As we continue to explore the different eBook trends that are happening in fiction, we’d be completely remiss if we didn’t talk about fantasy fiction. Thanks to authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer, fantasy fiction has been given a considerable boost. What makes fantasy fiction even better is that you can write for nearly any age group, from children to teens, to YA, to adult.
What Makes Great Fantasy Fiction?
One of the most important aspects of writing great fantasy fiction is that it’s “rooted in the real.”
Reality is fantasy’s best friend. We, the audience, and you, the writer, all live in reality. The problems we understand are real problems. Genuine conflicts. True drama. The drama of families, of lost loves, of financial woes. Cruel neighbors and callow bullies and loved ones dead. This is the nature of write what you know, and the fantasy writer’s version of that is,write what’s real. Which sounds like very bad advice, because last time I checked, none of us were plagued by dragons or sentient fungal cities or old gods come back to haunt us. But that’s not the point — the point is, you use the fantasy to highlight the reality. The dragon is the callow bully. The lease on your fungal apartment is up and your financial woes puts you in tithe to the old gods who in turn make for very bad neighbors. You grab the core essence of a true problem and swaddle it in the mad glittery ribbons of fantasy — and therein you find glorious new permutations of conflict. Reality expressed in mind-boggling ways. Reach for fantasy. Find the reality.
This advice comes from TerribleMinds, where you will find 24 other tips for writing great fantasy fiction.
What sets fantasy fiction apart is the creativity you’re allowed in developing different worlds and different creatures. But the point TerribleMinds makes about being “rooted in the real” is that your characters – whether they’re magical or have three eyes – still need to be well developed and have depth, as does your story. You can’t focus exclusively on the fantastical elements of your story without also giving people a reason to read and stay hooked. You want readers to connect with your characters, care what happens to them, and come away feeling like they know them.
Steps to Developing Good Fantasy Fiction
- Decide what to write about: what time, place, and type of characters.
- Develop your characters and their backstories.
- Outline your plot.
- Conduct research to add authenticity.
- Analyze your plot for gaps, holes, and areas that demand plot twists.
- Be yourself. You may be inspired by other fantasy fiction authors, but tell your story in your voice.