Fantastical Fantasies



The fantasy fiction genre features magical and supernatural elements that do not exist in the real world. This can include mythical creatures, talking animals, otherworldly characters such as aliens, witches, and sorcerers, fantastical settings, witchcraft, and powerful magic. The plot is set around something that could not happen in real life. Most important to the fantasy genre is detailed world-building.


Many fantasy novels incorporate a medieval tone, weaved through the story, using architecture, clothing, customs, and language. Think Lord of the Rings series or The Chronicles of Narnia. Other novels falling under the fantasy fiction genre use contemporary Earth as a backdrop while still including incredibly imaginative supernatural and/or magical elements. The Harry Potter series belongs in this

category.


Let’s Get Down to Brass Tacks



To be a good writer you must read, read, read. To be a good fantasy fiction writer, you must read other fantasy novels. Doing so will give you perspective, ideas, and templates for structuring your story. Zone in on how the authors deal with plot twist, magic, creatures, etc.




Figure out what subgenre best fits your narrative

Know the appropriate word count

Include These Essential Elements:

System of Magic

A Fully Developed Setting

Cast of well-fleshed-out characters with supporting players

Conflict

System of Law/Government


Characters

Mythical Creatures

Plot

Plot Twists

Supernatural Elements

Conflicts

Geography

Topography

Locations

Structures

Monuments

Vehicles

System of Magic

System of Money

System of Law



Take time to build your world with the ideas you’ve gathered. Think about everything from the geography to the customs of the land and everything in between. What is the flora like in your invented world? What creatures dwell there? Is there a ruling class, politics, legal system, or council? What are the rules for your system of magic? What are the people like? What do they do? How about the buildings and homes? What do the inhabitants eat and drink?


Though you may be excited about your imagined world, you don’t need to discuss all of this right out of the gate. It’s best to sprinkle in descriptions and information through scenes, dialogue, sensory details, and plot.



Choose a working title or a catchy one that associates with your story premise. Some authors pick the title first and outline their book. Others wait until their book comes together to add the title, which they base on their content. Whatever you decide, you can always change the title if it no longer serves the narrative, or you’ve thought of something better and catchy. There are also title generator apps out there you may want to try. https://blog.reedsy.com/book-title-generator/fantasy/



Outlines tend to play a large role when writing fantasy novels, especially when drafting high or epic fantasy such as the Lord of the Rings series or A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. The first in his series was A Game of Thrones.


Full Story Outline – including premise, setting with time and place, characters, and plot.

Beginning, Middle, End Only – a rough outline

Chapter By Chapter

Separate outlines for – characters, plot, subplots, main setting, secondary settings

Construct a Timeline of Events

Outline Your Scenes



Epic fantasies call for epic tracking. Even the best authors need to keep track of the elements in their story. This is important because you don’t want to make a mistake about something you’ve already told the reader. A compendium is a great way to keep tabs on the main plot and subplots, so you don’t leave any gaps. Referring to your compendium helps you tie up loose ends. Compile as many categories as you need: Characters and their descriptions and attributes, places, food, drinks, money, magic, settings, locations, plots, and names of anything and everything. As you write add to your compendium categories.

A compendium can be as easy as writing in a notebook, using a binder with dividers, or keeping color-coded file folders. If you want to get serious, make a document on your computer or use an Excel spreadsheet. Visit: My Writing Bag of Tricks for great tips.




Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.

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