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What Do You Like In Fantasy Worlds?


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Hi Everyone!

 

I was wondering if you all could share some aspects of what you enjoy and look for in fantasy worlds that would keep your interest. I am always looking for more new ideas to add into my world. I look forward to hearing what everyone's interests are. :D

 

 

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  • Storysmith changed the title to What Do You Like In Fantasy Worlds?

Size. In all honesty, what I love and what has me drooling over fantasy is when the world feels bigger than just where the story takes place. Along with this comes diverse and distinct cultures and the sense that the whole story is overshadowed with years and years of history. 

 

Then the worldbuilding (in terms of the physical world and climate) needs to feel real. So no snow and forest just because it's cool, but snow in the forest because it's winter and it snows in this climate. 

 

I also love it when the writer takes the time to enjoy the world they've created, instead of rushing past while chasing the story down. 

 

Themes are another thing I love. There are some fantasy books that are bestsellers that I haven't enjoyed because I didn't feel that the stories had any theme or purpose, even though the characters were well developed and the worldbuilding amazing.

 

And replying to this topic has reminded me of what I want to include in my fantasy WIP 

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Claire Tucker said it well— and since I don’t read much classic fantasy, I have to add that her thoughts go for any book world, really. It should feel real—three-dimensional-si readers feel that even if it doesn’t exist, it ought to, or easily could.

 

This is really something I need to work on as well, as I prepare to dive into the second half of my series

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Realistic is important. Not that it has to match our world, but if a character is presented as a wolf, he probably wouldn't be able to pick up a dime off the floor. If he has some wolf characteristics and some human characteristics, that's different.

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17 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

Realistic is important. Not that it has to match our world, but if a character is presented as a wolf, he probably wouldn't be able to pick up a dime off the floor. If he has some wolf characteristics and some human characteristics, that's different.

 

Assuming he was rational, and it was still the days when you could get an ice cream for a dime, it might be worthwhile for him to try with his tongue!

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7 hours ago, Claire Tucker said:

Size. In all honesty, what I love and what has me drooling over fantasy is when the world feels bigger than just where the story takes place. Along with this comes diverse and distinct cultures and the sense that the whole story is overshadowed with years and years of history. 

 

Then the worldbuilding (in terms of the physical world and climate) needs to feel real. So no snow and forest just because it's cool, but snow in the forest because it's winter and it snows in this climate. 

 

I also love it when the writer takes the time to enjoy the world they've created, instead of rushing past while chasing the story down. 

 

Themes are another thing I love. There are some fantasy books that are bestsellers that I haven't enjoyed because I didn't feel that the stories had any theme or purpose, even though the characters were well developed and the worldbuilding amazing.

 

And replying to this topic has reminded me of what I want to include in my fantasy WIP 

Yes! I couldn't agree more. I feel too many fantasy stories are too narrow focused and too fast paced on one story. This always disappoints me when the world is well done and has my interest to learn more about it. However the exploration stops when the main story ends causing it to lose the potential of expanding further using the same same world for more stories.

 

So far my story's theme does seem to be in the popular trend like Narnia and Lord of the Rings which are big influences. I can definitely say my world and races might have some similarities to those but it is definitely not like them. I hope to create something realistic as possible and unexpected to help it stand out. I definitely want to make the biblical principle that is there is a place and time for everything as a primary focus. I want to expand on things such as during the time of peace: trading/economics, professions such as smithing and crafting, fun exploration including lots of seafaring, solving; riddles, puzzles, and poems, feasting one of the things I enjoyed from the Redwall series, and fun clean comedy. And of course,during times of war: sea and land battles, duels, and I really like to expand on military strategies/tactics. This is just a summary of what I would like to include to give the reader a taste of the world in many settings and aspects of life.

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I love the sense of "what if..." that fantasy makes possible. To have things that are inert and non-sentient given voices and wills.

And I love when the reality of good and evil is spelled out clearly. I don't have to feel bad about an orc getting killed--they were not redeemable! 

Beyond that, it's got to pluck a few of the notes MacDonald and Tolkien sent vibrating through the genre. It's not good if I don't feel like there could be an arrow on the edge of the map (all fantasy must have a map) between their worlds and the one I'm reading. 

And I love the colors, textures, and whimsy the genre makes easy to stuff in. 

Edited by Celebrianne
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Consistently alien and fleshed out. I want to visit a new world, not a thinly veiled copy of our own. Has the author created a comprehensive and coherent society? That means laws, judicial procedures, transportation, clothes, food, animals, plants, history, traditions, holidays, religious rituals, values, types of natural disasters, diseases, etc. It means factions (political, mercantile, religious, clan-based, etc). It means pasttimes like sports, games of chance, etc.

 

 

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I echo the advice above!!

 

This is probably really picky, but as a linguistics nerd, I really appreciate when I can tell the author has taken the time to examine the naming conventions of each culture. That doesn't mean everyone needs to be Tolkien and invent five languages and alphabets to go with, but I do love it when I can tell what character is from what country or culture due to their name. This could include how the name is constructed (in regards to family name, first name, etc.), as well as the letter sounds in the name.

 

Along the same vein, accounting for different accents, speech patterns, or place names, depending on culture, especially if there is a "common" language, is important, because that's how real language works!

 

Again, these are probably really picky things, but I just love them, lol!

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17 minutes ago, PenName said:

I echo the advice above!!

 

This is probably really picky, but as a linguistics nerd, I really appreciate when I can tell the author has taken the time to examine the naming conventions of each culture. That doesn't mean everyone needs to be Tolkien and invent five languages and alphabets to go with, but I do love it when I can tell what character is from what country or culture due to their name. This could include how the name is constructed (in regards to family name, first name, etc.), as well as the letter sounds in the name.

 

Along the same vein, accounting for different accents, speech patterns, or place names, depending on culture, especially if there is a "common" language, is important, because that's how real language works!

 

Again, these are probably really picky things, but I just love them, lol!

I could not agree more after trying to be a Tolkien elvish language nerd. lol I always enjoy worlds with different languages with corresponding cultures and unique features. It certainly makes the world much easier to immerse into and learn more about.

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My experience is mostly with Scifi but I think this applies to fantasy as well: 

1. The world is different enough from our own for it to have been worth the trouble of creating a new world.

2. The differences in the fictional world have logical and well explored consequences.

3. The governments are realistic (not cardboard cutout dictatorships, etc.).

4. The wildlife is unique and the unique biology of organisms involved in the story is taken into consideration for the plot.

5. There are well executed themes, and said themes are layered in as many levels as possible. 

6. Novel languages aren't something I need but the author should be realistic about the fact that diverse languages exist even though it is all translated into english for our reading pleasure.

7. Doesn't make everything intelligent a humanoid. More relevant to scifi than fantasy but the convention of other planets populated by creatures that are basically humans except with pointy ears bugs me. The most analogous fantasy trope might be intelligent races that are based off non humanoid creatures (cats, reptiles, deer, etc.) that are now humanoid just because.

 

 

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