For aspiring authors with rich imaginations and a tendency toward writing magical elements, the fantasy genre can be a perfect fit. Writing a fantasy story allows you to stretch the limits of your creativity, spinning tales of dragons, mystical worlds, magic, or elves — whatever your vivid imagination might conjure up. And, as fantasy authors will attest, fantasy happens to be a niche that is both rewarding and profitable.
However, along with the limitless possibilities that fantasy fiction provides are sometimes daunting challenges. Indeed, the intense world-building process for fantasy worlds, longer than average book length, and a full cast of characters can feel a bit overwhelming to the budding fantasy writer. This guide of helpful tips will show you how to write a fantasy book step-by-step.
How To Write a Fantasy Novel: 9 Tips for Aspiring Authors
Writing fantasy novels can be the perfect outlet for authors wishing to express their abundant creativity. With a fantasy story, you are at the helm of your own world, a world you have created out of whole cloth. The fantasy genre can be both exhilarating and complicated, so if you are wondering how to write fantasy fiction, just follow these steps:
1. Choose Your Audience
You may be surprised at the number of subgenres that exist within the fantasy genre. There is a whole host of fantasy readers that enjoy different types of fantasy. Will your fantasy story fall into the dystopian, paranormal, steampunk, medieval, superhero, high fantasy, dark fantasy, or one of a dozen other subgenres? Are you writing for children, young adults, or adults? Decide on your subgenre and your audience before you write a single word.
2. Study Other Fantasy Novels
You can glean much about the fantasy genre and essential elements just by reading and analyzing popular books in this space. Re-read some of your all-time favorite fantasy novels, too, but this time with an eye for the unique aspects that made these books special. Does the author write relatable characters? Or maybe it’s the unique supernatural elements that make it stand out.
3. Choose a POV
Decide on the point of view (POV) from which you wish your story to be told. The most common POV for fantasy is the third person, but the first person perspective is also a viable and interesting option.
4. Start World-Building
The fun begins when you start creating an amazing fantasy world for your characters to inhabit. World-building is the literary process of imagining and crafting a fictional world, including its systems, religion, culture, climate, history, customs, and more. For some helpful tips, check out this world-building guide.
5. Develop Interesting Characters
Now it’s time to add an intriguing cast of characters to your world. Characters for fantasy novels are especially fun to develop. Consider using common archetypes and make sure to include some character flaws for well-rounded characters.
6. Craft an Exciting Plot
Because fantasy novels are generally more plot-driven than character-driven, give your characters an exciting plot with some problems to solve, as well as good doses of tension, conflict, and meaning. Convey the importance of what is at stake, and also what solving the central conflict will mean to the characters.
7. Create an Outline
Fantasy novels can be so layered and character-rich that it is very helpful to start the project with an outline in place. An outline helps you stay on track, avoiding problems like plot holes and vanishing characters.
8. Try Writing Sprints
You have now reached the point when you get to start your fantasy writing! To jumpstart the writing process, try using writing sprints. Writing sprints are an effective technique to stimulate the writing process using timed writing sessions. Set a timer for 25 minutes and write, don’t stop — just let the words flow. Take a 5-10-minute break and repeat.
9. Edit, Edit, Edit
Free online tools and paid tools like Scrivener or Milanote can help you organize and keep track of your ideas and character notes. You will discover that fantasy writing can get a bit cluttered with a multitude of characters, so do not hesitate to edit, edit, edit. While free online writing tools can help you with some basic editing, the serious editing of your manuscript is best performed by a professional editor.
Get a Professional Edit from Gatekeeper Press
After learning how to write a fantasy novel following the steps above, you must now begin the task of editing your epic fantasy book. Even if you have painstakingly performed self-edits along the way, you are sure to miss some grammatical and spelling blunders. Prepare your fantasy novel for publication by enlisting the help of Gatekeeper Press. Our team of expert editors and designers will polish your manuscript and make it the best it can be. Contact us online today!