World Building

Every fantasy writer knows the importance of world building- and also the difficulty of it. The idea of creating a whole new world from scratch can be daunting, but also fun. World building is an area where you can let your imagination run wild. You want creatures that fly without wings? Why not? You want blue trees and a red moon? No problem. Whatever you want, you can create. You are the God of this world, its creator.

World building can also be problematic, if you don’t have a clear idea in your head. You have to make your world detailed enough for the reader, and yet not so detailed that it derails the plot. You need a history for your world, geographical features, flora, fauna, and what not. What about the protagonist of your story? Is he/ she human? Elvish? Some other unknown race that you’ve invented?

There are lots of places where we can get great advice on how to build a world that’s convincing enough and real enough, and I’m sure you’ve all gone through them and knows the basics of how to build a world. In today’s post, I want to showcase two great sites that can be used to build a fantasy world from scratch.

The first is World Anvil. This is a great site for fantasy writers and gamers alike. It may look daunting, but the whole thing is simple when you try it. You can just create a summary, get all the background info in there, and leave the rest for later if you want. Or you can sit down, gather your notes around you, and build the world and its characters. They have a lot of video tutorials that can guide you every step of the way, as well.

The Second is donjon, which is not as comprehensive as World Anvil, but is great for getting the basics out of the way. You can generate worlds, calendars, names and a lot of other things for both fantasy and sci fi. Donjon is also easier to navigate since everything is basic, and can give you an overview of what you want your world to look like. The navigation panel on the left is all there is. Talk of simplicity!

I personally began with donjon and built a basic world which I then detailed in World Anvil, but it need not work for everyone.

I do hope you found this informative and useful. Thank you for reading!