EelKat Wendy C Allen - Dark Fantasy Author

The Princess Bride predicting Covid-19?


Please be aware that nearly every page on this website contains spoilers to something. I talk about a lot of fandoms, and go into great detail analyzing them when I do. If I am talking about The Witcher series, InuYasha, Disney Ducks, the Quaraun series, or any other fandom, you WILL encounter spoilers about it. 

Your World: Your Population | EelKat's Guide To World Building - The Squidoo Series

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What about your population?
How well do you know them?

For this section you should focus on one specific area and not the entire planet. Say the city/village where your story takes place.

  • What type of peoples live here?
  • How long have they lived in this place?
  • How did they get here?
  • What do their homes look like? Are they small grass huts or huge stone palaces or something in between?
  • What is the economy like?
  • What is the average income level? What percent of the population is poor? What percent is wealthy?
  • What type of currency do they use? Shells? Beads? Gold? Nuts? Livestock? Coinage? Paper?
  • What are the local trade goods? Timber? Fish? Eggs? Weapons? Corn?
  • What is family life like? Large families with lots of children? Small families with one or two children? Multi-generational families with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousin all under one roof?

Do Your Characters Match Where They Live?

Here is something that not every writer thinks of: Do your characters match their environment? Your world affects your people. You are a human, thus you require oxygen to breathe and certain proteins and energies to live on. You need sunlight and water and fresh air. Without certain things you will die. Without certain things your body changes. If you live on a diet of nothing but carrots, eventually your skin will turn orange and your eyes and teeth turn yellow, this is a scientifically proven fact, and has happened.

In a similar light, flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp. Take the shrimp out of their diet and they lose their pink color. Flamingos on a fish diet grow white feathers. Flamingos in zoos feed other shell fish, grow out orange feathers. Likewise you can turn a canary from white to yellow to pink to red depending on their diet. The same is true of goldfish and koi carp.

Animals that live deep in dark caves turn white and evolve to give birth to not only blind, but completely eyeless babies.

What does all of this mean to you the writer? It means that when you change your world, you may be changing your characters too. Taking out certain plants and animals means altering your characters diet and thus changing their skin color. Move them underground and they not only turn white but they a born blind. A very important part of world creation is creating characters who are physically able to live in the world you created. It is important that you keep in mind that when you create a world different from Earth, you will need to create creatures that are equally different from humans as will. Humans can not live in certain places or under certain conditions and your readers will not be willing to suspend belief in reality if you suddenly have regular humans in your non-earth like world.

How you design your world will affect how you should design your characters living within that world.

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself when creating characters and matching them to your world:

  • Do swamp people have green frog like skin and moss filled hair?
  • Do your undersea characters (mermaids, sirens, etc.) have a way to breath underwater? Lungs for air breathing? Gills for water breathing?
  • Are your subterranean people pale skinned and blind? Or at least blinded by light?
  • Are your lava dwelling creatures tough skinned and able to withstand the burning heat?
  • Are your winged sky dwellers able to fly or do they just have wings to look good? Did you remember to give them sponge like bones (like birds) so that they even could fly? Can their lungs deal with the challenge of cloud life? Clouds are wet, are your characters always soggyly clothed?

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EelKat's Guide to
World Building For Fiction Writers
The Complete Article Index

The list below are the original pages written in 2003, and republished on Squidoo in 2007:

<<< Back To

Or Head To Another Article In This Series:

For help in creating characters in genre fiction try:

Even more articles have been written for this series since then:

As there are now more then 100 articles for this series, it now has it's own index page on which to list them all, as there are just too many to keep adding them to this end of article list. You can find the complete listing of all the World Building articles here now:

More on Worldbuilding In Fantasy Novels:

Books I Use When Creating Fantasy Worlds:

*UPDATE: ADDED November 7, 2013 - I suppose one thing I should point out at this point, before we go any farther, is my use of the word fantasy throughout this series. The bulk of this set of articles was written 7 years ago in April of 2006, parts of it appearing on EK's Star Log and other parts of it appearing on my personal Squidoo account. In the 7 years since writing this I've received hundreds of emails regarding it. A common question asked being: "Why do you talk of building a fantasy world if you don't write Fantasy?"

ANSWER: Fantasy with a capital "F" is the name of a type of fiction, in other words Fantasy is a genre. I do not write Fantasy fiction of the Fantasy genre, that is correct. I do however create fantasy realms for my Science Fiction and Horror works. I write Dark Fantasy, which is a sub-genre of Horror and Space Fantasy which is a sub-genre of Science Fiction.

Did you see it? No? Let me point it out: I write about fantasy worls as the exist in Horror and Sci-Fi but I do not write about fantasy world as they exist in Fantasy Fiction.

If it is not real it is fiction, if it exists only in fiction it it fantastical, if it is fantastical it is a fantasy item, because it is not a real item, however being fantastical does not make it part of the Fantasy genre, just as not everything in the Fantasy genre is always fantastical in nature.

The word "fantasy" with a lower case "f" is a word that means "not real" and has nothing to do with the Fantasy genre (capital "F") at all. And therefore when I say "fantasy realm" I mean a world that is NOT the Earth on which you and I live on in the real world, and am in no way, shape, or form referring to the Fantasy genre.

The methods I use to create my fantasy realms can be applied to ANY genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Romance, Western, etc.

2013 World-Building Series UPDATE:

Due to issues with content scraping, outright plagiarism, some of my articles appearing on OTHER Squidoo member accounts without my permission, and many of my "Squidoo articles" being stolen off Squidoo and posted without my permission on various  blogs and sites including Wikipedia and Helium; all of my articles are in the process of being removed from Squidoo.

This series of World Building articles in one that has been heavily plagiarized over the years and as of September 2013, it can only OFFICIALLY be found here on - if you find it posted elsewhere, know it was stolen and I am not receiving royalties for it.

2014 Update:

As you know, or not, Squidoo owners Bonnie and Kimberly-Dawn stole thousands of Squidoo articles from Squidoo members, and tried to pass them off as their own, resulting in the lawsuit against Squidoo owners for the theft of tens of thousands of articles.

More than 100 of my articles were transferred off my Squidoo account and moved to Bonnie's account,

while my authorship and writing articles, including this world-building series were deleted off my Squidoo account and transferred to Kimberly-Dawn's account!


I am shocked and flabbergasted at what these 2 women have done. That they thought they could get away with stealing so many articles from so many authors! Buying Squidoo from Seth Godin, did not give then the rights to our articles and these two horrible women had no right to delete them off of our member accounts and republish them on their own accounts, trying to pass them off as their own.

More then 100 Squidoo authors have gathered together in lawsuit against Squidoo owners, Bonnie and Kimberly-Dawn. The result of that is, Bonnie and Kimberly-Dawn, to avoid their asses being sued to hell and back, have now transferred the Squidoo lenses back to their original owners and deleted the entire Squidoo website.

Squidoo is officially gone. It exists no more. Squidoo is dead. Most Squidoo writers have opted to move to Hub Pages as HubPages has bought the remaining shambles of what is left of Seth Godin's Squidoo after Bonnie and Kimberly-Dawn massaquered it in their article stealing frenzy.

While I do have a HubPages account and my remaining Squidoo Lenses can be found there temporarily, they are being moved here and deleted off HubPages as I move them

April 2017 UPDATE:

As of now, all on my 600+ Squidoo pages are now moved here to and no more are remaining on HubPages.

It's hard to believe, Squidoo has been gone for 4 years now. It was such a big part of my life for a decade.