It's not easy to create a new world. Nor should it be. There are many things to consider. You aren't just coming up with interesting characters and dropping them into a known setting. No. You are creating interesting characters, and one of those characters is the world you are putting them in. It is not just the cities they inhabit, but the cities history. They may walk through countless forests, swamps and over mountains, but those landmarks not only have histories themselves, but cultural relevance to the land around them. There are governments, military, religion, socio-economics, magic, monsters and gods to consider. Or... a world that is devoid of some, or all of those things. And if it is, how do those things effect your characters? How did they effect your character's upbring?
When I created the world of Ismia, I decided to take a portion of the world, the Eastern Cantons of Rowens and start from there. To tackle an entire planet was too daunting a task, and for the moment... unnecessary to my story. I began with a premise. A land in which the Witches of the Coven were the rulers. That their magic, Aspect magic, was the only magic allowed in the land. The two other magics, Blood and Essence magic had been deemed too dangerous and had all been eradicated over the years by the Witches and the Shen, the magic-hunters used by the Witches to eliminate those with the outlawed magic.
With that as the background of the realm. I worked on cultivating individual stories that would reveal different aspects of the world in which the "Shards of the Coven" series and perhaps future series, would take place. In the story, "Intellect" I introduced several key aspects of the realm. I introduced Blood magic and its users, and I also hinted at the history behind Essence magic and why it might have been outlawed. I also introduced some of the Cantons which make up the Eastern Cantons and how they were run. My goal was to give enough information about the world as to give an understanding of its make up, but not overwhelm the reader all at one time with an info dump.
The next story in, "Prelude to the Shards" I took an a look at the Witchguard. This story clues the reader into something of the history of the Witches and their relationship to the Witchguard. It was also a means to introduce a new element into the power structures of the world. One that I can't mention as it would give too much of the story away and I like to keep the reader in suspense. :-)
The third story, "A Town Called Ghost" I dealt with several aspects at once. I introduced the town of Ghost and how it relates to the Witches and gives a little more understanding of how they run things. There is a rich history to this town that I plan on revisiting in the future. I also deal with Essence magic more and give a better understanding of how it is used and how it uses the mage in turn. We also get to learn more about the Shen and what they are capable of.
The three stories are part of a tapestry that make up the book, "Prelude to the Shards." While each piece of this tapestry can be enjoyed separately. They make up part of a larger picture that has only just begun. I am excited about this world, and look forward to begin writing, "Starfall" which will be the follow-up book. This will see many of the pieces of this tapestry begin to be interwoven and it will change the picture into something altogether new.
Keep reading my friends.