World Building

A fantasy castle on a mountain

Naming Characters, Creatures, and Places Without Regret

Naming characters, creatures, and places for your fantasy or sci-fi stories is hard stuff. It’s hard even for people who write stories about our real world. (You can’t just name everyone Steve or Barbara.) When we were naming our pets, my dad had a rule. “I have to be able to call the dog in the field,” he would say. The conversation came up first when my sister wanted to name our Beagle “Cookie”.

Read More

An Elvish Archer

Writing Fantasy Races: Elves? Which Elves?

Out of all the fantasy races, Elves are my favorite. Tolkien’s elves, Warhammer Elves, any given Elf in a video game. Not the Keebler Elves, though their cookies are at least decent. Nor Christmas Elves with their match-matchy outfits. Elf on a Shelf is especially right out. Yes, he’s a Christmas elf, but he gets… Read This Article

Read More

Scandinavian Trolls

Creating or Using Existing Creatures

One of my favorite things about writing Fantasy stories is creature design. So, I thought I’d put together a few writing tips about, well, designing creatures.

Read More

An archer taking aim

Or, Start With a World

In my last article I explained how I usually start with a character and then move toward the world. But I don’t always follow that to the letter. Sometimes you have a world in need of a character. This is how I personally handle that setup.

Read More

Lower Masthead Image