So You Want To/Build Your Own Fictional World

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
How-To Guide

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World Building is the process in which an author adds the finer details to his or her setting. Also check out Be Original and The Trope History of the Universe.

Choices, Choices

Necessary tropes


Potential Subversions

  • Standard Fantasy Setting: Everybody who thinks "Hey, I can write a fantasy epic!" usually plagarizes Tolkien or D&D, complete with Medieval Stasis. There are comparitively few Weird West fantasy epics, for example, which can be counted on your fingers (Wild ARMs and Deadlands are the only ones that springs to mind); Same with Sci-fi/fantasy crossover settings (Warhammer 40,000 and Spelljammer).
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Dwarves are usually all short, fat, mildly agoraphobic drunkards who really like mining, eating, drinking, gold, and fighting. The most different dwarves usually get is that "oh, my particular dwarves have Steampunk tech and /or guns because they stink at magic." Done. To. Death.
  • ISO Standard Human Spaceship: Warhammer 40,000's human ships are giant, flying gothic cathedrals with weapons mounts tarted up to look like gargoyles. Johnny's ship from Wonton Soup is spherical. There's no reason to go for the standard flying-box-with-rivited-plates look.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Armor types are rather neutral. It'd be great to find out that, just this once, the Tank in the jet black, spined armor with-skull-mask-helmet is one of the good guys.
  • Five Races/Fantasy Axis of Evil. Orcs (Or Orks, however you want to spell it), Drow/Dark Elves, Goblins, Undead and Dark Dwarves (or necromantic humans, whatever) get a bad rap in most stories, simply because of What Measure Is a Non-Human?.Mix it up a little. Stories like Goblins, Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, and Drowtales explore the "Bad guys" side of it. One could also have the Five races/ Axis of evil completely flipped, with noble orcs and brave goblins vs. bloodthirsty humans and ruthless elves, or peaceful Undead fending off religious nutjobs who consider them "Unholy."

Writers Lounge

Suggested Themes, Plots, and Aesops

Too many, so I'll just toss you the Genres index.


Costume Department

Casting Department

  • Whatever classic races you want to include, and any new ones you dream up.

Stunt Department

  • A heroic deed here and there in the history to keep it interesting.
  • And scandals,humorous or serious,to add drama or humor.
  1. this includes stuff like pants