Fantastic literature is a narrative genre-based, especially on mainly fantasy elements such as supernatural phenomena, magic, or extraordinary creatures. We can find other fantastic subtypes within this literary genre, such as horror novels, science fiction, or Gothic literature. Currently, the fantasy genre is one of the readers’ favorites, having many sales of literary sagas focused on extraordinary worlds such as Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and the Fear of a Wise Man, among many others.
Given the success that many authors in this genre have, it is normal for new writers to consider writing their book focused on a fantastic story. Therefore, this article teaches you how to write a fantasy book through a series of keys and tips to create your literary universe.
How to write a fantasy book?
The first step, whatever the genre, to write your novel is to be very clear about the main idea of your story. That is, it is better to go from the most general to the most specific. In our case, the most general idea is that we want it to be a fantasy book. Then, we will have to decide if we want to choose between a horror story, a science fiction story, or one with gothic elements.
If, for example, we have thought that it is a fantastic story with science fiction elements, we will have to choose between different possibilities again: you can create a story focused on a dystopian or apocalyptic future, or you can also think of a book where the protagonists travel in time, or perhaps it could be a book where a new scientific discovery is made. Little by little, we will narrow our main idea until we reach the different themes that we will touch on in our novel. In this way, it will be easier to develop your universe and characters later.
The time frame of your fantasy book
Every book must be based on a certain time frame, whatever the subject. If you are not very clear about when to write your story, then we will give you some tips to help you clarify:
Do a little research: this can help so that there are no inconsistencies in the future. For example, if your story is about a virus that makes people mutate, you can read some articles that deal with different cures and viruses and base yourself on the one that best suits what you are trying to write.
On the other hand, if your novel takes place in antiquity, you can read about the lifestyle and beliefs of those societies. For example, if it is a story in 18th century England, you can read history books and essays where they analyze the culture of the society at that time.
It is also helpful for you to reflect on the repercussions of choosing a certain time frame. For example, if your story is based on an apocalyptic world where most humans have been affected by a certain virus, what will your protagonists be like? What dangers will they be exposed to?
Imagine, describe and create your fantasy world
Now that we know what we want to tell more or less in our story, the next writing step will be to imagine your fantasy universe. To do this, have a notebook and pencil handy and begin answering descriptive questions like these:
Sit in a place outside your home that inspires you and describe it in your notebook: is it a beautiful or dirty place? What smells does it give off? What are its most striking characteristics? How do you feel in that place? Practice this exercise for a few weeks.
Now that you know how to describe real places, it’s time to start describing the world in your novel: is it a whole planet? A city? A village?
What kinds of animals are there in your world? Is there vegetation or is it an industrial place? Is your climate desert, or on the contrary, is it quite humid?
Now that you know what your world roughly looks like, a good way to continue shaping it is by creating your map. To do this, take a sheet of paper and transfer your notes little by little on the map you are making.
Create your fantasy book characters
You already have the idea for your fantasy book, your world, and the chosen time frame. You only have to do one thing before you start writing and that is to develop your characters. To conceive them, you can take into account the following tips:
Create your protagonist: it is the main character of any story. To be the book’s focus, it must have unique characteristics that distinguish it from the rest of the characters to solve the conflict raised in the story.
Conceive your antagonist: in any fantasy book, there is a character who will try by all means to hinder the protagonist in many ways.
Create non-human characters: Part of the beauty of a fantasy book is that many subjects in the story do not belong to the human species. You can rely on existing creatures in other tales such as vampires, werewolves, Minotaur, or fairies, or you can try creating your magical creatures.
Develop secondary characters that help the protagonist: in any story, there will be subjects that are not the most important thing in the story, but at a certain point, they will be there to help the protagonist defeat the villain of the story.
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