The Art of World Building is a three volume guide for authors, screenwriters, game designers, gamers, and hobbyists to build more immersive, believable worlds fans will love. The author, Randy Ellefson, has been world building for three decades. He has previously published a number of well-received articles that became the basis for The Art of World Building. You can read an interview about his world building here.

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Endorsement from bestselling author Piers Anthony

After reading Volume 1, Creating Life, bestselling author Piers Anthony had this to say:

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, creator 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!

As each book is published, newsletter subscribers will receive FREE templates to use when creating worlds. A podcast is also available.

The Books
Vol 1

Volume 1 – Creating Life

  • Gods
  • Species and races
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Monsters
  • Heroes and villains
  • Undead
  • And more…
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Vol 2

Volume 2 – Creating Places

  • Continents
  • Land features (forests, mountains)
  • Sovereign powers (kingdoms)
  • Settlements
  • Travel estimates
  • Time and history
  • Maps
  • And more…
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Vol 3

Volume 3 – Cultures and Beyond

  • Culture
  • Languages
  • Religions
  • The supernatural
  • A system of magic
  • Magic items
  • Naming everything
  • And more…
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