Something that occurred to me in the process of writing this series is that I never would have been able to work on it for so long if I didn't genuinely identify with the world I made up. There's a lot of tips about world-building out there for would-be fantasy authors. Many are of course good and useful, especially those that focus on the best ways to come up with the rules and logic of your universe. But a more general rule of thumb occurred to me a while ago, and someone since someone on reddit was asking for world-building tips just earlier, I thought I wouldn't let my two cents go to waste there, and that I'd post my response here as well:
RE World-building advice
I think this applies to any genre really, but certain sci-fi and fantasy: you better have a core idea, or theme, or -something- that this world expresses that you feel very strongly about. It doesn't necessarily have to be a built-up constructed philosophy, as you might find in a sci-fi novel; I suppose it could even just be a feeling or tone you discover while writing--but it better be something that you really love, and can act as some sort of mooring for the world you're building, because otherwise it's very difficult to tell whether you're going to like tomorrow what you came up with today. You might design a whole plot device or setting that seems really cool the night you wrote it down. Then by the AM it seems like crap to you. And what you come up with might not be bad per se, but you may grow to hate it regardless if it doesn't match what's in your heart.
If you don't have some sort of idea behind the world you feel really strongly about, it's gonna be difficult to put in all the blood and sweat required to see the whole world and story come to life. I personally would think objectively about things in your life, or in the real world, that resonate very strongly with you, and think about how that can be reflected in the world you build--better yet, this should interface neatly with your characters and start to offer information about them and their histories in this setting also. Just a thought.