Resources and Advice for Writers
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.