Fantasy world building is a continuous struggle to maintain the status quo and in this case, the status quo is the suspension of disbelief for the tenure of reading the book. What are these fantasy worlds like? Similar to earth? Not always, but this is seen as well.
“While science fiction worlds are more about speculation and “thought experiments”, fantasy worlds tend to focus on enchantment and the revival of mythical motifs.”
Writers like Tolkien immerse themselves in the time and space of these worlds and what’s important is that fantasy writers don’t do this for the sake of creating effect. Their story demands the parallel universe to be convincing and so maps are no exaggeration.
“As for space, the maps of Middle-earth are not there for decoration, but are an integral part of the experience of reading Tolkien’s work. His painstaking efforts to make the geography work realistically are legend. He even respected the phases of the moon within the chronology of The Lord of the Rings, as the characters move across his invented landscape. Tolkien also devised entire timelines and genealogies that showed his world unfolding in time. And his landscapes are inhabited by flora and fauna that is inventive and significant: from the golden mallorn trees in Lothlórien, to the awe-inspiring Oliphants.”
A long list of fantasy writers including the Bronte sisters, Ursula Le Guinn, JK Rowling and George R.R. Martin have been mentioned. What they all have in common is that they subcreators of universes that seem real by virtue of strong world-building skills. Worlds are not just lived in; they can be made.
Read Why build new worlds by Dimitra Fimi.
And look what I found just now….Creating Magical Worlds on the occasion of Harry Potter’s twentieth anniversary!