I have been trying to think of some better ideas for world building lately. As far as the fantasy genre goes there's been a lot of the same sorts of things.
* A great cataclysm
* The gods coming down and wreaking havoc upon the mortal plane.
* The world as we know it died, eventually nothing was left of our civilization and the faerie creatures returned.
* A great power over ran the world long ago.
* The elves have gone into the west.
* The dwarves have hidden in the mountains.
* A ancient race left landmarks and hidden treasures across the land, some have been found
Typically though I feel like to a degree we are happy with these types of world's aren't we? I mean we buy the fiction, we watch the movies, we buy published adventure setting with this type of content.
Of course there are a bunch more of these types of things, but it always seems to centre around some epic event (Sauron & The ring, etc). More often than not when reading the history's of world's these types of cataclysm events seem to happen with the timeline. You don't have to look far, isn't WOTC doing this right now? "The Sundering" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sundering_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons)
So all that rambling being said, I am currently trying to come up with some NEW idea of world creation. Thankfully there are a TON of resources out there. I am starting to come to the conclusion that the first thing I need to do is write the 5 W's.
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY.
That's a good start! At least as far as the history is concerned. Then of course fast forwarding a bit to present time (the time of the heroes... cuz that hasn't been used a thousand times! hahahha), and writing out the 5 W's again.
So mission build a new history and world that doesn't pull from the usual resources, is starting, at least in my brain.
IF YOU WERE TO CREATE A WORLD, WHAT HISTORICAL EVENTS WOULD YOU INCLUDE?