1. Mobhit

    Mobhit Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2009
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    Cartography-Creating your World (Sci-Fi/Fantasy Edt.)

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Mobhit, May 14, 2011.

    My strong point in writing has always been Creating the world in which my story will play out. So I am posting this to give you some Ideas on creating a believable world.

    Let start with the things you should think about in Creating a World

    1. Planet or Land(world)

    Does your story place in a Land or World? Why whatever does that mean?

    WORLD: With a world your righting for an entire planet! Example: Earth
    LAND: Just a small piece of a planet! Example: America

    2. Sci-Fi Question for your World

    How is the gravity on this planet, does it alter from one area to the next, is it solid, lighter, heavier then real gravity?
    Can your Characters breath on this planet on their own or do they need a apparatus to breath?

    4. LOGIC!

    Do things Defy logic on this planet? Ex: Do waterfalls flow up, trees grow sideways, people reverse in age? with any fantasy I always find it fun to have certain things that defy logical explanation. If we see a Waterfall flowing up we would be baffled, But in a world you create it could be the most mundane thing to the people.

    5. Ruling your World

    What kind of Government does this planet/land have? Global, Kingdoms, Countries.

    This is a very important question in the creation of land, because you have to be sure to think of ways to create boundaries between kingdoms, and then some!
    First if it is multiple kingdoms, what is the difference in the kingdoms? What happens if someone who is not of that kingdom enters it anyway? Are the kingdoms At War?/At Peace?/Allies?/Unstable Allies? this are questions you have to ask, not only for the purpose of the story. When people know what the world your words are taking them into, they will become more involved. I also found that it helps me with the story line when I am stuck.

    In Taran(My world) there are Kingdoms- But there is also an Empire The kings answer to the Emperor.
    The fun thing I did as well is, with the Exception of a few areas, the Character never knows what kingdom he/she is in, but there are reasons for this!

    6. Creatures/Races

    So now that the world is Semi Established- lets populate it. What race(s) inhabit your World?

    Is it all Humans and Animals of our world? Is it all Aliens? a Mix of humans and Aliens?

    Do you have animals that are from myth? Ex: Gryphons, Dragons, Pegasus etc..etc..

    Are there races in the likes of Gnomes and Elves and Dwarves? and if some are they your common fantasy races or do the Elves live underground while the Dwarves live in the Forest?

    Are you creating your own creatures? If so how do they live, are they civil and cultured or caveman like? What environment(climate) do they live in? How do these races mix, friendly? Enemies?

    You population tells more about your world then you know. Creating believable races is not only good for your story but it is good for your world.

    The above is the Essential things, Nuances, little details can be hammered out easily once you get the basics down.

    If you have any questions, Suggestions, Need a another Cartography question answered Give Me message or drop a note below.


  2. Deleth

    Deleth Member

    Feb 21, 2011
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    Having gone through this process over the span of years and years, I can tell you that drawing out ones world can sometimes help. Even if it is a map, or a scene of a certain part of the world, just something.

    I find this always helps me visualize, but that is just me. Just wanted to contribute my thoughts to this.
  3. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Member

    Jun 6, 2010
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    Surrey, BC
    Not sure what any of this has to do with cartography, but yeah, worldbuilding is good fun. I write very fantastical, at times surreal, pieces, so just about everything defies logic.
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Worldbuilding has its place in writing, as long as the writer keeps in mind it is a tool. If it enriches the writing, all is well. But if it becomes an obsession, and distracts the writer from actually writing, then it should be curtailed.
  5. KP Williams

    KP Williams Contributing Member

    Dec 30, 2007
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    My place
    Or permitted to run its course until it is no longer a distraction. If I hadn't followed this path and simply refused to let myself develop my almost-real world, I wouldn't have half as interesting of a story as I have now.

    (obvious)Though admittedly, I think "obsession" is the key word here. It's almost never a good idea to become obsessed with anything. If this describes you, you're probably better off taking Cogito's advice over mine. (/obvious)

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