Do you dream of a magical world, without ever having put it on paper? It 's time to take action and bring extraordinary worlds to life that only you can visit now.
Part 1 of 3: Define a culture
Step 1. Determine what the inhabitants of your world look like
Start with the basic characteristics of your world and how people experience it. This will help you determine the vibe of your world.
- Is it a peaceful world, without war, without violence, or anger? Is this a world falling into disrepair, due to chaos, crime and fighting?
- From there, you can start to describe your inhabitants. Create them, describe their histories, their cultures, their ways of living, their food, their form of political organization, their weapons, their education, their modes of transport: everything! Is your world populated by different races? Like lizardfish and tiger rabbits? Are these races opposed to each other?
- Define the scope of the culture. There could be only one dominant culture, like the Klingon Empire, or several cultures with different mores, like on Earth.
Step 2. Choose a name for your world
You can always change it later, of course, but it's best to start with something. You could make up a name from your own first name.
- For example, Lilithopia will be a perfect name for a pretty flowered world. Zachtopia, on the other hand, does not sound so good. Forget the topia suffix and call your world Zakchan or even just Zakh!
- You could also make up a name from scratch. Pick tones you like or even try a word game.
- You could also just use the name of a foreign city. Ravonik or Turan, two names of Albanian cities, for example sound very good.
- The name of your world should reflect its inhabitants. For example, if your world is at war, avoid calling it "Planet Bliss". Likewise, if your universe is populated by elves and unicorns, avoid calling it "Kzakh".
- Create multiple countries! Invent a flag for each country, give them unique names and assign them mores and customs that are both unique to each of them and common to all the cultures of your world.
Step 3. Shape your world
Determine what the landscapes of your planet will look like. Where will you place your deserts, forests and mountains?
Also think about the portion of your world that will be covered by each environment. Your planet could be mostly desert, completely covered in ice, or a tropical jungle world. Otherwise, you could invent a world similar to our Earth, where different animal and plant species will live
Step 4. Invent the flora and fauna of your world
You could be inspired by species existing on Earth or you could totally invent your own species! Will there be vertebrates, invertebrates? Do your animals have teeth, claws, scales, wings, eyes, fur?
- Consult books on insects and marine life. There you will find surprisingly looking creatures: real aliens on our own planet!
- Do your inhabitants take any of these animals for mounts? Determine what these animals will eat, and then also who (or what) will eat these animals!
- By inventing your ecosystem (who eats who, who is the dominant predator, how species live among themselves), you will learn more about your world. Where do all these creatures live? These could live in the sky or in the middle of a volcano. Perhaps there are ice worms penetrating the metal or beings capable of assuming a solid form like disappearing in an instant.
Step 5. Think about the story of your world
Once you determine who the inhabitants of your world are and what they do, you can start thinking about the past.
- Describe how they evolved from another life form or were created by the gods.
- How did life come about on the planet Wyxyxy? What are the events that marked this world?
- Are there gods and goddesses, have things changed over time? Describe how the cultures in your world have been influenced by their history. Has your world known wars (civil, international)? Conflicts ? Revolutions? Times of anarchy? On the contrary, is it relatively peaceful?
Step 6. Invent the religions of your world
This could be difficult for you if you are a religious person in the real world. Understand that by inventing religions for your imaginary world, you will not deny your faith. Just like writing a detective story won't make you a murderer, inventing gods won't make you a pagan.
- Is the dominant religion polytheist (several gods), monotheist (one god), pantheist (everything is god) or atheist (no god)? You can then choose to make your gods look like the inhabitants of your world (but larger and purple, for example) or squirrels with fangs. Be creative!
- Are your gods animals? Do they each have a specific power? Do they have a spouse or several? Are these gods visible or invisible? Are your gods vulnerable to a particular element?
Step 7. Choose or create your world language
Will the inhabitants of your planet speak French, English, Spanish? Or an entirely new language? Be aware that if you intend to write a book, you should not have your characters speak an imaginary language throughout the story. Readers, unable to understand the story without constantly having to refer to a glossary, will give up reading.
To study a master's work in this area, read The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien created complete languages, so that his characters have a story, but these languages are only used by characters sparingly, for important things. It gives her world an authentic air that otherwise would have been lacking
Step 8. Make up a folklore
What are the legends of each country? Create children's accounts, witch and fairy stories and make up myths from scratch or incredible stories that people believe. Think about prophecies and take inspiration from the Mayan culture, for example.
Step 9. Get a general idea of the daily life of the people in each country
What games do children play? Which of your countries are rich and which are poor? Are the people in your world working hard or have time to have fun?
Part 2 of 3: Create your world map
Step 1. Make a map
Start by drawing the lands (your continents), then add large bodies of water or other geographic features unique to your world.
- Add physical boundaries. Europe and Asia are for example two continents separated by a natural border.
- Add political borders: so place your countries and cities. You could then take inspiration from Google Maps.
Step 2. Name your places
Once you have defined the borders of your countries, it is time to give them names. Start by naming continents or regions, then countries, then cities, and work from the largest to the smallest.
- Also give names to your geographical elements: your oceans, your deserts, your forests, etc.
- Choose a capital for each of your countries. Place then name the big cities, then the small towns and finally the villages.
- It may seem like a lot of work to you. Relax and don't overthink it - just let the ideas come to you. You could use your imagination without even thinking about it, or you could work the different names on paper.
- If you can't come up with enough names for the different places in your world, Google “imaginary place names”.
Step 3. Draw the general outlines of your map
To begin with, leave the islands aside. The outlines of your world should be jagged (like ribs). Don't just draw a curved line unless you have a good reason to do so and not just out of laziness.
- Prefer to use a computer program: it will be easier for you to edit your map than on paper.
- Add the small islands. These islands can play a crucial role in your world, economically or even militarily!
Step 4. Add your map legend
Use very simple symbols, like triangles for mountains and dots for cities (unless you are a real artist and want to draw each mountain nicely and nice buildings to represent cities).
- Then write down the names of the places. Write the names of the continents larger than those of the countries and the names of the countries larger than those of the cities, etc.
- Remember to adjust the size of the symbols representing the cities according to their size and to use different symbols for capitals, countries, provinces.
Step 5. Color your map
You can do it however you want. Make the final touches and voila! You have your card.
Step 6. Make individual maps of each country
Around each country you are mapping, you will need to color in gray or hatch the border countries. Then color each province in the country a different bright color. Of course, if your world is not made up of countries (for example if your planet has just been created or is ravaged by war or completely peaceful), you will skip this step.
Part 3 of 3: Bring your world to life
Step 1. Write your story and print it like a book
You could write the introduction from the perspective of a scientist discovering this world, then write the rest of the story as if it were a true story. If you want your story to be read, upload it.
Read anthropological studies of native tribes and books on plants and wild animals to see how people and creatures are described. You could also take a look at National Geographic. Adapt the style to your own descriptions
- Be creative! Don't think about what other people like. Invent your world as you want it and have fun!
- For starters, don't worry about the details. Refine your world as you go.
- This article is only a guide. Don't hesitate to skip steps or add more.
- You can of course be inspired by books and websites, but do not copy the texts or you could be sued for plagiarism.
- History is also a very good source of inspiration. Pick a topic that interests you, such as the army or the pharaohs, and research it in the library or on the internet.
- See your brain as a lake. Let your ideas spring from your mind like a river. Write down all your ideas, even if you have a good memory or your new ideas will get stuck with older ones, like in a roadblock.
- Don't worry about the little mistakes. For example, if while making your map, you notice that one of your cities has become a lake, do not erase it. If the city is not of particular importance, you can say that it was an ancient city which is now submerged.
- Avoid clichés, like fairies and goblins, a team of two boys and a girl or an orphan hero. The more unique your story, the more interesting it will be.
- If you are printing your story, do so double-spaced so that you can add notes.
- Many people create worlds populated by different races. Avoid falling into clichés by giving each species a culture (elves have an oriental culture and dwarves a Russian culture). Humans are only one species and yet have many cultures. It should be the same for your imaginary species.
- Don't show your cards to people you don't trust. They might steal your ideas.
- Avoid telling people who are not open-minded about your world. They might think you are crazy.