Maybe it’s a god-complex, but there is something empowering about building a universe, from climate to culture, with only the power of your mind. I think that was my favorite part of ‘Tweens, the novel I wrote last NaNoWriMo – the entire basis of the story was that there is a very real parallel fantasy world adjacent to our own world. I had so much fun flying with Lucy over the Forgotten Islands, fighting with Olive on the Giant Chess Board.
Of course, there are rules. There are always rules. If there isn’t, then the characters cannot be held accountable for anything, and the world explodes in utter chaos. Hermione speaks of The Five Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Rowling herself mentioned that in writing the Potter books, she gave herself parameters. The use of a Ring of Power in Tolkien’s universe always carries a toll on the user. Peter Pan cannot fly without happy thoughts and pixie dust. Just as we have gravity and the laws of physics, so must any world of imagination have its own parameters.
Do you have a favorite fantasy world from literature? Or one of your own that you are proud of?