Creating a new world for your high fantasy novel series is exciting and a major undertaking. To start, here are some questions you may have asked yourself and the answers to them.
Where do you begin?
The easiest way to answer this question is to start at the beginning of the storyline. What happens around your characters will give you a place to start building. Describe the place they live in, customs, and the relationship between everyone. You can fill the other parts of your world later on. First worry about the immediate surrounding and the rest will fall into place.
How much information should I write in?
There is no need to write down every detail you can think of during the first draft. You are leaving yourself the room to make changes later on in the draft. I avoided a major rewrite for my current WIP because of this. Make sure you note down the changes you need to make. When you make the changes, mark them off.
How am I going to remember all my ideas?
Write down any ideas either in a notebook or on the computer. Be sure you can find the information with ease at a later time. When you spread out the information, it becomes harder to find later on. Create a filing system to avoid the confusion and always keep it up to date.
Any pitfalls when it comes to world building?
World building will trap you. When it does happen, you will not focus on writing the novel. I trapped myself on many WIPs before I realize the key is to balance writing the first draft and creating the world. It may be hard at first especially when the inspiration to research your ideas takes over. Divide your time between the two equally. One hour of writing for every one hour you research.
Remember, your mind will change as you write the first book of your series. You'll learn what will or will not work for your new world by writing down the book. No matter how much world building is done, the novel must be written down for readers to live in the world you created.