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World Building Tricks and Tools

Pern Map

Today’s topic comes from QSFer Jim Comer Conlangs: “World building.” We’ve talked about this before, but it’s one of my favorites – especially for sci fi or fantasy.

Today I wanna break it down a little. As a whole, this generally means creating a convincing, immersive experience – when it’s done well, you feel like you are inside the author’s world, and no matter how strange or futuristic (or fantastic), it works.

Some of my favorite sci fi and fantasy worlds for their immersive qualities are (in no particular order) Majipoor, Pern, Middle Earth, Dune, The Land, and Shannara (ok, The Four Lands). I used to pour over maps for hours as I read these stories, figuring out how the characters got from here to there.

So what makes these worlds (and others like them) tick?

My questions today: What sci fi/fantasy worlds do you want to visit again and again (mainstream or LGBT) and why? And what tips / tricks / tools / websites do you find invaluable when building your own little worlds?

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