Genres: Tips for Writing Fantasy

Fantasy is one of the most fun genres, because it’s not constrained by reality.


Anything goes. Really. The imagination’s the limit.

I’ve got two tips about writing fantasy.

Be consistent and don’t be “explainy.”

First things first. Consistency. Is magic allowed in your world? If it is, you have to define it. Who can perform it? How is it performed? If any of those rules change, there needs to be a reason. Maybe only unicorns can perform magic, so a troll doing so might be a bit of a plothole, unless unicorns can give trolls some kind of temporary magical powers. Just keep the rules clear and if they change, make sure you intended that.

Try not to explain too much. Say you’re writing a novel about a dragon-slayer. She knows how to kill dragons. She’s been doing it for twenty years, and she plans to keep on killing them until they’ve been exterminated in her kingdom. When she’s working, she’s probably not going to explain how she does it. She’s just going to do it. In your description of her execution of her role as death-dealer to dragons, you can talk about what she sees, what is happening, and you should, but this isn’t the place for her to give your Readers a lecture about how dragons are brought down. Instead, let your Reader see, hear, and smell the action. If you want to explain how it’s done, bring in somebody who doesn’t know. Maybe her secret admirer wants to learn to take out dragons so he can impress her, so he goes to the archives, and reads as many books as he can on the subject. Keep in mind though, you don’t want pages of stuff from the books he’s reading. If you break them up, it’s more likely that his research will be interesting to your Readers. So how exactly do you slay a dragon? And, does what he reads jive with how she actually does it? Maybe he eneds up seeking information from a rival dragon-slayer who’s equally determined to rid the realm of those pesky beasts.


In fantasy, the worlds are your oyster, so go forth my friend, and write.


Next week, I’d like to talk about the writing process.

Published by Hyacinth Grey

I'm a new Indie Author, and my book, Wounded Bride, is the first in a hard-boiled detective series. I love to read, and at the moment, I'm really into nonfiction. I like most topics, but am not very interested in politics.

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