1. Domino355
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    Domino355 Contributing Member

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    Basing my fantasy world on the real world

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Domino355, Jun 24, 2014.

    Hey people. I write mostly fantasy. Now as I read, I find that quite a lot of fantasy writers fall to the problem of not making their world realistic and complicated enough, both in geography and history. (I don't mean as detailed as Middle Earth, just a world with more that one desert, one highland and one forest). Sometimes it actually gives the feeling that I could just walk from one edge of that world to another.
    Now I know quite a lot of writers get past that problem by basing their story in the real world, but I was thinking of something else. What if I could base my fantasy world on the real world. It wouldn't be something I say, and probably all the names and a few other details would be different, but the main world, its geograph and history would be on similar lines to our world, with the addition of a little magic.
    For example, the story I plan on working on once I finished my current story is a story mainly based on giving new interpretations to Grimm's tales (yes, I know it has been done a thousand times over, but I have quite good ideas for it.) My main character is the hunter/woodsman which appears in quite alot of the stories (I mixed the Red Riding Hood hunter, Snow White hunter, and father of Hansel and Gretel to one character), in a country under the rule of Snow White and her husband. Now my setting is France on the eve of the French Revolution, with the ruling family basically Louis XVI and his wife. All the sights, towns, villages, and the people's way of life are going to be 18th century France, although I won't actually say it.
    Now is that a good idea, or will it be too obvious? How much should I make the setting similar to 18th century Europe, and where should I add change?
     
  2. Amanda_Geisler
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    Amanda_Geisler Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I have done that with my novels. My story is in modern day America, I have just made up a few extra towns, the only real town/city mentioned is New York. I have also replaced all important people with fictional people because some of the politicians in my story aren't very nice. I'm going to have to make it clear that they aren't based on anybody
     
  3. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    You should have no problem. Just give the place a new name and you should be fine. It gets mentioned a lot around here, especially by me, but A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones) by George R. R. Martin is largely based off of The War of the Rose. (They've even got Yorkshire accents) but so long as you paint as your own vivid world I imagine it will be fine.
     
  4. koyelevergreen
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    koyelevergreen Member

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    Hello Domino,
    I love your idea of the fantasy plot. If you are focusing on the 18th century Europe, you can also write in the steam punk genre, a novel branch of science fiction.
     
  5. purplehershey
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    purplehershey Member

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    It should be fine, just make sure you really give it those specific details. Since you've obviously never been in 18th century Europe, any details or characteristics that you really hone in on and make specific will be your own (unless you're researching them). I think it's much more important to give a fantasy world body rather than to make it so different from anything anyone has ever seen before.
     
  6. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Just be careful to keep time period pieces (weaponry, clothing, artifacts) consistent. I read a great fantasy novel the other day, all except it started off describing things medieval, but some extras in the background had bowler hats, some others were wearing waistcoasts, one priest was wearing a dog collar while others wore cassocks and everyone was fighting with swords and longbows. It made it distracting because I couldn't in my mind tie all these conflicting images in and be comfortable with it. In the end I had to ditch the out of place modern references and go with medieval but then I did wonder if I was missing what the author intended by doing that.
     

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