What do you need when writing fantasy?
Key Components of a Fantasy Tale
Over the last month I’d been working on a mini-series Fantasy story about a pixie named Hyacinth. This genre has never been my strong suit, but it was fun to explore my ideas and see what I could do with the story line. As I wrote, I brainstormed my thoughts about what it takes to write a fantasy tale. Expert authors on writing fantasy, tell me if I’m wrong!
If you think about the most popular fantasy books and movies, typically names of the different mythical creatures aren’t basic like Joe or Amy. Those are human names, not suitable for orcs, elves, dragons, and other creatures. Frodo comes to mind. I’ve always been terrible at coming up with names, so I use an automatic generator to help me. In fantasy, you’re transporting people to a new world, and you have to make it seem authentic.
Many fantasy tales take place in the real world combining with alternate universes. Sometimes, you have to create an entirely new universe for your characters to live. In my five-part series, I didn’t give myself enough time to develop a new world. You have to think of names and maps of the countries and cities. Think about The Hobbit and Game of Thrones. Those books have maps and extra content to help you get a feel of the world they’ve created.
Action and Travel
Writing fantasy combines well with adventure. It’s important to take your characters on a journey somewhere. Include wars, battle strategy, new lands, dangerous obstacles, and any other hardship that can bring excitement to the story. Readers want to be drawn into your world and forget about their own for a while. Give them a chance to connect with your characters and help them feel like they’re embarking on the journey with them. Describe each new scene in magical detail and surround them with dragons, magical adventures, and death-defying obstacles.
Creatures and Magic
What’s a fantasy story without magic and different creatures? Think about Harry Potter! Wands, nargles, basilisks, Dobby, werewolves, and more. You don’t have to include every single thing, but people read fantasy to experience things outside the realm of possibility. It ignites their imaginations and allows them to dream bigger, pushing their minds beyond their limits. Give the readers what they came for and throw in magic spells while creating new creatures for them to enjoy!
A Hero’s Goal
This point can also follow an adventure story, but we all love a hero with a goal. A timid elf looking for freedom. A knight yearning to save the kingdom. A helpless princess fighting for something more in life. Every story needs to have a satisfying ending, and having a hero achieve his/her goal is the perfect way to do that. Give them purpose, noble attributes, relatable flaws, and a grand adventure searching for the true meaning of their lives.
Start Your Adventure – Writing Fantasy!
Hopefully these tips have been helpful and you can start formulating your epic fantasy novel. Combine a few of these aspects, or take them all. Come up with your own and thrill your readers with magic. How will you start your fantastical adventure?
Thanks for reading about writing fantasy, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!
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