How Fantasy Writers Deal with the Challenge of World Building

Building a world of merpeople who actually stay in the water




When I first decided that I wanted to write a book about mermaids, I knew I wanted to create my own brand of merpeople. I like my mermaids to stay in the water, so I knew I needed to create an interesting underwater world for the reader.

The Usual Story

Wouldn’t it be great to have mermaids who stray from the usual mermaid fantasy stories?  Mer-people who actually stay in the water; not teetering between land and water, not originating on land and realizing years later they’re a merperson and forced to decide between the land and the sea. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for this kind of story, just like the next reader, if it’s well written and it has good characters. I don’t mind a predictable story if I’m still enjoying it. But, sometimes it’s nice to have something different, and definitely something unpredictable. That’s what I aim to provide with my current work-in-progress

A-typical Merpeople

Although I’ve been a big mermaid fan for many years, and I’m familiar with different versions and variations, I didn’t want to be confined to any particular rules and regulations. I think my merpeople are a bit a-typical.

Instead of bothering to compare or figure out what a typical mermaid story should include, I chose to do my own thing. My desire was to write the kind of mermaid story that I’d like to read myself. Hopefully, this will come across when people read the teaser novella: “Tell Us the Mermaid Story.” [VIEW BOOK EXCERPT]

[I have a very good reason for providing the novella as a stand-alone book, and not actually part of the upcoming series, but I’ll save that for another time].

Important Elements

In case readers don’t realize it, I’m here to tell you, a whole heck-of-a-lot of thought goes into world building for a fantasy novel, as the upcoming book series will reveal in 2020.

MERQUATICA: Chronicles of the MerPeople

Among the important elements I address about my Merquatican merworld under the sea are:


  • Aging and death
  • Appearance
  • Assemblies and Ceremonies
  • Clan characteristics
  • Communication
  • Deity worshiped
  • Diet and activities
  • Different clans
  • Environment and Surroundings
  • Methods of procreation
  • Other sea life interaction
  • Special gifts and abilities
  • Threats to species



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