World Building

World Building Tips: Religion

World Building Tips: Religion

When was the last time you read a fantasy story in which religion played a large role, not only for the story as a whole, but for the main character’s personal journey? John and I are not the most well-read of individuals, but it certainly does seem that most main characters are of the “enlightened” variety, above the mundane, backwards, stubborn, rigid, and foolish laymen who believe in “the gods.” If there is any faith element, it is mere background noise most of the time, even if “the gods” end up being undeniably real, or even if there is literal magic in the world.

Doesn’t this seem odd? The character is in a pre-renaissance society, where literal magic exists in an undeniable and clearly visible way, and they’re all like “religion is the opiate of the masses, man” (takes a hit from his medieval e-cig).

Now of course we don’t all have to have pious main characters who take the prominent religion of their culture super seriously. But blending religion intelligently into your story can go a long way toward adding flavor to your world and depth to your characters, even if the story doesn’t revolve around a religious order as such.

World Building Tips: Music

World Building Tips: Music

Music can be an engaging way to illustrate the culture that surrounds a character and to show them interacting with it in a very tangible way. It can aid in magic system construction, add flavor to religious practices, and add depth and immersiveness to your world in a way that everyone can relate to. We hope these tips will help you in your world building journey!

World Building Tips: Archery

World Building Tips: Archery

Bows. Just about every fantasy world has them, and they all tend to gravitate towards the generic wooden stick thrower trope. You know what I’m talking about, just your basic wooden stick with a string that shoots arrows. But that’s not what we’re going for here, right? We want our worlds to feel big and well thought out, like the things that exist in it exist for a reason. It’s fine if your archers use that kind of bow (it’s called a self-bow, if you were wondering. I know, it’s a dumb name.), but there are also other options that might fit your world/characters better. It’s not a big detail, but one that can really help add believability and depth to your world.

World Building Tips: Currency

World Building Tips: Currency

So you’ve created a fictional world, complete with countries, regions, cultures, and peoples. Now you’re writing a scene in which your characters are in a market, buying some magical artifacts. They ask the price of the artifact, and the proprietor of the shop says “certainly, that’ll be 1,000 ___…” Uh oh. You forgot to create a currency for your fictional world. You try to think of a fancy name on the spot, like the drachma, ziggurat, kelsak, or quirmdraggle. Should you make the coins triangular, rhomboid, or just boring old circles? What metal are the coins made of? Are they even metal? You've read The Way of Kings and you kind of like Brandon Sanderson’s currency made of glass-coated gemstone chips…but is that realistic?