We all love sci-fi and fantasy. And who
among us doesn’t know about the epic
created by Tolkein? The Middle Earth
has been an inspiration for generations
of writers to indulge themselves in the
world of fantasy. Likewise, Pern has
etched itself in the mind of almost all
dragon keepers. No one can deny the
enormity of the creation of Dune also.
We all love it when things go towards
the thrill of unknown. Creating a world
for the sole purpose of giving life to a
story is tough as hell. Let us find out
what does it take to make a tiny Big
Bang of our own.
Need of a new World
What if the LOTR had been set up on
earth? Somewhere around Africa
maybe? Or maybe America? Wait! It
might have been Asia? LOL.
The LOTR got its soul from the creation
of the Middle Earth. Imagine Tolkein
working on an atlas to find a suitable
spot for Mordor or taking notes of
swamps atound valleys for his book.
Would it have gotten LOTR as famous?
The simple answer is NO.
We stumble upon quite a number of
created worlds or altered timelines as
we move through fiction. Lets find out!!
why they are created.
→ Fiction authors have to alter a lot of
known rules to create their story. At
some point, It becomes impossible to fit
it all into our world without tweaking it
towards awkwardness. The only option
left to the authors is to tweak the reality
itself or create an alternate one.
→ Often the story demands an alternate
reality and the authors work according
to its needs.
→ Many fictions are based upon the
existance of parallel worlds. The Sword
of the Truth couldn’t have been even
started if not for the three lands.
→ Many authors mess a little with the
most obvious facts to get a sense off
reality into their stories.
We find different levels of parallel and
alternate realities in many stories. Some
of them are as vast as LOTR or
Inheritance while some of them have
minor tweaks as in Harry Potter.
The future worlds like The Hunger
Games or the Uglies are easier to create
since they require only a little
Skeleton for the new world
You need a basic structure to create
your world. You should determine it
according to the needs of your
→ Start with making a crude sketch of
the places you are going to include in
→ Don’t mark all the places at once.
Keep modifying your sketch with the
story until you have a rough map with
scale of some degree.
→ Add Landscapes relevant to your
→ If you are writing about an alternate
reality or different timeline, try to
superimpose your work upon a
readymade map of similar scale.
→ If you are going extraterrestrial, fix
the distance from parent star, time
period per day, time units, weather and
land : water ratio at first.
→ Don’t go into details initially. If the
map decides your storyline, create a
simple, borderline, on-scale map for
Once you have your initial on-scale
sketch ready, you can spend your time
in giving soul to it.
→ Try defining your world in detail after
the halfway mark of your story.
→ You have the major storylines,
direction of story and side quests ready
when you reach the halfway point. It is
a good time to work on the details of
→ If you are writing an adventure story,
always create two possible ways
further. It makes the map more
→ Make the areas near your focus
relevant to the story. If your lead is a
group, adding a side quest for an
individual off the main storyline is a
→ Don’t try to draw the maps of
populated areas until the end. When
your story is finished, you have a lot of
time to explore the possibilities of your
Some useful tips
→ Try to make all your sketches on
graph paper if possible.
→ Create terrains at your will. You are
the God for your world.
→ Try to create different species of
animals if possible. Many writers don’t
care about beasts. But if you have
created different species of sentient
beings, different species of animals
make things more real.
→ Try to design a functioning society.
(Don’t put a farm in the middle of desert
→ Keep it different. There is no point in
another world if everything there is
simillar to earth.
These are some basic tips to create
your fantasy world. You can improvise
as much as you like.