The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
 

The Blue Sword

Review

 
The Path of Flames by Phil Tucker
 

The Path of Flames

Review

 
Lisa Tuttle Interview – The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross
 

Lisa Tuttle

Interview - The Witch at Wayside Cross

 

Browsing all articles tagged with worldbuilding.

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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The Creatures We Base Aliens On

The Creatures We Base Aliens On 

One of the interesting things about fictional aliens is that they’re almost never completely alien. We have no real idea what extra-terrestrials would look like, and it’s nigh impossible to imagine an entirely new species unlike anything we’ve ever seen. As such, we usually fall back on earthly species for inspiration, combining known elements to […]

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Worlds Within Worlds – Part Three: Old Grey Beards

Worlds Within Worlds – Part Three: Old Grey Beards 

If you ask someone on the street to name the first three wizards that come to mind, you’ll probably hear the names Gandalf, Merlin, and Dumbledore (or Rincewind, if they’re trying to be clever). The image of the white-bearded old man with a staff is woven into modern fantasy, to the point that Pratchett filled […]

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The Pros and Cons of a Macro Timescale

The Pros and Cons of a Macro Timescale 

Most fantasy and science fiction series tend to be, by their very nature, large in scope. We expect stories about the fate of worlds, the rise and fall of empires, and history in the making. A book might still focus on a character’s personal, small-scale struggle, but it’s rare the focus will only be on […]

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Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Writing a Good Game into a Good Book

Worlds Within Worlds – Part One: Writing a Good Game into a Good Book 

Humanity has played games for as long as we’ve been able to make up rules and keep score. As we’ve developed as a species, we’ve created thousands of games, and gaming isn’t just something we do out of boredom. In many ways, games are a survival mechanism, a way to recharge our brains and spirits. […]

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Top 10 Things To Do in a Fictional Castle

Top 10 Things To Do in a Fictional Castle 

For those of us who like a touch of the magical and the medieval, nothing quite beats a visit to a fictional castle. But with all those trap doors, winding passageways, and changeable stairs, it’s hard to know where to start and how to make the most of your time. Yes, you may already have […]

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Wading in the Cultural Shallows: How Irish Mythology Became A Commodity for Fantasy

Wading in the Cultural Shallows: How Irish Mythology Became A Commodity for Fantasy 

One night at a party I was introduced to a woman who proudly informed told me she’d named her baby daughter ‘Banshee’ in celebration of her Irish heritage. Even at the time I was pretty stunned by the announcement. For an Irish person (and I would have thought most people would have known this), this […]

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Is This Normal Around Here?

Is This Normal Around Here? 

So you get home to your enchanted castle, hand your coat to the golem butler who waits by the door, tut sadly at Markus; the caretaker who’s trying to fill a light globe and letting all the fairies escape, then you head to the kitchen where your goblin chef has an entire pig roasting on […]

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Exploring Vvardenfell: How Morrowind Created an Immersive Secondary World

Exploring Vvardenfell: How Morrowind Created an Immersive Secondary World 

Back in 2012, I was sitting with a group of fantasy writers at the PNWA conference in Seattle. Everyone had begun rolling off their favorite authors, and soon there were choruses of ah, yes and mmm. I just sat there silently with a glass of ice water. Most of my writing career had been a conscious detour around […]

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The Necronomicon to the Nokizi: Creating Texts For Secondary Worlds

The Necronomicon to the Nokizi: Creating Texts For Secondary Worlds 

Welcome to Fantasy-Faction’s new feature, Worlds Within Worlds. Writing in-world texts offers an anchor for characters, readers, and authors—when everyone is working off the same information, there’s a sense of immersion and verisimilitude, that this world could exist. You can write up as much lore as you want for your own personal file, but once […]

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Is Winter In Fantasy Always Evil?

Is Winter In Fantasy Always Evil? 

Winter is often seen as the dark and unwelcome season, and understandably so—if you live far enough from the equator it can mean longer nights, cold temperatures, icy conditions, grey gardens and leafless trees. It can be particularly harsh if you don’t have a warm home to retreat to. But the season is not without […]

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Society in Story

Society in Story 

There are a number of elements fantasy writers focus on during worldbuilding, traditionally they pour over decisions like mapping locations, designing a magic system and setting empires/species against one another – big, obvious things that shape the story. Yet this can mean they overlook an important aspect that helps to bring all the different elements […]

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