I had a question on Twitter last night that I had to think about. Somebody asked me if I had any tips for writing a fantasy story. I kept thinking of tips that apply to everything and that was when I realized I’d figured out how to answer the question!
If you want to write a story you’ve perhaps already defeated yourself. If you want to write about some characters, then you’re on the right path! Start with your characters. Make them believable and realistic, and that means flawed. Every person I’ve ever met (starting with myself) has gaping holes that stop them from being perfect. We call them personality quirks and sometimes they can be endearing (like mine). Regardless of how full of it I may be, characters need to have them too or your audience won’t be able to bond with them.
Once the characters have been figured out, start writing about them! If the book is supposed to be fantasy, then put the characters in a fantasy setting. If it’s sci-fi then make the environment sci-fi. If you’ve got to much teenage drama taking place in a graveyard filled with zombies and vampires…well, toss the poor characters in the meat grinder. Then let the characters show the reader how they’re going to survive, learn, act, and evolve throughout the environment you chose.
Genres don’t make for best-selling stories, characters do.
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