Does your novel take place in a fantasy or fictional universe and you don't know if your world is believable enough? Here are some things to think about when creating your fantasy world and making it as real for your readers as possible:
1. WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR FANTASY COUNTRY?
Here are some questions to consider: What is the nation called, and what are the people called who live in this nation? For example, America is home to Americans, or Thailand is home to Thais. What do they look like? Meaning, what are the certain traits that all the people from your fantasy region have in common? What hair color is more popular in your fantasy region. How are they proportioned? Perhaps they are similar to hobbits and all have small, child-like bodies with large feet! Perhaps they all have beards like J.R.R. Tolkein's dwarves! Get creative with this one! Are there different types of species/ peoples in your fantasy world that share this space? Take the Lord of the Rings, for example, Middle Earth is shared by many different peoples like the Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Orcs and one Smeagol. Haha. What kind of clothes do they wear? What do they eat? - This is very important considering this is a fantasy world. Is the food in your world the same as the food in our world? Do they have the same kinds of animals and vegetation we do? What is the current style of language? Do they have 'hip' slang that they use when they speak? What do they do for work? What do they do for fun? What kind of music- in any- do they listen to? - What types of instruments do they have? - Are instruments similar to the ones in our world? What types of things are considered taboo in this fantasy world? What types of actions are frowned upon? What kind of people do they look up to? What religion- if any- do these people follow? Do they have several gods or a single god? Do they idolize a figure in government instead? How exactly do they worship- do they have idols, temples, churches, shrines? Are there evil gods that are considered taboo to worship? Does the religion conflict with government? Or perhaps, you would like to leave religion out of your story, which has been done by many successful authors. If religion doesn't necessarily enhance the story, perhaps best to leave it out. This might be beneficial if you would like to reach a large demographic.
There are several different kinds of government types, it might be worth your while to do a bit of research on each to see which best fits your story. Here are some briefly listed here:
When the region operates on its own without a government.
A government in which wealthy nobles are given power over peoples of lesser status. Being an elite is hereditary and elites are viewed as being properly educated, with a good upbringing, and leadership traits.
When non-elected government officials carry out public responsibilities.
This form of government is how the United States currently functions. It is a government in which open competition, private ownership, and free-market economy are allowed.
A government in which a nation tries to expand its rule over other territories by forcing its culture, economy, religion, and government upon the new territory.
Ah, the infamous Communism! Though Communism has banished unequal rule by making all people equals to one another, it acts as an opposite to capitalism. Where all people make the same amount of money despite the job, they are not allowed to oppose the government, and they are also not allowed to have their own religious beliefs.
A government in which the rights of the peoples are protected. The people are allowed to debate, discuss, and compromise when it comes to the actions of the government to satisfy the public as a whole.
A form of government most often portrayed in fantasy literature. It is a form of government in which there exists an absolute power of a royal bloodline, which is believed to have obtained this power from their divine right. Writing fantasy does not mean there needs to be a castle, a king, queen, princess, prince, evil stepmother, magic fairies and so forth.
Fantasy could be anything that bends the current nature of our world!
Since this form of government has been done SOOOO many times in fantasy literature, I would encourage you to break the cookie-cutter-molds created in the past and write something that has not been written before!
There are several more government types, I encourage you to check them out!
Is your fantasy world/nation a dessert?
Do they experience dry seasons or monsoons during a specific time of year? Does it more closely resemble a rain forrest?
These details are very important because not only do they mold how the people in this setting live, but also what types of animals/ creatures live there too.
What is it like to live there throughout the year?
Is there any particular change in weather as the seasons change?
How do the people combat the harsh weather? What are their tricks/ technology for survival?
4. CREATURES AND/OR FAUNA
This all depends on CLIMATE of course! If your world is more like a rainforest, then you will have tropical, colorful looking creatures in your world as well as a lot of vibrant greenery.
If your world is a dessert, then your creatures will more likely be animals that can survive in those conditions, such as reptiles. Maybe your desert animals are furry creatures. Do they survive because they are able to conserve water? Do they store fat in their bodies like a camel to survive when food is scarce. Perhaps there are some dry shrubs or even plants that carry water within like a cactus would!
If your world is more woodsy, you could invent small and large mammals, reptiles, birds and so on! What do these creatures eat? How do they behave?
Do you have poisonous fauna? How do they kill you? How do they look like? Smell like? Feel like?
5. WHAT ARE THE RULES IN YOUR WORLD
Is your world technologically advanced or does it rely on some sort of magic? Who in the civilization in that case can wield this great power? Is everybody a Tinker in your SteamPunk world or do they purchase amazing products from a great inventor? How does magic work in your world? Is the magic connected to nature? If your government is an aristocracy, perhaps the aristocrats are the only people in your civilization that have magical abilities!