My first fantasy novel is not a historical fantasy, and though similar, the planet is unlike Earth. It is set in a pre-technological era (if ever the civilization develops technology). I would like to know how much freedom I should exercise in my worldbuilding.

I'm not saying I'll go in and create something to drink from called dtyhujikol, and the characters will ride in srfdghuj instead of carriages or whatever, and my readers will be left confused, but since I am not following a setting of a specific era. I would like to mix thing up from different eras and maybe invent a few things of my own without going overboard. Most fantasies I have read had been set or based on a specific era.


closed as primarily opinion-based by TrEs-2b, HDE 226868, James, Frostfyre, AndreiROM Dec 15 '15 at 23:53

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ This feels pretty opinion-based to me. Everyone has different standards. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 15 '15 at 21:52
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    $\begingroup$ They don't know how to make fire? Or you mean pre-computer era? $\endgroup$ – Vincent Dec 15 '15 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ yes vincent, they aren't that far behind, why don't we use the a song of fire and ice series for example? i would say around that level but again this world is quite different. $\endgroup$ – ray Dec 15 '15 at 22:01

I think what's important is to just make your rules and then stick with them. If you keep your story consistent then readers will figure it out, especially with a few clues.
If you take Star Wars for instance, you have sword fighting in a world with blasters and everyone is ok with it because they give you a reason to be.

Where some people get in trouble is by not being consistent and making stuff up as they go along, and readers will notice that the hero pulls a new ability out of their hat whenever a problem comes up.

  • $\begingroup$ i suppose thats true and more so with the magic system but lets say something similar to a flush toilet appears in a world where they are carriages and taverns. $\endgroup$ – ray Dec 15 '15 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ @ray really though the same principles apply. What is the minimum amount of infrastructure needed for flush toilets? Plumbing, but that's been arround since at least 2700B.C.. Pottery to make the toilet itself? Easy. The hardest part would be coming up with the idea in the first place. Figure out what you want, then decide what would be needed to make something happen. $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Dec 15 '15 at 23:08

Ask here!

In a comment, you suggest you might want to have flush toilets and carriages exist in the same world. There is no magic bullet for resolving such issues. If you want to do something like that, I'd suggest asking here. People can point out issues that you may not have realized and provide solutions that you'd never consider.

In that particular case, you might consider that the flush toilet was conceived in 1596 and patented in something like its modern form in 1778. So there were carriages, taverns, and flush toilets all at the same time. The bigger question is how people got rich enough that everyone now (2015) has a flush toilet. With a bit of research, that might grow into an interesting question.

  • $\begingroup$ Toilet popularity may have depended more on the sanitary movement (youtu.be/cba7di0eL8I) than the technology. $\endgroup$ – PipperChip Dec 15 '15 at 23:50

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