Creating Places: Introduction


Note: this is the start of Creating Places (The Art of World Building, #2).


If we’ve created gods, species, plants, animals, monsters, and more such as in Creating Life (The Art of World Building, #1), we need somewhere for everyone to live. Creating the world itself can help us envision conflicts, alliances, and struggles our characters might endure while traveling across mountains, through forests, or over the sea.

In this volume, we’ll discuss:

  • Solar systems, planets, moons, stars, constellations, and more
  • Continents, oceans, seas, and other water bodies
  • Land features such as forests, mountains, and deserts
  • Sovereign powers like kingdoms
  • Settlements such as cities, towns, villages, and more
  • Travel on land, sea, and in space by various means of locomotion (horse, wagon, dragons, ships) and how to consistently calculate travel times
  • Places of interest
  • History
  • Drawing maps for continents, settlements, and more

The examples included in the text were created specifically for this guide and are not drawn from any setting I’ve created, except in rare instances and in Chapter One, “Case Studies” (drawing new maps for that is too time consuming).

The series has a website at, where you can find additional resources, information on other volumes in this series, and other items as they are added.

Where to Start

The series and chapters within each volume can be read in any order but are arranged according to what might come first in a world’s timeline. A planet precedes continents, which precede land features, et al. But our creations can be invented in any order. Only you can decide where to begin, but it’s recommended to take any idea and run with it, writing down whatever occurs to you. If there are problems with it, they can be fixed later as you update and improve upon it. If you haven’t read a chapter in this book and have an idea for something that’s covered here, you can adjust your work later.

So where do you start? Where your heart lies.