Filling your world
This is dedicated to all of those fantasy and sci-fi writers out there.

What makes you decide what monsters make up your world?

Mine was pretty simple to figure out. Because it was based on so many religions, I had to stay true to those religions. Of course there are angels, devils/demons, fallen angels (which is different from a demon/devil in my book, Djinn (Muslim version of a demon). Those were the major races, but when I first started the story, I wanted more than just that. I wanted a real fantasy feel to it, because, well, I love fantasy. One way that I incorporated a fantastical feel is by giving the warriors "gifts" which are supposedly from different Gods. The first four were easy for me: a dragon (because I love dragons!), a leviathan (has a very Christian/Jewish feel to it), a phoenix (kinda like a dragon -- just love the damn creature), and I wanted a pegasus type horse. The last one I knew I wanted to deal with Egypt, but it took me a while to chose between an Anubinite and a sphinx. The first book dealt with the Anubinite, but while making revisions I decided to change to the sphinx.

Now outside of the gifts, there isn't much outside the angels/demons theme. You won't see a leprechaun pop up. You won't see fairies or mermaids.

So, if you're just starting out, and you're wondering -- where do I start?

Sit back. Close your eyes. Picture either your character or your world. Now imagine what can NOT fit. Get those out of your head, and start filling it with things that do. Nymphs? Talking trees? Winged horses? Gryphons? Maybe something else, something that's never been told of before. Start writing them down while keeping your eyes closed. Just make notes. Fill it up until you've got a bursting city or a raging war. From there, you can set rules of the land. You can set disputes between races. You can see how sexism plays a part in your world. You can see how your character is treated and what makes him/her special and different.

Having different races is more than just having a different race. It's about stepping into a book and seeing real characters that you adore even if it's a fluttering fairy or fire breathing dragon. It's about being able to do what no one else can, and most of all, it's about taking your imagination go for a joy ride.

Even if you do have something common, like I do, make sure you add some sense of wonder to it. You want to love this world if you're going to write it. Make it everything you've ever dreamed of.

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