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How To Create Lands For Fantasy Worlds

By Author: Steve Smith
Total Articles: 33

Fantasy world creation can be either a very easy thing or a very difficult thing depending on how imaginative you are and whether or not you know how to approach it.
The fantasy genre is huge with so much potential for so many different things yet we are often stuck using the same ideas over and over again.
Well, no more!
In this article I shall tell you of the various aspects that you should consider when creating a fantasy world. By fantasy world I mean the land or world that it is set in, just like our world is Earth the land itself is the different countries that are within it and that is what my focus shall be.
If you look at the different lands in the many different stories/games out there you can see just how diverse a land can be. It can be difficult knowing where to begin so I suggest you start by drawing a random shape on a piece of paper. You do not need to be good at drawing at all to do this as long as you can hold a pencil and make it move.
Take a look at the shape you have drawn, that is essentially a continent surrounded by ocean. Now draw random lines through the shape, not straight lines but bends and curves and jagged edges, and hopefully you will end up will what will resemble countries with the lines representing the countries borders.
Take the time now to refine the edges, expand upon certain zones or cut into the shape you have drawn to create coves, stretches of land that poke out into the sea. Draw a couple of small islands just off the coast of the mainland and you will start to see you land take shape.
You may have noticed by now that the way we are looking at the land is as though we are looking at a map and that is how we will continue to shape our fictional land.
Now use basic shapes to create mountainous regions, trees, lakes and rivers etc. and use rectangle or circle shapes to define at least one main city in one of the countries.
Remember- Trees and mountains and rivers are not country specific they cross the borders of all countries without bias and are likely to feature in more than one place just not in the same volume.
You should now have a half decent looking layout of your land. It will not be perfect but it is more than you had before and is great point to continue working from.
Refine your map by continuing to add terrain features. Some parts of your map you will be very happy with and may wish to keep, other parts you may want to get rid of- you can if you want to. Or you could start the process again and create a different land and merge together the parts you like.

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