Geography for Fantasy Fiction

When sci-fi world building, you need to discover, and create, the world’s characteristics for your characters to inhabit. You can do this by using science from our world, and implementing it to fantasy planets.

Tectonic Plates & Continents
Good continent separations will be recognisable due to mountain ranges, water features and tectonic plates. There are seven major tectonic plates on Earth. There is also a multitude of smaller ones.

The seven plates correlate to the continents. It should be a feature to include in your world. This is because, while these plates keep moving over time, they don’t move enough to consider renaming continents useful. The seven continents are the following: -

North America, South America, Eurasia, Australia, Africa, Pacific, Antarctica

The difference between habitable and uninhabitable land is that humans cannot cultivate the uninhabitable land.

Plains - Plains are flatland ideal for building on, but prone to attack and flooding.
Hills - Hills are a good place to build towns with castles. They provide easier to defend vantage points.
Arable - This land needs to be fertile and flat. Use it for farmland.
Woods - Citizens may chop down forests for wood. This leaves the land free for replanting or building on.
Minerals - There are many different minerals types. You may find them embedded in rock. This requires mining and cultivating. You may find them buried underground. This needs engineering.

Jungles - Jungles are too dense and vast too remove. They have the bonus of being responsible for most of the world’s oxygen supply.
Mountains - Mountains form when tectonic plates collide. They form natural barriers, becoming continent divisions.
Volcanoes - Just like mountains, volcanoes form when tectonic plates collide.
Deserts - In deserts, minimal plants can grow, except hardy plants such as cacti as there will be minimal rainfall. They are hot, but get cold at night. They occur between cold and hot lands. acting as barriers.

Water & Rivers - Rivers generally form 10 km apart from each other. They flow downhill away from mountains. With time, they form valleys and waterways. Water always tries getting to the lowest point of ground, as fast as it can, to connect with the sea. Small rivers join big ones, and big ones do not split, unless there is an obstruction, like mountain ranges. To keep water separate, there must be a higher ground or plain, otherwise the water would engulf all the land.

Happy Creations!

More Information: Weather, ClimateBiology, Astronomy, Technology

Jim M