1. soital
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    soital Member

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    Guide on Fantasy Lore, etc

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by soital, Nov 6, 2011.

    I'm looking for a book, guide, etc, on the lore, religion, clothing and such of fantasy worlds. I need it as a basis to begin a fantasy novel which I have just started plnning and desperately need it in order to firm up races, and much of the background. Please help with an and all information. I've heard of sources such as dungeons and dragons, but I am looking for a source more widely accepted by known authors.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'm not at all sure what you're looking for. A "widely accepted" guide for fantasy worlds? Surely each fantasy author would have their own "world", and the idea is to make up your own?
     
  3. Gilborn
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    Gilborn Member

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    Bellow is a link to a website that has compiled several random generators, which should be able to help you get your own creative ideas going.
    But, as Banzai said the idea should be to write the world that is in your head.

    http://nine.frenchboys.net/
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It may be that you're thinking that there's a common, and uncopyrighted :) understanding of some set of classical fictional characters. I don't think that there is. If you base your world on existing other worlds, you might well get yourself into copyright and trademark issues; I think that you're better off reading old sources, like maybe legends and fairy tales that are well out of copyright, and then creating your own.
     
  5. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    There is no standard, widely accepted book for fantasy authors. Your best bet is to look at TVTrope's examples of worlds you want to emulate.

    Do your own research.
     
  6. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    First off, you should be making all this up on your own. Why would you want to copy something?

    But, this isn't a guide in the sense that you want, but it will help you all the same. I myself just finished reading it.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/158297103X/?tag=postedlinks04-20
     
  7. Sacrosanct
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    Sacrosanct New Member

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    There are several books out there that go over exactly what you're asking for, but only for one specific author/setting. I'm not aware of one that covers all the main fantasy worlds in one. What I would suggest doing is read some of the following, and pull your own ideas and world creation from that:

    Tolkien
    Fritz Leiber
    Michael Moorcock
    Robert E Howard
    HP Lovecraft

    I think it's a pretty safe bet that 90% of fantasy inspiration in the past 50 years came from those guys' works. So if you familiarize yourself with them and their worlds, you shouldn't have any problem coming up with your own.
     
  8. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Be more specific. Are you taking other fantasy worlds and writing about them? Or you're just talking about them in general? Cause i have a fantasy world im making, but it's not for anybody else but me. I plan on making my own book for just the background itself.
     
  9. soital
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    soital Member

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    I'm simply looking to find out if they are widely "accepted" religions, creatures, etc. I intend to create my own world, but wanted to have a story relateable to. If I create a new race I dont want to be the first in 50 years to create a new race or religion in fantasy.
     
  10. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    You are free to do what you want. But I am curious; why would you not want to be the first to create something new?
     
  11. Enerzeal
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    Enerzeal Member

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    I was reading the end of The Eye of the World a few days ago. A few sentences were dedicated to the descriptions of armor. I then mused what a pain it would be to have to research all the different armor types that have been in use in our history. It put a downer on me until I realized something that has since forced me to resign all the work I had done on planning my own fantasy novel.
    What I realized was that, this world will evolve differently. It will have things in it that simply don't obey real world laws - magic for example. It was almost an epiphany, I suddenly realized that nothing that I include in my fantasy world really has to use our world as a basis. Certain objects would evolve the same as they have done in our world, a bucket for example is a bucket where ever you are from. Other objects however need not be limited by how its been done in history. Perhaps a docile giant spider is farmed for its silk which is used in all the finest feast day clothing.

    You don't need to limit your self to any fantasy theme that has gone before. I my self find reading about the same Elves Orcs and Giants to be boring - spice it up, go crazy. Don't make fire burn pink and water flow upwards - change that which can be logically explained and plenty of readers will relish this new world they get to explore through your writing.
     
  12. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    I'm kind of confused at the OP. It sounds like you want to make a cliched fantasy novel. This baffles my brain. Don't worry about what's "acceptable" do what comes to your head, so long as it's not completely unintelligible. It's certainly ok to draw influences from other authors but to do that just read books. What were the conventions in them? And then subvert, avert, invert, deconstruct and reconstruct them.
     
  13. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Why not?

    As someone who doesn't really read fantasy (any more) it all looks very sameish to me. The same races, religions and ideas. It's quite off-putting really. If you step out with some originality and don't follow the same old crowd, then I think you'd be doing the better thing both for yourself and for the genre.

    Most fantasy (certainly High Fantasy), to my uneducated eye, seems to stem from The Lord of the Rings, so if you're insistent about working off of something standard, you might as well use that, as it's the original. But like I say, I really don't understand why anyone would eschew originality in favour of another elves 'n orcs medieval romp.

    In the words of Hugo Dyson, when confronted at the Inklings group of writers by Tolkein reading more of his Middle Earth writings, "Oh no, not another fucking elf." :p
     
  14. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    People create new races and religion all the time! I'm very active in the (dutch.... ) fantasy scene and I see a lot of authors and publishers sighing when theres 'yet another story' about elves or dwarves. I created an entire new type of race, which was mainly the reason I got published. You can base races on elves or dwarves, or even animals, or use cultural aspects (read up on different african tribes i.e.).

    About traditional fantasy characters: I would reccomend reading the Norse mythology and the Völsunga saga. Tolkien greatly based LOTR on this, and it was the foundation of elves, dwarves, dragons etc. Other than that, I'd reccomand reading a lot of fantasy books that contain orcs, elves etc. to get a feel. keep in mind that every author makes that race it's own and adds certain cultural aspects. It's true that originality is unimportant when writing, but try to imagine why a publishing house would want to publish a story about elves, if they already have a million books on that. Try to figure out what makes your race different from all the rest!

    Happy writing and good luck!
     
  15. soital
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    soital Member

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    From all the feedback I've decided, I'm gonna pretend I'm "Tolkein", not in the Lord of the Rings sense, but rather, it's my novel, with MY races, MY religions, and eveyrthing I created and decided. I'll make it how I want and create a new world entirely, sure I'l probably have an orc in it somewhere, but no hobbits or anythign cliche. I'm going for originality.
     
  16. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I am glad to hear it. Best of luck. :)
     
  17. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Good man. I look forward to seeing what your imagination comes up with.
     
  18. Sacrosanct
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    Sacrosanct New Member

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    Good for you. And FWIW, Tolkien wasn't nearly as original as people give him credit for. Pretty much everything in the 4 books are pulled from existing Anglo-saxon mythology with the names changed to protect the innocent ;)
     
  19. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    That may be true, but it doesn't change the fact that there was nothing like his work before him. Which means it was pretty damn original.
     

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