Background Noise

Fantasy Faction has a few pieces up related to the crafting of your fantasy world.

How To Create A Civilization
What resources are available is also important, whole wars have been fought over an area of rich land in our own history, and what materials are abundant can shape the economy of a nation. A civilisation of coastal cities would be likely become a mercantile trading empire with great wealth, as with the Phoenicians and Carthaginians. To ensure the civilisation fits with your world, consider how their surroundings would have affected its development – your whole plot may even be about a resource an empire possess or a place of sacred importance.
Worldbuilding: It's More Than A Pretty Map
I know authors (and readers!) who hate fantasy worldbuilding. They hate it with a fiery passion. They even go so far as to hand wave whole settings, writing books that feel more like a screenplay – all dialogue and fight scenes – and less like fantasy novels. I’d argue that secondary world fantasy writers in particular sacrifice a lot of tension and richness by doing this, but I understand their motives. If somebody said I had to write a story in a contemporary setting, I’d flee for the hills. We all have different definitions of fun. We’re all in this for different things.
If you're starting to draft your own world, there's some thought-provoking data there.