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The Art of World Building is a multi-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. The books are now a popular podcast and a growing series of courses at World Building University.

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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.

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…
The Podcast Transcripts

The popular podcast has transcripts that are now (or soon!) available in book and audio book format! Each episode is based on a book chapter and the transcripts are grouped that way, too.

Volume 4: Creating Life – The Podcast Transcripts

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Volume 5: Creating Places – The Podcast Transcripts

Volume 6: Cultures and Beyond – The Podcast Transcripts

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