Ever had the urge to create a fictional world?
Maybe even just a country? Well, over at Everything2, there’s an article on just that called, ironically enough, Designing a Fantasy World. The article takes you through the basics of what one needs to consider when putting together a fantasy world, if you want it to be believable. They touch on most of these subjects lightly, but there’s enough there to take you through the physical forms of your world, as well as the mythology behind that, and all the way on through the society that might develop in such a place. They’ve got plenty of links and Everything2 is sort of like Wikipedia, so there’s a lot of information there to browse through and digest. The article has lots of helpful suggestions in addition to those links, too!
But, for my money, the best thing in the article is:
The cardinal rule in all of this is to preserve mimesis – that is, the apparent reality of your world. You don’t need to have volumes of abstractions like language and geology if you don’t think you’ll use them. But a little care can give the reader the pleasing illusion that such things could exist, and that there are no glaring contradictions lurking just below the surface. A little thought about the points mentioned can lead to an altogether more pleasing experience for the player or reader.
Remember that, and you’ll do just fine creating your own fantasy world.