Basing Your High-Fantasy Towns and Cities in the Real World

Nicholas C. Rossis

map of Beleriand | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

I wisely started the map and made the story fit.

The above words, spoken by none other than J.R.R Tolkien, have been taken as sage advice by many an accomplished – or budding – fantasy writer who felt inspired to create their own world. While Tolkien, like many others, has been lauded for his incredible imagination in bringing places like Middle-Earth to life, it’s worth noting that the creation of these worlds is not something done from scratch. At least, not exactly.

What I mean by this is that there is a – let’s call it a tethering – of the fantasy world to the real world. For instance, if you have a look at some of Tolkien’s hand-annotated maps of Middle-Earth, you will see he has made reference to things like The Shire being on the same latitude as Oxford. You can see the logic of doing this, as…

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About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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2 Responses to Basing Your High-Fantasy Towns and Cities in the Real World

  1. Thanks for the share, Charles! I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂


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