Fantasy Worlds- A New Map

Hi everyone, I’m currently working on the blog post regarding magic systems but in the meantime, I thought I would share with you one of the updated maps for the Sundered Crown Saga. Previously I used Campaign Cartographer3 to create the maps, but always found it a bit fiddly to use. For these new maps, I’ve used Inkarnate a free to use online resource that is simple to use and delivers a great end result.  Check out the new map for Delfinnia below-

Let me know what you think in the comments! I’ll be posting up more new maps over the coming weeks as well as revealing the new look cover for Quest for the Sundered Crown. I’ll be updating my new Writing Fantasy blog later this week so stay tuned.

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Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 2

Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 2

Previously, I wrote about the fun of world building, of how real life events and history has inspired me. In this post, I will be going into a bit more depth about how to introduce the little things that can make a fantasy world more believable.

Politics

No good fantasy story should be devoid of political intrigue and the world I created for the Sundered Crown Saga is full of it. Scheming barons, stupid lords and wicked villains all compete against one another for the lands greatest prize, the Sundered Crown.

In Heir, the main political narrative focuses on the aftermath of a king’s assassination and the power struggle that follows it.

For inspiration on the dirty dealings of power mad folks, simply watch the tv. With the UK general election coming up we will see perfect examples of dirty dealing, mudslinging and political wrangling, (hopefully, it will not end up with the leaders all fighting each other in mortal combat…hmm actually that sounds appealing and would make things a lot more interesting).

History in particular, is a great place to look for inspiration. Kings and Emperors were often overthrown by others greedy for the top job. George RR Martins Game of Thrones is the perfect example of a fantasy writer being influenced by real events. In GOT’s case the English War of the Roses.

Daily Life

How do the people live in your fantasy world? Is there a feudal system in place, which sees peasents being the slaves of the richer classes, or is people more equal? In my books, the realm of Delfinnia is more like the latter. People are not restrained by their birth and if they are talented enough, they can rise to the top.

To make a world more believable you should show how folks go about their daily lives. What jobs do they do? Where do they go for entertainment? Little things like make a world feel alive and a lot more believable to a reader.

Creatures

The best part about writing fantasy (in my opinion) is that you can let your imagination go wild when it comes to the creatures that inhabit it. The best example in the Sundered Crown Saga of that are the Fell Beasts of the Void. These monsters enter into the mortal world through breeches in the fabric of reality (magic, nuff said).

I based a few of the creatures on monsters from real life fairy tales and legends. Banshees, Goblins and Pucks are the most common but for book two there are a few that, I created from my own imagination. Keep an eye out for the Nightstalkers and Gargantuans!

Do you have any tips or advice for world building? Let me know in the comments or leave me a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 1

Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 1

Previously, I wrote about the fun of world building, of how real life events and history has inspired me. In this post, I will be going into a bit more depth about how to introduce the little things that can make a fantasy world more believable.

Geography

Ok, ok so geography does not sound the most exciting thing to start with but it is important. If your make believe world is not feasible in terms of things like terrain, climate etc… Then readers are less likely to be pulled into the world.  In the Sundered Crown Saga, the world of Esperia follows what you would expect in the real world. Mountains are part of huge ranges, the coasts are battered by stormy seas and the cities are located in places that make sense.

Towns, cities and settlements would typically be built near to sources of water, or on defensible hills, if you place a city in the middle of a desert make sure you make clear to the reader how such a place is possible. Is there a spring underground? Or is water brought into the city by trading caravans?

In the Sundered Crown Saga, I made sure that when designing the world each place made sense. For example, the capital city of Sunguard is located at the centre of the kingdom, all roads lead to it meaning that trade and supplies are readily available. It is also located on the banks of a river (i.e a water source) and is surrounded by farmland (food).

The good thing about fantasy worlds however, is that you can also include the less mundane into your worlds. Esperia has two moons, which means that the planet’s tides are far higher than what we see on Earth.

At certain times of the year, travel by sea is made impossible due to massive waves. Things like that can be used in scenes that can make a reader think. Imagine being caught out at sea as a hundred foot wave’s tower over you!

Food & Drink

Little things like what food and drink your characters consume also add to the believability of a world. Video games like Skyrim are good examples of how to use simple food products to suck a gamer into Tamriel.

Books like the Lord of the Rings and Patrick Rothuss’s novels do similar things with food and drink. In Esperia the main food producing region is the barony of Robinta, home of the famous Robintan tea and cheeses.

In the second part of this post I will take a closer at politics and factions.

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Image:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Fantasy-Landscape-Adobe-Illustrator-Vector-342928253

 

 

Bit of World Building

The funnest part of writing fantasy and science fiction is definitely world building. Making maps or designing fictitious timelines is loads of fun and helps me as a writer involve myself deeper into the story that I am writing. For Heir to the Sundered Crown and my as yet unpublished Terran Defender series I created timelines which span hundreds and thousands of years.

The best way to make a timeline is to look at our own real life history as it is filled with interesting events which have molded and changed the world we lie in. For fantasy you can look at events from the Medieval period or ancient world for inspiration. Epic events have occurred throughout history, from wars for crowns, the fall of empires and the rise of tyrants. For HTTSC I was inspired by many of those events and all I did was then chuck magic into the mix.

Sci- fi is a different thing entirely however as the things your write about have yet to happen in the real world. With Sci-fi you can really cut loose!

As part of the world building process I made a coat of arms for the realm of Delfinnia which is below.

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How do you go about world building? Do you have any tips? Let me know via Facebook, Twitter or leave me a message on the blog 🙂