For a long time, I always thought it was easier to write fantasy than it was to write historical fiction or stories set in the modern day. After all, you don’t need to research locations, or research much of anything, right? You can just make it all up and that’s fine because it’s fantasy. Easy peasy. Or not.
Lore. With historical and modern day fiction it’s all there for you. Religion, locations, people, technologies, animals, it’s all already there, you just need to research a bit. With fantasy, you have to make it all up and make it believable and do research. Sure, you could say there is no religion, but that’s fairly unlikely. You could model it off of an existing religion. Fair enough. Or, you can make your own.
I have Northmen and Southerners. Each need there own religion, their own Gods, their own teachings. Looking at the layout of my mental map for the Northmen, their God came easily. They live in something called the basin which is surrounded by mountains. The largest mountain, furthest to the North is where they believe the first men came from. The mountain is their God. For the Southerner’s it’s more complicated. I don’t know where they came from yet, so I don’t know what they believe.
You have to build your own map with cities and towns and villages and castles and scary woods and less scary woods. And each one has it’s own history and you need to know it even if your readers don’t. And you may have different races with their enemies and allies and homelands and beliefs. You need to create it all.
I’m not saying writing about real life isn’t difficult, of course it is. I’m just saying that writing fantasy is a lot harder than most new writers think and you need more focus than I have. Don’t ever think that writing is easy. Good writers deserve a lot more credit than they get.