Writing Fantasy: Creating a World Step 3

This is the third post in my new "Writing Fantasy: Creating a World" series. Each step may take some time, and will likely stretch out over the course of your world-building, as new ideas spring up and mesh together.They are intended to give you a starting point if you're unsure where to begin creating a world for a fantasy novel.

My previous post, which you can find here, focused on the races of your world--the inhabitants of your planet and where they reside. After the first two steps, you should also have some idea of your world's geography, and a potential map for reference. If you've completed those steps or are struggling with the physical characteristics of your inhabitants, feel free to move on to:

Step 3: Political Structure & Recent History

Who rules your fantasy world? A king and his court? A council of nobles? Have there been wars in recent decades? Or is the land peaceful and quiet, about to be stirred by an unfortunate event?

In this step, focus on the political spectrum of your fantasy world, and consider your world's recent history. While recent history is back-story in your novel, it's important to have some sort of grasp on where your world has been and how it will now change in the course of your novel. Without change and conflict, you have no story. Does your conflict derive from exterior forces, such as armies or treacherous rulers? This is the step to begin considering such things, by understanding the atmospheric setting of your story.

Now it's your turn--what kinds of political machines rule in your fantasy land? How do you develop your world's back-story?

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