringing the world of Mists of Kel Doran to life. I hope you like what I'm trying to pull off and I truly appreciate all of those who have supported this dream of mine. Here's to following your heart and having the courage to put your ideas out there for the world to enjoy :)
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