World building is hard.
I’ve often looked on enviously at fiction authors who write in a real-world setting, I’ve always thought they had it easier when it came to their worlds. I mean sure, no -one forced me to write a fantasy series, thereby rendering it necessary for me build a whole new world from the ground up. It was just the natural way for me to go, having long been a fan of fantasy fiction.
I digress however, the subject of my writing envy.
I think I’ve been a little unfair to my fellow fiction writing contemporaries. In truth, we all have to build worlds when we write fiction, it is important you see to set the rules of your world in advance and then stick to them. There’s little more annoying than going through three quarters of a book being told one thing by the story, only for it to do an about face and do something entirely contrary to the pre-existing rules of the story. It’s jarring and few things will break immersion faster.
In any genre, whether it be fantasy, sci-fi or something a little more grounded like romance or drama, the world the story takes place in needs to be built. If built in advance, with the author noting the ‘rules’ of the world and keeping in mind it’s lore, then as long as the author sticks to them everything should be consistent and non-jarring.
The same is true no matter what type of fiction you’re writing. I can well imagine the fact that the Harry Potter series of books were couched in a real-world setting didn’t make it any easier for J.K. Rowling to write them. Indeed, Lee Child will have had in mind when writing the Jack Reacher books what the eponymous character was capable of when writing them. All worlds, no matter their location need to be built to a point.
When writing Brogan and the Bandit King and further stories set in the same world I needed to do the same. Elves and dwarfs are a no-no, but wizards and demons are fine. There will be fantastical creatures of all varieties for the hero and his companions to battle, but no orcs or goblins. These are the things I need to remember as I go on.
Anyway, enough of my rambling, I need to decide where to put a city.