Building a fantasy world from scratch, saying that is enough to make most people topple over and give up before they’ve even started. Where do you start, well that’s easy, at least for me. I pull from all the pages and idea sketches built up over the years, writing bits and pieces on what now becomes “Legendary”, my graphic novel. I’m sure it can be done, but I don’t recommend sitting down, creating a whole universe in a day or two. There is much to consider when creating a believable fantasy universe. It’s fantasy you say, anything goes. That could be true, depending on what type of setting you want to make for your story. I like to think that it has to have some roots in our own reality, making you think that yeah, there is a possibility that this might actually be real.
The first thing that came to my mind was the overall setting, the distant future Earth, where mankind is no more, where evolved animals are struggling to build and maintain their own civilizations, constantly raged by wars over resources. The world as we know it, is drastically changed. Deserts are everywhere, radiation and more play key parts in the struggles.
Then you have to think about the various races, how do they live, how do they interact, what do they like, love, hate, love to eat, dislike to do, what professions do they take on based on all this and more. How do they dress, what does their clothes-, armor-, weaponry-, everyday items-, houses-, statues etc look like. What do they make these items out of, based on the resources available to them, either naturally or by trade. How advanced are they, stone age, iron age, are they technically advanced with robotic servants, do they have interstellar travel capabilities. Are they religious, or is religion in any form forbidden. Are their gods make believe or do they actually walk among them, performing miracles when all hope is lost. So many things play part in how your fantasy world and fantasy setting end up looking like.
But don’t feel like mapping out every last bit and piece of the world, develop just what the reader need to understand what’s going on in your story, then leave the rest to their imagination.