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So You Want To: Build Your Own Fictional World

World Building is the process in which an author adds the finer details to his or her setting. Also check out Be Original and The Trope History of the Universe.

Choices, Choices

Necessary tropes

Pitfalls

Potential Subversions

Writers Lounge

Suggested Themes, Plots, and Aesops

Too many, so I'll just toss you the Genres index.

Departments

Costume Department

  • Armor and tunics/leggingsnote /skirts work great for almost any setting. You just need to adapt them to fit the setting. Fantasy gets plate or chainmail armor, Sci-fi gets Powered Armor.
  • Those technologies we mentioned? Can any of it be implanted into a character?

Casting Department

  • Whatever classic races you want to include, and any new ones you dream up.

Stunt Department

  • A heroic deed here and there (up to and including wars) in the history to keep it interesting.
  • And scandals, humorous or serious, to add drama or humor.