Now that we have the maps and basic feel for the land now it’s time for non-human details – remember I’m a pantser so your details could be much more vivid at this point. I’m talking animals, plants, and creatures.
Now I can’t imagine even the most die-hard plotter cataloging every species of plant or animal in your world. My suggestion is to focus on the ‘big’ stuff and add things as you go along.
Looking at your map and thinking about your storyline what types of plants/animals/creatures are you going to need?
Start with the very basic ~ now these do NOT have to be the same as ours. Remember you are BUILDING a world.
What plants are used for healing? For food? For baskets/ropes/ect? What plants are dangerous?
What animals are herded for food? For clothing? For burden beasts (aka donkeys)?
Now let’s add from your imagination ~
1) Here are a few ‘prompts’ for developing your flora and fauna…
Are their predatory plants? (the Venus Fly Trap on steroids) Where are they located? Are your characters going to have to fight their way through?
What is it called?
What color is it?
How big is it?
Where does it grow?
2) What kind of ‘non’ Earth animals populate your world? This is where you can have fun! Dragons everyone knows so while you can have them this isn’t a thing you’ve created. In my series Night of the Gryphon and in my current WIP, I have at least ten creatures I’ve ‘created.’
What is it called?
Is it deadly?
What does it look like?
Where does it live?
If you need some ‘help’ in creating animals/creatures/plants for your world feel free to raid the world of extinct things. Here is a great site to start – http://animal.discovery.com/extinct-animals
While you’re developing these things of your world make sure you toss around plot hooks and ideas that will involve these elements. Remember the more of your world that you can incorporate into the actual storyline versus just using as detail will make it much more ‘real’ for your reader (a good thing!)
Here are a few pictures I used as ‘fodder’ in developing different creatures ~