For those that love escaping to magical, fantasy worlds, battling warlocks, witches and demons, and sailing the seas with fearsome pirates on quests for gold, treasure and fame, may find the allure of writing fantasy very appetizing. You are not alone.
Like most writers who fall deeply in love with this genre, you might find yourself seeking out your own adventures. Are you continually searching for answers to the mysteries and wonders that come along with the lands, people, and situations that you create? If yes, then perhaps your next quest is to put pen to paper.
With all these ideas, worlds, people, magic spells, plot twists and surprise endings all in mind, what is the next step. First, you need to ask yourself, if this is your story, for you alone or do you want to share it with others. Hopefully you are thinking of the latter, and if so, read on.
Your Kingdom Awaits
Like anything else, you need to first build the foundation. Planning your world, and then planning your story. Get it right in your head, then on paper, and then write your story. You should know your fantasy world better than anyone else. You should be the lore-keeper, the curator of strange objects, expert of riddles and the master of creatures of terrifying might and of awing magic. You want to invite people to your world to be your loyal citizens and for them to stay.
If you want to write a good story that will capture your readers’ attention and that will make them want to continue on, you must know the basics inside out. Focus on who, what, where, when and why. Once you have these basic points down then you can build upon these to create a story that others will want to read.
Remember this world, the land and the people are all in your head. They may be as clear as day or for some of us our prepared reality. However as clear as you may see it, you need to portray this world to others. They too must, see, smell, hear and touch your creation.
Holding Out for a hero…
To draw your readers into this world we use a protagonist. After all, it is their universe, and the universe of the people who live around your hero. When you know your land, and your people, you’ll know your hero. When you know your hero you will know the journey that lies ahead.
The journey could be one of self-discovery, of triumph over a dark evil, a quest to find a lost treasure, a rescue quest to save someone dear or an exodus to a new unknown land. Whatever challenges await your protagonist, plot them out they could set the back bone for your chapters.
Get all of the main points set up. Start writing what will happen when and where. Write down when your character meets the antagonist, when your character finds an important item or person, and all of the important details that will stand out throughout the story. These are the main points on which the story is built. They are the major attractions. And remember a subtle piece of information, a strange object found in chapter 2, may hold the answers to the riddles and plot twists in chapter 10.
What you should think about:
• Create your world. Know all about it, from the colour of the grass, to the names of the mountains, to the rivers that flow to the sea.
• Understand who your people are, their history, and what they seek.
• What creatures inhabit the lands.
• Why is there a need for a hero?
• Who is your hero?
• What is the hero’s challenge?
• What will be the conclusion of the hero’s story?
• Write a synopsis – what will your story be about.
• Plan your chapters – what will happen in each.
Journey with your hero, tell their story and share their feelings, thoughts and emotions. You are the lore master of your land, and you are the only one who can tell the tale so that your hero will be remembered.
Things to Consider:
• Hero – Male or Female, or a group
• Magic or no magic
• War or Peace
• Land or Sea
• Monsters or Animals
• Friends and Foes
• Cities and Natural Areas
• Economy, Religion and Governments
• Life or Death
• Quest, Mission, Destiny or Circumstance