I’m about to start writing my first other-world fantasy (not High Fantasy) and I’m realizing that it’s going to be more work than I thought before I start writing the story. This is my third book, but the first two are urban fantasies. I’m a pantser, so I don’t really plan my stories, but I always have a good idea of how the magic system (or whatever) works before I start. But when it’s not an urban fantasy, there’s so much more I need to know.
Like the animals. It’s a planet covered with mostly water, so I’m going to have fewer land animals and more ocean animals. So I can’t say things about how something is as big as an elephant, or looks like a rat – unless I decide those animals live there.
And speaking of, should I use Earth animals at all? Is a fish still a fish? A snake still a snake?
How do I go about creating new animals? How in the world will I pick names for them and explain what they look like?
Technology is going to be an issue too. I’m thinking maybe Iron Age-era levels of technology, but I have to determine what kind of advancements they’ve made. I’d think, on a water-dominated planet, their shipbuilding and ocean navigation would advance faster than land-based technologies, right?
The big one (for me) is Mythology. I can borrow from other mythologies, but it still has to be something new and fitting for this planet. Do they have many gods, just one God or believe in the general ‘spirit’ of certain things. Do they pray to their gods, have idols? Do they think their deities walk/swim with them or watch from on high?
And what are all the things I haven’t thought of yet?
Have any of you ever written an other-world story? How did you decide on all the details like what I mentioned above?