Fantasy: A Quick Guide in Writing by Bea Nicole Aguilan
Magic. When it comes to fantasy, it is the first word that pops out of our heads. But is magic all there is to fantasy? The fantasy genre had been one of the leading, popular genres for the last two decades and many writers have also chosen it as their chosen niche in writing.
But for those beginner fantasy writers who has no idea on where to start writing, here are 10 tips you need in writing fantasy:
1. Identify your niche.
Fantasy itself is a niche on its own, but it is such a broad genre that you have to have a deeper understanding of each subgenre to know what your niche is. By identifying your niche, you will know who your audience will be and what your writing will be focusing on.
Some of the most common subgenres in fantasy are: Alternate History, Arcanepunk Fantasy, Assassin Fantasy, Coming-of-age fantasy, and many more.
2. Develop your world through short stories
Developing your world is one of the major key factors that play in fantasy writing. In order for you to start and begin your world, writing short stories is a good way to start. By featuring your characters into short stories while also building your world, you are able to hit two birds with one stone.
You can also think of it as building your plot and your story brick by brick.
3. Plot out your story
One thing most writers forget to do when writing a story is plotting out there story. Even I forgot writing one when I started writing. Fantasy stories are often complex and epic, which is why you need to plot and outline your story.
You don’t want to end up being that person who trips over a hundred of their storylines, do you? In plotting your story, you must also outline and plan the flow of your story.
A good way for you to do that is by outlining first the three major parts of the story, also called the Three Act Structure where you summarize your supposedly beginning, middle, and ending of the story. Once you have finishsed the Three Act Strucuture, you can then start thinking of how you will cut the three parts into sections and placing them on each chapter.
You must also have a chapter outline wherein you will outline the events that would happen in each chapter that would lead to the major plot points of your story.
4. Tie your worldbuilding to your plot
Worldbuilding is an essential in writing fantasy. You have to know how your world system works. Know your magic system, your government, how the people in your world lives and so on.
Your plot and your worldbuilding should see eye to eye. Your worldbuilding should be connected to your plot in order for it to work. You don’t want your worldbuilding to be out of place while the plot takes place, do you?
5. Keep your story relevant to real-world themes
If you have any social issues you wish to discuss in your story or anything in particular, that is a real-world theme, you can include it into your story. The real-world theme may have to be relevant to the story in some way, whether you explicitly indicate or implicitly indicate it through foreshadowing.
Be creative on how you express these real-world themes. Make sure to fit it in into your worldbuilding.
6. Use all your five senses
What makes your worldbuilding alive? The answer is simple, imagery. Be specific on how you describe things, especially since your story is fantasy. Be creative on how you use terms and words, express what your world is through the five senses.
Describe what your character is seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. Be detailed on how you write your world and your story. Describe it with creativity.
7. Give your world internal rules
Worldbuilding is great as it is, but you must set rules in order for you not to jump into something that will never make sense in the story. If your world contains people who can use abilities and magic, remember to add a rule or a limit of their use of it.
Create grounded rules that are rational. Rules that makes sense. Rules that does not defy your worldbuilding. And don’t go breaking the same rules you also created.
8. Have a mindset of a Cinematographer
Having the mindset of a cinematographer can be a good and a bad thing. While some writers may use this advice because it works for them, some may not.
Having a mindset similar to a cinematographer will help you visualize what the scenes in your story look like. You will have the ability to visualize how the scene will play out and how the setting will look like as the scene starts and ends.
9. Don’t introduce all your characters at once
Just don’t. Introducing all your characters at once will give your readers information overload. It will be too much for them to handle, especially if they were still getting the hang of the world you created.
Introduce your characters one by one, starting with the main protagonist, down to the supporting characters and antagonists. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to introduce them one by one in each chapter. It is up to you how you will introduce them.
10. Pick a book and read it
And finally the last tip, reading a book. For many writers, this tip may have been burning in their ears for the longest time. It is a tip writers always give to other writers, especially to beginner writers. Choose a book you like and it must be in the genre you wish to write, in this case a fantasy.
You must make yourself familiar and knowledgeable about different fantasy books and troupes, that way you know what kind of writing styles to use and what to look out for. Reading a book is the number one tip any writer can give you and it is very effective for starters.
And with that, you can now start and write your fantasy. With the help of these 10 tips, you can improve and make your story as fantastic and magical as you can.
Image is made in Canva
Once upon a time there was a little girl who entered the woods. Upon entering the woods she was greeted by a beautiful red owl who offered to be her guide. As they walked together, she talked with the owl. She told her wonderful guide everything she knew and took all the advice that her guide had to offer. There were times they argued and there were times they laughed. At the end of the day, she trusted her beloved guide with her life.
As they traveled, she found a funny little snail that told her jokes. Some were funny, some were awkward. But she had to move one and waved goodbye to the snail friend, promising to visit him later.
The continued walking until they encountered an orchard hidden in the forest, filled with delicious fruits. She ate an apple, which was suddenly her favorite fruit. The guide asked if she knew of that snail’s name. The girl looked at her feathered friend with confusion, claiming to not know any snail.
She came to know more friends and came to forget them just as easily. Her and the guide came up with a notebook to write down all the names of the people she knew, but she quickly forgot to write in the notebook too.
The girl began to cry. She couldn’t remember anything. She didn’t remember her favorite fruits, the snail, previous friends, how she met the owl, or even how she entered this forest. She should have known. And yet she couldn’t remember any of it.
Then she looked up to find her guide gone. Her owl friend was no longer by her side. She searched high and low but there was no sign of the guide. Eventually, she stopped looking as she had forgotten what she had been searching for.
She continued walking and walking until she reached the other end of the forest. A mirror was waiting for her at the other end of the forest. She looked into it and found... nothing. There wasn’t a reflection.
When the girl looked at her feet she couldn’t see them. Her arms and legs were missing though she could still feel them. When she tried to speak, she couldn’t make a sound. Realizing she was nothing, she let herself fade away from the world and was left forgotten.
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