As I begin working on my next novel – and I have taken off WAY TOO MUCH TIME since my last novel – I thought I would take the time to recount some of my posts on writing a fantasy novel. For some of the basics of fantasy writing, check out my first fantasy recap from 2013.
Since then, I have written numerous other posts to help you build your fantasy world. If you missed any of these, or just want to re-read them, click on the “read more” link to see the original post.
Realistic Food in your Fantasy Novel
One way to pull your reader out of your fantasy world is to write something so strange or unbelievable that they pause to wonder how that can be. And one place that typically happens in a fantasy novel is when food is mentioned.
Yes, this is another world and food choices and eating habits may be different there. But everyone is familiar with food so you should at least have the food choices make sense. Writers of fantasy novels too often ask us to believe that a roadside meal is cooked in the time it takes to water the horses or set up camp or that fresh fruit is available at all times – even the winter. (Read More…)
How fast can your hero travel?
Two weeks ago, I wrote about food in the fantasy novel. Today I want to discuss travel. If this is modern-day fantasy that takes place on Earth, then this discussion will probably not pertain to you. I am mainly thinking about those of us who have created a world where modern conveniences such as cars and planes don’t exist. Your hero or heroine is walking, riding a horse or riding in a wagon or carriage. Once again, you need to do your research and make the distance traveled in one day or even a month believable. (Read More…)
Know your weapons and armor
I have written numerous times about creating realism in your fantasy novel – the most recent about food and travel. Armor and weapons are certainly ones you need to write about with some accuracy, or you will have your reader saying, “what?” You need to research your weapon so you know it well enough to write competently about it.
Now I am not going to go into every type of weapon or armor but list a few guidelines. This is by no means a comprehensive list but one to get you thinking about the weapons you write about. (Read More…)
Creating stories and myths within your fantasy novel
“And as for this book,” said Hermione, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard…I’ve never even heard of them!”
“You’ve never heard of The Tales of Beedle the Bard?” said Ron incredulously. “You’re kidding right?…All the old kids’ stories are supposed to be Beedles’, aren’t they? ‘The Fountain of Fair Fortune’…’The Wizard and the Hopping Pot’…’Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump’…”
Just as Harry and Hermione are mystified by these titles, Ron is equally mystified by the stories (‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ and ‘Cinderella’) his friends grew up hearing. (Read More…)
12 questions to help you develop Gods/religion in your fantasy novel
When I wrote my The Elemental trilogy, I decided right off that I didn’t want to deal with religion. So there is no mention of gods, and there is no church in my story, and it works fine. However, in many fantasy novels, religion is an integral part of the plot.
Adding religion to your novel can be a source of tension between characters. A war can be because of religious differences. The reason your protagonist or antagonist does something can be based in their religious beliefs. Even prophecies can come from religious writings. (Read More…)
Gods and magic in the fantasy novel
Last week, I wrote about incorporating gods and religion into the fantasy novel. Since many works of fantasy also include magic, I wanted to address magic and gods.
As I have said before, all magic needs established rules to be believable. How do the gods play into these rules? Are they the ones who established them? Are their powers also limited to these rules? (Read More…)
Fantasy without Cliche
Fantasy stories are often filled with clichéd ideas – the farm boy who saves the world, the girl destined to become the ruler, and so many more that I could fill up my whole post with overused plot or characters from fantasy stories.
The hard thing is when you think of fantasy – you typically think of fantasy characters such as fairies, goblins, dwarves and elves. All these are overused. (Read More…)
These seven posts – along with the original nine from the first recap – can help you create your fantasy world and begin writing your fantasy novel. As I work on my latest fantasy novel, I will look for other topics that can help fantasy writers build their realistic fantasy world.