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Browsing all articles tagged with worldbuilding.

As I Learn: How Your Story-Beast Moves

As I Learn: How Your Story-Beast Moves 

In the wild, lions live and hunt in prides. An adult male can weigh as much as 200 kg (mostly muscle), and an adult female can reach top speeds of 80 km/h—fitting since they do a lot of the hunting in the pride. These are creatures built for power and speed. Yet, these “Kings and […]

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Worldbuilding Through Characterization

Worldbuilding Through Characterization 

When somebody mentions worldbuilding the first thing you’ll think of is probably a lavishly detailed map, something filled with interesting geography, the locations of important cities, and maybe a dragon in the far corner. Or perhaps what springs to mind is a family tree of noble houses that lists their connections and feuds. Maybe you’ll […]

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Worldbuilding: More Than Just Maps

Worldbuilding: More Than Just Maps 

When we think about worldbuilding, we tend to think of it on a grand scale: maps of continents in the front of fantasy novels, or astral charts showing rival galactic empires. But worldbuilding is deeper, and more subtle, than that. A novel can have a huge cast and be set in a huge background, but […]

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Fantasy Worldbuilding: From the Bottom Up – Guest Blog by Cameron Johnston

Fantasy Worldbuilding: From the Bottom Up – Guest Blog by Cameron Johnston 

Falling down wiki-holes of research in the cause of plausible worldbuilding, and why magic shit is such an important resource. We’ve all seen those hefty articles on building fantasy worlds, the ones that discuss how to draw maps and invent the geography, trade and economies, the details of rulers, peoples and politics, and of course […]

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Temporal Anomalies: Timekeeping in Fantasy

Temporal Anomalies: Timekeeping in Fantasy 

Humans are OCD about time. We obsess over birthdays and anniversaries and are ruled by the work week. We live for the weekend and look forward to holidays with either joy or dread, depending on which relatives are coming over. We count the seconds until midnight on New Year’s, and we count the billions of […]

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Creating a Magic System

Creating a Magic System 

The naming of a thing gives you power over it. Sorcery is the will and the word. Cast fireball now and you won’t be able to again until tomorrow and have finished your revision. Magic systems exist in scores of fantasy novels. Diverse in their rules, varying in complexity, they instruct us in how the […]

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Blurring The Lines

Blurring The Lines 

So I started reading the Dragon Prince trilogy by Melanie Rawn. It’s part of the classical fantasy cannon, and the books have been on my TBR pile for ages. While I am enjoying the books, one aspect that stands out to me is the obvious tone implicit in the “sides” of the story and their […]

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The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch by Rebekah Loper

The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch by Rebekah Loper
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Though I usually don’t confess what I am about to tell you in polite circles, I imagine it will be a badge of honor on Fantasy-Faction: Once upon a time, when Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was still in its first edition, I was a Dungeon Master. One of the greatest joys of being Dungeon Master, […]

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Time Travel in Fantasy: More Common Than You’d Think

Time Travel in Fantasy: More Common Than You’d Think 

Many of us associate time travel with science fiction, picturing tinkering scientists, time machines, futuristic societies, wormholes, or space travel. This is in no small part due to the H. G. Wells 1895 classic The Time Machine, which greatly popularised the idea, but also to the development of scientific theories relating to space-time, time dilation […]

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Creating a Fantasy Race

Creating a Fantasy Race 

The fantasy genre is filled with an astonishing array of wildly different races that populate our stories. Some are drawn from older myths and legends like elves and dwarfs while others are brand new creations from the author’s imagination. Would-be worldbuilders might think it’s just a matter of slapping some limbs together and thinking up […]

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Worldbuilding Round Table with Jonathan French, Alec Hutson, and Phil Tucker

Worldbuilding Round Table with Jonathan French, Alec Hutson, and Phil Tucker 

Of the fantasy books I have read this year, three of my favorites have been Alec Hutson’s Crimson Queen, Jonathan French’s The Grey Bastards (winner of SPFBO 2016), and Phil Tucker’s The Path of Flames (SPFBO 2016 finalist). All have received both critical acclaim and reader adoration. What drew me into their worlds was how […]

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A Monster’s Place

A Monster’s Place 

The terrifying monster has been a staple of the fantasy genre since its earliest origins, when bards told tales around a fire at the dawn of time. They frightened listeners with descriptions of horrifying creatures, they talked of scaled hides, the fearsome length of its claws, of hungry eyes peering out of the darkness. This […]

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