What Are the Key Features of Fantasy Writing?

Fantasy writing can be an awful lot of fun! It is one of the genres of writing that allows you to really let your imagination run wild, in a way that standard fiction writing often doesn’t allow you to do. Horror writing sits, to some extent, within the same realm of fantasy writing in so far as it allows the writer to be particularly creative with the plotline, but the genre of fantasy allows writers to create entire new worlds, universes and ways of living. This is something that other genres of writing just can’t compete with.

If you find yourself compelled to write a fantasy book, what exactly are the key features of writing within this genre that should be mirrored within your own writing? Well firstly it is important to remember that there are a number of crucial elements to fantasy writing that are consistent with all other forms of creative writing. For example:

– Your characters need to be well-developed and believable.

– Ultimately there needs to be one (or potentially two) lead heroes or heroines that are easily identifiable throughout the book.

– The structure of the book, or series of books, should have a clear beginning, middle and end. This is true for all works of fiction.

– Generally there should be a mixture of direct speech and narration.

However, there are also key features of successful fantasy writing that are distinct from other forms of creative writing. As a budding fantasy writer it is important that you consider these more specific elements of strong fantasy writing too. The key points to remember are:

– Your fantasy story needs to have a clear structure, and generally this structure will take the lead character, and thus the reader, from the ‘normal’ world, across or through into a fantasy world, and then back into everyday, normal life again. It may be that this pattern is repeated throughout the book, but often fantasy writers will simply stick to this three-world-move structure.

– As stated above, your story should have a hero or a heroine. It is important that your hero or heroine undergoes a number of experiences throughout the day which lead to some form of last character transformation. This transformation could be physical as well as emotional.

– Overall the story should convey some form of ‘learning point’ – a lesson that the reader can take away from the book. Generally this learning point would be communicated through the lead character.

– And finally, remember that no matter how creative the places and characters may be within your book, they do have to be believable within the boundaries of the story. So keep them consistent at all times.