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How-to-Write: Fantasy

Let’s not say I’m an expert on this, but I’m going to walk you through how I write fantasy! It’s going to be a guide, so let’s get started, shall we! But first, let’s put you in the right mindset. Think of dragons and knights, of princesses and goblins, of things that are not real and yet are extremely interesting and if written right feel entirely believable.

As I said, I don’t claim to know how to do this. My ideas seem to drift to me from some unknown location. But I’m gonna give this a try!

Okay, now…here’s how I write fantasy.


Step One:


Okay, so I start by creating my character. Or rather, my character comes bouncing into my mind after listening to a song, watching a movie, or reading another book. So, for example, Fledge my main character from ‘World of Silence’ first started forming in my mind when I watched Sue Thomas F. B. Eye. And from there his character kind of kept growing. His name came when we found a fledgling bird and I decided Fledge was a cool name and assigned it to the character bouncing around my mind. I know a lot of you have a process you use to create characters because some of us don’t have them just prance into our thoughts. The main point is I start with a character. Then on to step two.


Step Two:


Next, I start making backstories. The backstory for my character first, and then I build the world around that. So, another example would be my characters, Jasper and Casper, from one of my WIPs. They are twins, born with attached ears, the midwife separated them so they each have half an ear on one side. Their mother died when they were younger, they live with their merchant father and Trudy, always having to hide the fact that they each have a half ear. Why? Well, the world in which they live takes anyone believed to be unwhole to fight in the Games (which have a name but I’ll keep that to myself for now). So, that’s a basic backstory for them, which is tied into the backstory for the world they live in. This brings us to step three.


Step Three:


The backstory for the world is now ready to be built. I’ve developed basic concepts and now I’m going to dive in. I’m gonna stick with Jasper and Casper’s story as my example on this one. So, basically, I need to decide why their world makes the unwhole people fight in the games? Who are the unwhole people? What makes them unwhole? When did this start? And similar questions you ask yourself for any story. You might not use all this information in the book, some of it may just be for you so that you understand how the world you made works.


1. Why do they make the unwhole fight in the games? Well, they believe they are lesser. Not equal. Not worth living. (Basically, fictional communist.)

2. Who are the unwhole people? This was the hardest question for me but I decided it was anyone who was different. Whether that difference was physical or mental.

3. What makes them unwhole? Lack of speech, twisted leg, bad eyes, slow wits, anything the government thinks is not perfect.

4. When did this start? About fifteen years before my story is set. So just a year or so before Jasper and Casper were born. The King decided that anyone unwhole would be sent to his Games as entrainment for his court since they were not worthy to live with the rest of the kingdom.

I have more notes (most of which are in my head) but I think that’s enough for you to get the basic idea. With a fantasy kingdom/world you have to start from the ground up with your politics and such. Though, it is totally acceptable to borrow from the real world.


Step four:


The physical aspect of the world. What does it look like? For ‘World of Silence’ I kept the scenery very similar to the real world, minus the dragons and Wolvins. For Jasper and Casper’s book, I also stayed very similar to the real world. My most fantastical fantasy is actually one I’m working on with my sisters and it does have some unusual scenery. But the thing with this part is you can make it however you want! So, get on Pinterest, look at some pics, and have fun!


Step Five:


Once all this is in place…I start writing. I’m a pantster who has like goals she works towards. Such as my ideas might go like this for Jasper and Casper’s book.

1. Start the book…duh.

2. Work toward a scene where one of the boys is in an accident where permeant damage is done.

3. Make the boys get separated by the King’s men. One shipped to the Games and the other left behind.

4. Rest of the book, one of them surviving in the Games and the other joining a resistance against the government and trying to find a way to get his brother out of the Games.

I have some other minor scenes I’d like to include, such as someone getting shot with a bow, epic sword dual, some intense scenes in the games, and of course some chases through the forest, city, etc. I have a feeling it might turn into a series but whatever.


Conclusion:


So, now that all this is done, we have everything laid out…I’m going to tell you a secret…*Leans in and whispers* I do all this in my head. Yeah, I never write anything down until I’m ready to write. I come up with my best ideas when I’m walking the dog in the morning or listening to music. So, that’s that.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful. If not let me know in the comments, if so let me know in the comments. And if you are confused you can ask me to straighten things out in…you guessed it, the comments.

If any of you want to write a how-to-write, romance, fiction, historical fiction, (etc.) post, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to post them over here for everyone!

I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Have a blessed day!


Your friend,

Kaytlin P.


31 Comments


Saraina Whitney
Saraina Whitney
Mar 31, 2022

Oh my goodness how did I never see this???? *laments greatly* I suppose I never got notified of it... but either way, this was awesome, Kayti!!! You explained this so clearly!!! And wow, that's amazing you do that all in your head... I have tons of scribbled notes all over the place before I begin writing the story... lol I'm just too scared I'll forget something! XD


And Jasper and Casper's book sounds fascinating! I must read it one day!!!

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Marisa Phillips
Marisa Phillips
Jan 18, 2022

Oh, my goodness what a great post! Lol...I'm totally a panster!🤣

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Kaytlin Phillips
Kaytlin Phillips
Jan 18, 2022
Replying to

Thank you! I know! You make less notes than me! Lol....

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Jaiden Phillips
Jaiden Phillips
Jan 18, 2022

Wow! Great post! Great tips too! I'd have to say I'm an extreme panster when it comes to world building basically I make it up as I go, like oh, that would be cool let's do that...lol...but this was a great post!💖

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Jaiden Phillips
Jaiden Phillips
Jan 18, 2022
Replying to

Are you sure🧐...lol...Okay, I'm watching you👀😜👀

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Joelle Stone
Joelle Stone
Jan 18, 2022

OOH THIS WAS EXCELLENT!! GIRL I MUST READ THIS BOOK ABOUT THE TWINSES (I mean, everyone knows I love twinses XD)!!!! Great post!

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Kaytlin Phillips
Kaytlin Phillips
Jan 18, 2022
Replying to

(Haha, I will...but I'm trying to finish Rivals of Skyline, my Nano book first...I'm more than halfway done.)

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Louise Taylor
Louise Taylor
Jan 18, 2022

Wow! (My friend, Twi, would always talk about world-building, and how vital it was to writing, and I never actually realized how much world-building fantasy takes, since you see to be mostly building from the ground up.) I too, wish to read about Casper, Jasper, and the Games! (Imagine a communist fantasy world, that would be an interesting read.)

Thanks for the step by step process! XD

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Kaytlin Phillips
Kaytlin Phillips
Jan 18, 2022
Replying to

It is! Super hard...and I kind of got stuck at a critical point...ahem...Daniel's redemption arch...so, I was reading over that today and hope to fix it tonight!

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