World building is such a fascinating part of writing to me. I absolutely love building up a world from scratch. If you are looking for tips on how to build a world for your writing check out my earlier post on world building.
I acknowledge that some people do it better than me, not something I usually acknowledge about my own skills. Some of the greatest worlds have been built by writing legends. My favourites are:
1. J. R. R. Tolkien
2. J. K. Rowling
3. George R. R. Martin
(Note these aren't in order)
The one thing that strikes me about all three of these authors that have built a world up from scratch for their characters to inhabit is the fact that they all have some foundation in the real world.
Tolkien is loosely based on Europe and the Middle East.
Rowling has based her world on some sort of shady underground scene that is going on right under our muggle noses.
Martin is so obviously the United Kingdom. I personally live close to the wall and spend hours worrying that the White walkers might appear any day now.
So, I think that this foundation is required in some respects to give the world a believable feeling.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments below. Can a truly great world be built from scratch, or should we base our fantasy on the real world to a certain extent?