World Building

World Building is fun. It can also be a nightmare. How can one person possibly create an entire world? There's just so much to consider. If you miss something, your world may not feel real to your readers then, your story fails. Hopefully, the links below will make the process a little easier. I'll keep adding to this whenever I come across a post or article I believe would help you on your world building adventure. By the way, just because most fantasy worlds are set in medieval times, doesn't mean yours has to.

Below are some awesome sites with amazing details about each characteristic of World Building.
SFWA: Fantasy World Building Questions
Consider Worldbuilding
Berley’s Top 10 World Building Tips for Sci-Fi or Fantasy
Inkwell Ideas: Worldbuilding: Local Area Design

Darkness/Dark-side Defined (Physical and Psychological)

For some reason, I've always been fascinated by darkness. Understanding what darkness is at its bases and the ins and outs of our inner demons helped me develop my power system and my race of beings. I built the system off of Jung's concept of the Shadow- our dark side. Dark fantasy usually deals with darkness in some way. Darkness
Merriam-Webster: Darkness
Essential Secrets of Psychology: "What is the Shadow?"
Suite 101: What is the Shadow in Jungian Psychology?
Book- A Little Book On The Human Shadow by Robert Bly
Book- Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature edited by Connie Zweig
Book- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: And Other Tales of Terror by Robert Louis Stevenson
Writing Dystopian Fiction
Why Do We Like Dark Stories?
Writing Apocalyptic Stories
Why Do We Write Dark Fantasy?

Characters, Creatures & Powers
Most dark fantasy stories have some sort of non-human character. They could be your protagonist, in the case of The Black Jewels Series, or the enemies, in the case of The Warded Man by Peter Brett. Magic or a power system is also prevalent in this genre.

Mythical and Fantasy Creatures
Demonology: A-E list of Demon Names, Devil & Evil Spirits
Gods and Monsters
The Phoenixian Book of Creatures
Template for Creating and Building a New Fantasy Race for Your Fictional World or Story
Anime Powers and Writing Dark Fantasy
5 Most Desirable Anime Powers
First Impressions: Top 10 Anime Superpowers
Leveling Up Your Character's Magic Skills Part 1
Leveling Up Your Character's Magic Skills Part 2
Balancing Magic and Technology
Creating Dark Fantasy Animals
The Anti-Hero

Creating Dark Fantasy Animals


I'm a visual person. I need to see images of what's in my head to better understand and describe it. Also, seeing some image of gorgeous and unusual places in the world will give you inspiration for the world you're creating. It's easy to rely on what we've seen around us or in movies but there are some amazing structures and landscapes around the world that I never even thought about including in my world.

10 Amazing Real-World Locations for Fantasy World Building
Pinterest: World Building Inspiration- Settings
Pinterest: A Different Kind of Fantasy Land
io9- The Most Incredible Fantasy Maps You've Ever Seen
Fantasy Faction: Mapmaking For Fantasy Authors
io9- A map showing the original meanings of place names in North America
Describing a Setting Readers Can Experience 
Think of Locations as Characters

Your world will have a governing body (maybe more than one). Understanding the different government systems will help you realistically portray your own body of leadership. 

The Dark Corner of the Mind: Fantasy World Building: Hierarchical System
Alpha: Worldbuiling Part 2: Government and Society
World Building A to Z: Government and Golden Age

Below are links for general tips and advice. 
Wolfgang Baur on WorldBuilding: Historical Fantasy and Real Fantasy
Five Foundations of World-Building
World Building Tips I Learned at the Louvre 
World-Building for Fantasy Authors
20 Questions for World Builders to Ask Themselves
Building A World: Basic Concept 
The 5 Keys to Seamless Worldbuilding
Fantasy World: Where Ideas Come From
Pinterest: Fantasy Writing Tips

Fantasy Generators
This one I found to be really interesting. You know the Random Name Generator? Well, these website has different world building generators. One will give you ideas for a coin design another gives you plants. It's kinda awesome!
Worldbuilding-Relevant Generator Index
Seventh Sanctum 
Fantasy Name Generator
Plant, Herb, & Flower Name Generator

Want more World Building Tips? Check out my book Building Dark Worlds.

Do you have any questions about world building? Email me at audendjohnson (at) gmail (dot) com. 


Kelly Hashway said…
Great info! I'm very visual, too.
Auden Johnson said…
Thanks Kelly.

I've collected so many images to help with my world.
EV Medina said…
This is amazing! You really did your homework here. I have a fictional world myself and some of these links may help me a lot. Thanks for sharing these. I have made some maps of the whole world and of each of the continents for my co-authored book, Realmwalkers. But now I would like to develop some of the cities, culture, landmarks, etc... If you want to visit my blog: The World of Tiaera go to Gonna bookmark this post for future reference. {{{}}} Thanks!
Auden Johnson said…
Glad I could help :D Good luck! Love the look of your blog!