Creating the world

When writing fantasy is it better to create a world completely out of your imagination or to alter the world that we have. That is the question, I think, that is paramount when writing fantasy. There are great stories that do both. There are those stories that never completely Express one way or another if we’re looking at a different planet or I own distopian future, books like The Hunger Games or Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman with the long walk. Both stories talking about places that could be part of our world but slightly skewed. In the long walk its pretty evident that we are looking at the East Coast of the United States. But there are certain things that add question , such as when it would be or under what circumstances.
Then of course there are stories where we are clearly looking at worlds that do not resemble our own in the slightest. Robert Heinlein,and JRR Tolkien just to name two very successful fantasy writers they created their own world. Looking at that my question is which is better. They each have their merits for instance using our own world means that you can simply alter things as you need them to be without having 2 keep things in mind as you design geography. For instance you don’t have to worry about talking about in area in book 1 and expressing that it is near the ocean only to forget and talk about it being near the desert in book 3. You know where Las Vegas is, and the only way Las Vegas is going to be near an ocean is if California falls into the sea. On the other hand, there is a certain amount of joy in creation with making an entire planet in your head. Think of it on a smaller scale with Dr Seuss, the Seuss world is full of unlikely animals and geography, things like the evidently humanoid though clearly not human who race. Things like truffula trees and Brown Bearaloots. The Seuss world is full of fantastical beauty and unlikely dangers. These are all brought from the mind of Theodore Geisel and in most cases share very little with the world at large and my belief is that it is part because of this that his stories and his creations have last. So I suppose what I’m saying in a maddeningly vague way that answers nothing, each writer must decide for her or himself what make their story the right story. Continue reading