World Building: Part One, Geography

Now I’m no geologist, and I don’t pretend to be an expert on landmass formation. With that said I feel geography plays an important role in your world. You can see some natural borders, created by rivers, lakes, canyons, mountains, and oceans. You can decided what a country’s economy is based on, what their craftsmen are skilled at. By that same coin you can tell what your civilizations lack, your cities in the desert will lack lumber.

image provided via http://www.powayusd.com

These all can provide a background as to why some civilizations might, for example, go to war with one another for resources, or border disputes.

When drawing your map you can start with any shape you feel like, but keep in mind that your other continents should be able to be traced back to a super continent, if you are following some sort of standard model. If gods created everything, that feel free to bend the rules.

Some people are picky about where mountain ranges form so keep that in mind too, then you can start plopping cities along your shores, rivers, lakes, etc. Remember early civilizations wanted to have a water source close at hand.

Next time all be going into religion and culture in your fantasy world.

Edit:

Thanks to Nicola Smith for giving me some more information on deserts and their formation, because a few people were asking about it:

Deserts are the cold sides of continents, where the cold water currents flow (think west coasts – South America, Africa, US), so your sea currents/circulation will impact your world; also mountain range shadows, because the moisture-laden sea air hits the mountains and causes rain to fall on the one side but not the other. Then there’s altitude – higher up you go, less moisture (generally speaking).

If anyone ever has information that contradicts something I have said, feel free to correct me, I would rather have the correct facts and admit it.

 

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