The Art of World Building
Written with fantasy authors in mind but applicable to other genres and fields, Randy Ellefson’s The Art of World Building is a detailed guide to creating a fictitious setting, from the planet down to the blades of grass. It includes chapters on creating maps, cities, nations, cultures, military groups, history, plants, animals, species, gods, monsters, undead, the supernatural, a system of magic, magic items, famous artifacts and more. The book includes downloadable templates and discusses how much of each item to create, why, and approaches to doing so.
While Ellefson has built a new world for each story as authors often do, he has also spent over twenty-five years building a single world. He shares his experiences, lessons learned, and insights into the process. Included are discussions on how much of your creations can realistically be mentioned during storytelling, how far authors should go, and what the benefits and risks to each approach might be. Practical, philosophical, and personal, the guide is a worthwhile read even for those who decide after reading it that they don’t want to build worlds after all.
The books have a website of their own at http://www.artofworldbuilding.com
The Dragon Gate (Champions Series, #1)
Being a real knight isn’t working for Andy LaRue. Everyone wants him dead, and only skills he doesn’t have can save him. Surviving might destroy his heart, mind, and soul, but he’ll risk it all to find the one thing he’s already lost – home.
Magically kidnapped from Earth to another world, Andy learns his abductors think he’s a famous knight who can save them from marauding dragons. But ever since he paralyzed his brother, Andy wants no part of hurting anything. And yet if he doesn’t fight, all those relying on him will perish – and never send him home. Plunged into violence, Andy tries to find a way back without taking a life, never suspecting he might redeem his own.
The Tales of Llurien
The Tales of Llurien follows a caravan of twenty-eight people traveling to the Festival of Heroes to see a famous sword, which legend says will allow its destined owner to conquer a famous villain. Their journey takes them through cities, towns, and dangerous places that require the knight, horseman, wizard, and other warriors to save them, and someone won’t survive.
Along the way, they tell ghost stories, adventure yarns, legends, fables, and tales of the high seas, covering different continents, time frames like before, during, and after major kingdoms, and other realities like the afterlifes. Comedies, tragedies, and tales to make you think, the stories present in many guises the world I’ve spent decades creating, including original sentient species, plants, animals, and gods.Travelers in a caravan tell stories on their way to see a famous sword.