Building a Believable Fantasy

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“What are some best and special points to remember before writing a fantasy novel?”

Like many novels (fiction and non-fiction) you need to build a world that is believable to the reader. Take the time to set-up everything, like slang, monetary system, religion, royalty, and land. Some steps you really need to do are:

  • Create a map! Nothing helps people understand your fantasy world like a map showing where everything is and the names of places. Stick only to those things important to the world you’ve created and ignore the rest.
  • Characters – Make sure your characters have depth. There should be a definite style to each and a way to talk. Ensure reader engagement by having their physical and emotional makeup clearly outlined.
  • Motivation – Every story needs something that motivates it from the start to the finish. Plots and sub-plots need to be understandable, direct, and to the point.
  • Races – You don’t have to have different races, but if you do, stay away from clichés and set roles. Not every elf will be an archer, not every dwarf yields and axe. And stay away from Hobbits, or you’ll be branded a hack.
  • Not all creatures are stupid. If a race of orcs finds themselves being slaughtered they will not always keep fighting, but draw back and regroup.
  • No super heroes! A person with a sword, no matter how good they are, can be overtaken by numbers. Keep that in mind.
  • POV – Try to stay true to the POV that you use. In the past, omnipotent was okay with most books, but now the reader wants to be in the head of one character.
  • Magic – Build a system for magic and stick to it. Remember, if a spell caster casts a spell it should cost them something, life, health, energy. It should be draining to call upon the mystic forces. Don’t make the spell caster the best thing since sliced bread.
  • All Sorts – Towns have all sorts of people in them from the good to the bad, beggars to rich, kings to poppers. Cover all your bases when dealing with such.
  • Timeline – You need to have a definite timeline for the characters to do something. Don’t have them take 5 days to travel to a town that is only 5 miles away only to travel 100 miles in 3.
  • Logic – Make sure things make sense. If you have one system, stick to it.

The last is to write, re-write, and re-write some more. Polish the work and enjoy the journey.

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