I love well created fantasy worlds. Middle-earth, of course, stands out as the shining beacon that I aspire to emulate. Narnia, Prydain, Discworld, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter... there's something about a well developed fantasy setting that has substance, that stays with you after you've finished reading. They feel like they could so easily be real. And maybe if we click our heels together or say the magic words... we could get there.
But worldbuilding isn't easy. Tolkien spent his entire life developing the world of Arda, of which Middle-earth is only a part. It paid off. There are people (not me, seriously) who learn to speak its languages fluently and know every single known detail about its history and peoples. Arda is a world that has substance and remains with people, but its level of depth and scope is a rare feat. (Possibly unique.) I aim for it tremulously.
Like Tolkien, I am inspired by various real world mythologies. Anyone who has read my blog even a little knows about my (somewhat obsessive) fascination with Ancient Egypt. It was the first mythology I fell in love with after learning about Egypt in grade school and one part of my world is based strongly on that culture. Other parts of the world will draw from other mythologies, such as Celtic and Greek. The question when being influenced by a real mythology is how much to utilize. How do I balance the bits I take from the real world with the bits from my own imagination? I don't pretend to have an answer. I'm just another storyteller trying and erring until I like what I see.
For the next month I'll be sharing much of what I've come up with while worldbuilding for my first novel. Since the first novel about my world is set entirely in the Egyptian inspired nation, I will focus on what I have developed of that country. (I haven't worked much on the other areas of the world yet.) This is for the A to Z blogging challenge so each day of April I will be taking a letter of the alphabet and sharing a bit about a worldbuilding aspect associated with that letter (like C is for Cuisine). I hope it will be fun for those stopping by, especially for anyone interested in worldbuilding. Tomorrow I'll post a list of all the topics I'll be covering for the next month.