Fantasy Writing Tips & Discussion

A Quick Guide to Worldbuilding Cultures

In a previous article — called Worldbuilding on the Crossroads — I wrote about a technique writers can use to quickly create cultures for their worlds. For a background group this might be sufficient, but what if instead of a mere outline of a culture, you want to create an in-depth culture? A culture filled … Read more

Elemental Magic: Trope Reboot

Sometimes magic systems fail. Instead of wonder they cause confusion. Instead of building conflict they create plot holes. And instead of deepening our characters’ struggles they enable the dreaded deus ex machina. But we can avoid these issues by turning to a classic, well defined system. It’s a trope to streamline spells. Let’s reboot Elemental … Read more

Hush: The Role of Secret Societies in Revolutions

This article is by Seán Gray, and is presented by Worldbuilding Magazine. Revolutions and secret societies have long shared a connection. Whether through military action or fostering divergent thought, these organizations have played key roles in several revolutions around the world. This article aims to help you create truly interesting and compelling revolutionary groups—a valuable … Read more

History for Fantasy Writers: On Tree-Wrights and Others

Carpentry probably doesn’t sound like a subject with much potential for writing fantasy, and I’ll admit the scope is restricted. But sometimes authors want a modest touch for effect, to add depth to the great epic they’ve undertaken. Five types of woodworking industries can be named, from the late Middle Ages: sawyers, carvers, turners, carpenters, … Read more

Basics of Heraldry

This article is by by Toni Šušnjar. Distinctive personal insignia on shields had been used to identify warriors in battle since 800 BC in Phrygia. But this insignia was not heraldry as it was not hereditary (familial). Heraldry appeared in mid-12th century, and flourished during 13th and 14th centuries. First formal heraldry in England appeared … Read more

Storming the Bastille

This article is by B.K. Bass and is presented by Worldbuilding Magazine. “Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste.” (“Certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”) — Voltaire, Questions sur les Miracles, 1765 When … Read more

Map Building for Fantasy Writers

This article is by by Toni Šušnjar. Map building is perhaps the basis of fantasy, epic fantasy in particular. JRR Tolkien once wrote, “I wisely started from the map, and made the story fit” (1 2). George Martin, aside from stealing Tolkien’s RR, also utilized the same process; this is particularly noticeable in how he … Read more

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