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Writing a Fantasy Novel as a Beginner Writer
Fantasy is one of the most versatile genres in novel book writing, with its advanced breakdown of culture, economics, religion, and politics, it allows readers to get deeply immersed in a world created without the consequence of the real world, but carrying the beauty and relatability that is seen in our world.
This is what makes fantasy novels, so intriguing for readers and it makes fantasy as a genre one of the most popular in the novel publishing industry.
The world-building aspect of fantasy is what appeals to most people. And when done well it can be the best part of a novel for a reader. Well, we are going to talk about the basic pitfalls that prevent fantasy writers from truly exploring the extent of the fantasy genre.
So let's start with the things to avoid in fantasy novel writing.
Most fantasy books start with a premise that is usually a high-concept idea. It will be a relatively interesting idea for sure and all the writer wants to do now is just put some characters into the world, create the world, and there you go you have a hit fantasy novel!
Fun fact, it's not to say that a lot of fantasy stories don't start with only a concept, but fantasy stories that mostly start with a concept usually end up running into one big problem. It's not a story.
A concept isn't a story, a concept is essentially the selling point of the novel. Or if you are a marketing student, it is a unique selling proposition. It is the thing that makes your book or story different from the rest of the books on the shelf of a library or bookstore. The unique selling proposition or concept is the main point the publisher will use to sell the book initially during marketing efforts.
So wait, what about the characters what about the world-building, won't that be a part of the marketing effort?
Of course, they will, but that is harder to communicate to a prospective customer. The easiest thing to communicate is the concept. This is why the best concepts can be boiled down to one sentence. While describing the world or characters the fantasy story is taking place in takes a lot more words to communicate.
So a concept is great to make your story distinctly different from other stories out there, it's going to become your main selling point in differentiating your book.
That being said it's not a story. The concept is what you will write the story about or surrounding.
The story of any novel is about the characters and how they interact with the world around them and the decisions they make.
Now, let's talk about the characters. The characters of a fantasy novel are important, because they're the ones that interact with the world in that fantasy novel. When some people write a fantasy novel they usually create the world first and nothing is wrong with this, but one of the worst mistakes you can make is when you focus on the world, but you don't figure out how that world and how your characters are going to work together.
People don't like fantasy books, because of the worldbuilding, they like fantasy worldbuilding, because they are shaking with anticipation to see how the characters are going to interact with this new interesting world that you created.
That is what a reader wants to see, the interactions, emotions, conflicts, and viewpoints of the character regarding the world around them.
You're creating a fantasy novel, but you have to remember it still has to be a story and people don't fall in love with the world, they fall in love with the character in that world, it is the character that drives the story and makes the fantasy world truly amazing.
This leads to the next point, the story should focus on the character, because that's the vehicle through which the story will be told. But fantasy writers have a habit of not using the POV character as the vehicle instead what they do is they become the vehicle through which the story is being told.
Or to put it simply, they infodump. The character is the one that is supposed to be telling the story, not you. When a character tells the story it achieves deep POV. When you tell the story what you're doing, you're pulling the reader out of the immersion and more or less telling them what the story is about rather than them experiencing what the story is about.
Try your best not to do this. There will be some times when you're going to have to tell the reader things, but those are in sparse situations when you need to communicate something very quickly. Preferably, you should allow the character to interact with the fantasy world and show the reader what this fantasy world is about.
This immerses your reader in your story and it's way more satisfying and enjoyable for that reader.
Once you understand these things then your story will reach new heights, so to recap a concept is not a story, a concept is the selling point of the story. It is essentially what makes your fantasy world interesting, this is what you're going to use when you're writing your blurb or book description.
Also, remember that character is key, a fantasy world is nothing without the characters that drive it. Also, let your character do the work for you, let the character's actions and decisions show the reader what makes this fantasy world awesome. The characters that get cheated, killed, live, talk, fight, conquer, and love within that fantasy world you created are what enhance the fantasy world to its peak.
Allow them to shine and your fantasy world will shine brighter as a result.
Written by David Shaw
A Jamaican writer that is proficient in building worlds, plots, and characters for novels, mangas, graphic novel, and screenplays.
Speculative fiction is a genre of literature that explores imaginative scenarios, often based on futuristic or supernatural concepts. It can include science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other sub-genres.
The genre allows authors to explore complex themes and ideas that may not be possible in other genres. Overall, speculative fiction can be an exciting and thought-provoking genre that offers endless possibilities for storytelling.
Have you ever wondered why novels don't identify as speculative fiction?
Well, the reason is that speculative fiction is a genre that encompasses a range of different styles, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
While some novels may fall under the umbrella of speculative fiction, many do not, and therefore it would not be accurate to label all novels as such.
Making Evil Empires in Your Novel Interesting
The fantasy genre, notorious for its evil empires, often draws inspiration from the Roman Empire, resulting in a plethora of similar narratives.
However, let us endeavor to inject some much-needed originality into the portrayal of these malevolent empires.
What if, instead of being the sole oppressor, the empire was already under siege by another formidable adversary?
This intriguing twist introduces a captivating subplot, wherein the evil empire must contend not only with its own malevolence but also with the relentless efforts of an opposing force seeking to overthrow the tyrannical ruler.
Perhaps this adversary could masquerade as an ally, deceiving both the empire and the reader. Alternatively, they could embody a different form of evil, distinct from the current ruler.
Now, consider this audacious proposition: what if the so-called evil empire was not truly evil at all?
Imagine a scenario where the King, initially portrayed as a malevolent figure, is, in fact, a benevolent ruler. The rebels, whom the protagonist aligns with, ultimately reveal themselves to be the true villains, but alas, our hero realizes this unfortunate truth too late.
Such a mind-bending concept is sure to captivate readers. Embrace these ideas and breathe new life into the portrayal of the evil empire, making it truly fascinating.
Interesting Ideas for Magic Systems in Fantasy Stories
The fantasy genre, where the realm of magic knows no bounds and the possibilities are endless. It's truly the allure of this genre that captivates us all. However, it seems that in its boundless flexibility, fantasy has become somewhat stagnant in its use of certain tropes.
But fear not, my dear friend, for I have some delightful ideas to inject some much-needed excitement into your fantasy world. Allow me to share them with you.
Firstly, why not explore the fascinating intersection of medicine and magic? Imagine a form of magic that not only heals, but also functions as its own medical field. We've all witnessed the power of healing magic, but how about using magic to modify the size of specific body parts, akin to a mystical form of plastic surgery? It's a concept rarely seen, and it could truly add a unique twist to your story.
And let's not stop there! Think of all the other medical fields where magic could be of immense help. The possibilities are endless, my friend.
Now, here's a thought that will surely pique your interest. How about utilizing magic as an extension of the criminal underworld? Yes, you heard me right. Magic doesn't just make our heroes formidable, but it also grants the villains an unprecedented level of danger. With magic at their disposal, they can not only increase their viciousness, but also their ability to hide, create illusions, and outsmart any attempts to spy on them. Imagine the challenges this would present to your protagonist!
So there you have it, my dear friend. Two marvelous ideas for you to explore and infuse into your fantasy world. I do hope they bring a renewed sense of excitement and intrigue to your storytelling.