Volume 1 – Creating Life

Creating a unique, immersive setting one life form at a time

A guide for authors, gamers, and hobbyists

Vol 1

Creating Life (The Art of World Building, Volume 1) is a how-to guide on inventing the heart of every imaginary world – life!  With chapters on creating gods, species/races, plants, animals, monsters, and even undead, it draws on author Randy Ellefson’s quarter century of world building experience.  Simple questions will help readers decide on goals, how to reach them, and whether they are even worth pursuing.  Always practical, Creating Life will quickly turn a beginner into an expert, making a time consuming project more fun, easier, and faster.

Ellefson shares his experiences, lessons learned, and insights, including how much of your creations can realistically be mentioned during storytelling, how far creators should go, and what the benefits/risks to each approach might be.  Written for storytellers but useful for gamers and hobbyists, The Art of World Building is the first and only book of its kind and includes five free templates, and an original story to demonstrate practical applications.

Whether you’re content to use standard fare like elves, dwarves, and dragons, or determined to strike out on your own, Creating Life will help your setting stand out from the multitude of fantasy and Sci-fi worlds audiences see.  Even those who don’t build worlds will also gain a new appreciation for the extraordinary work that goes into so much speculative fiction and games.  You may even decide after reading it that you don’t want to build worlds after all.

Release Date: May 2, 2017

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See the Table of Contents.

Editorial Reviews

Endorsement from Bestselling Author Piers Anthony

“I read Creating Life (The Art of World Building, #1), by Randy Ellefson…It is exhaustive, well written, and knowledgeable…I, as a successful science fiction and fantasy writer, have generated many worlds, so this material is familiar, but it would have been easier and probably better had I had a reference like this. It is realistic, recognizing that the average writer may not have the patience to work out all the details before getting into the action…”

Endorsement from Ed Greenwood, inventor of The Forgotten Realms and dozens of imaginary worlds

“Worldbuilding—creating a fictional setting—is THE biggest job of a storyteller. It can be done badly or minimally, but doing so risks robbing a tale of richness and impact, by leaving the audience uncaring or making “the stakes” less clear or dramatic.

So, after “once upon a time,” where to begin this devastatingly big job? With CREATING LIFE by Randy Ellefson, even the first volume of which is THOROUGH. This book raises ALL the points, and asks all the questions. Not just recommended: essential!”

Amazon Reviews

“…Might very well be the definitive resource…The amount of suggestions really surprised me…Tips like working with analogues from real life or from other authors and changing them to make your own fresh creations were very helpful, and Ellefson states the pitfalls in this method, too…It’s an amazing reference book. The author’s passion for fantasy and world building really shines through each page. He not only knows what he’s talking about but is excited to share it all. – Thiago” Read More…