Monday, 1 August 2011

Worlds of Fantasy with Author David Brown

Today we have another guest stopping by, author David M. Brown is visiting as part of his blog tour for his book Fezariu's Epiphany.  He will be discussing the fascinating topic of building a fictional fantasy world. 
And all you lucky commenters get a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from Amazon, as that prize will be given away at the end of his tour (so be sure to check out the rest of his stops and comment for more chances to win).  So now on with the show, and David...

World Builders

One day in 1999 I was a college student who suddenly became a god. As you can imagine this sort of thing does take one by surprise but don’t worry, this wasn’t a visitation from some celestial being, it was the start of my fictitious world – Elenchera. Hours spent immersed in Final Fantasy VII on the Playstation and an introduction to Norse mythology had triggered the god within me and I knew it was time to create a world that would form the background to a series of novels.

Creating a world is no small feat and that’s just me being honest and not showing off! There are no right or wrong answers but, for me, I began by drawing a world map. I have no qualifications from the University of Cartography and my first world map was an undoubted work of naivety. Some squiggles that were mostly green with some yellow bits for deserts, brown pointy bits for mountains and let’s not forget that blue stuff that takes ages to colour in because it’s the ocean! Yes, my first world map was some simple lines coloured in with crayons but it was a start and once I’d started naming the individual lands the history began to take shape. Geographical features alone can dictate the history of your world. Are islands and continents near each other always going to be friends? If you have monarchs hungry for war then where better to start than your nearest neighbours when extending your kingdoms? The placing of towns also depends on your geography. Not many, if any, will be in the desert or mountains: the terrain isn’t the easiest to settle in and don’t forget the need for your locals to have access to water in the form of rivers and lakes. This very basic approach is how I began Elenchera, all seemingly obvious stuff but I knew it had to be right.

Once those maps were done - and over time there have been 500+ - I thought about world creation from a metaphysical point of view. There have been many myths about how our world started so I drew inspiration from them and chose the route of a god that created Elenchera with the assistance of a group of servants. A simple approach but it worked well in shaping the early centuries of Elenchera especially when I threw in a rebellion and war fought between the principal deity and his now former servants, the traditional good versus evil struggle. That war was fought on a huge landmass known as Elenchera but in the aftermath the world was broken up into twenty-three separate lands each with their own unique societies. Moving between each of the lands was time-consuming but essential.

I have a great love of history so being able to create my own from scratch was a privilege rather than an ordeal. I read Cassell’s World History from cover to cover, to understand early settlement and the progress of civilisations that rise to power and suffer inevitable falls from grace. This has happened all over the world at some point. We have the capacity to become powerful but can never hang onto it forever. With that book as reference I took each land in turn and imagined settlers first arriving there and building their first towns, slowly making their way across the terrain and building new settlements as and where geographical constraints would allow. You’ll find once you’ve taken these early steps the rest soon follows. You’ll have times of peace, war between nations, rebellions, journeys of discovery, advances in science and agriculture, maybe even your own Renaissance periods or Golden Ages for architecture or rises in popularity of literature. The possibilities are endless. I’ve spent more than ten years building Elenchera and it stands at 2,000+ pages and more than 47,000 years of history. Some may call me mad but I just smile and say I never knew madness could be so much fun!

Author Bio:

David M. Brown was born in Barnsley in 1982 and first conceived the idea of Elenchera in college. His love of history and English led him to read these subjects at Huddersfield University. David is inspired by medieval history, Norse mythology and Japanese role-playing video games and anime films. He lives in Huddersfield with his wife Donna and their six rescue cats.

You can find more of David and Elenchera over at these websites:

The Elencheran Chronicles:

The World According to Dave:



Fezariu's Epiphany

The White Oak, Clarendon’s oldest brothel, lured and destroyed men by the thousands. Fezariu was different. He had never been drawn by the White Oak’s vices but the brothel had still ruined him when he was just a boy.
Salvation came in the form of the Merelax Mercenaries – Elenchera’s most prestigious hired hands. They gave Fezariu the chance to escape from his past. Immersed in the world of dangerous assignments in the colonies Fezariu longed to forget everything about his childhood but only in facing the past would he ever be free of it.



A sudden lull in the snowfall allowed the overhanging moon to bask the valley in its nocturnal splendour. Fezariu’s gaze fell upon the crystalline glitter on the surface of the snow and he felt a slight ironic smile come to his numb lips as he absorbed this intricate beauty in the midst of countless fading lives. In his arms, Tessera awoke and now seemed oblivious to the mortal wound she had suffered in the battle the mercenaries had so decisively lost.

"Do you remember when we first trained with General Bayard, Fezariu?" Tessera asked, briefly closing her eyes, causing tears to run down her face, their trace briefly alleviating the bitter and enveloping cold.

"My erstwhile teacher with selective hearing," Fezariu replied with a wry smile. "How could I forget?"

When Tessera failed to respond, Fezariu began to feel her edging closer to delirium. Her questions became frequent though she awaited no response or acknowledgement of any kind from Fezariu.

"Do you remember sitting on the wall overlooking Redemption with Vintaro and smoking Mizuansi?" Tessera asked, between painful coughs. "I can still see the luminous stars through the myriad of colours rising from the bowls of our pipes. The seemingly endless conflict throughout the streets was over and with it the rebellion. The city stood subdued and silent save for the foundations of the tallest buildings that still trembled in the aftermath of the devastation. Do you remember the torches that lit up the harbour at Strathmore? Our journey to Clarendon changed everything. We should never have gone there. It was never the same after that. Do you remember, Fezariu?"


You can find the complete schedule of dates for David M. Brown's Blog Tour here:


Anonymous said...

Great excerpt! This sound interesting. I can't wait to read it!

David M. Brown said...

Hi, thanks for hosting me today! I love talking about World Building - it's a subject very close to my heart.

All the best

tammy ramey said...

i love the cover of this book and the excerpt was awesome. i am having a lot of fun following your blog tour. i can't wait to read the rest of the book.

Mary Preston said...

I'm impressed that you have 10 put into building Elenchera. That kind of dedication I appreciate.


A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks David, for stopping by and for such an interesing post.

Chelsea B. said...

Such dedication! It's inspiring. I am looking forward to reading your books!


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