Is the literary genre that deals with magic, magic creatures and imaginary worlds.

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Where to draw the line between fantasy and reality in a story?

I realize this question may sound broad or vague, so allow me to explain. I never knew much about combat or dealing with injuries until I started gathering research for a fantasy novel I'm planning ...
22
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10answers
3k views

How to make travel scenes interesting without adding needless plot diversions?

I have always had a problem with travel in my stories. Since I'm writing an epic fantasy novel, travel is a big theme as characters often have to move from where they are to where the plot dictates. ...
19
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7answers
1k views

Should I avoid modern words/phrases in fantasy writing?

When writing, I tend to want to use words or phrases that have meaning in the real world, but wouldn't necessarily have meaning in the world in which I'm writing. For example, in a fantasy world, a ...
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12answers
1k views

For Fantasy Stories, Should You Include a Map At the Beginning of the Book?

If you're writing a fantasy novel, would it be best to include a map of the geography that the story takes place in at the beginning of the book? I've seen quite a lot of fantasy books (Redwall ...
15
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8answers
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What breaks suspension of disbelief?

So much of Sci-Fi and Fantasy requires the viewer (or reader) to suspend their disbelief: The speed of light can be circumvented, magic works, vampires are real (and may or may not sparkle), etc. ...
15
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4answers
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What's a typical trilogy structure?

Is there a typical structure for a fantasy trilogy? To be more specific, would they usually follow the three-act structure, with an act per book? And would each book need a self-contained story arc ...
14
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6answers
456 views

Using today's moral compass in fantasy

During Roman and medieval times the use of slaves was very common in most civilisations. Crimes often carried punishments that would fall under "cruel and unusual" today. Is it possible to write a ...
13
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9answers
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Time measures in fantasy worlds

I wonder, what could be a good way to provide time measures in a fantasy universe. I don't mean the calendar which is covered in the question: Out of this world... Giving it time?, but measures like ...
13
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9answers
3k views

Source ideas for monsters in a fantasy novel?

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go to get some ideas on different types of monsters that can be created for a fantasy novel? I'm not talking about different variations of zombies or ...
13
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3answers
567 views

When publishing a Fantasy novel, do I look for a specific Fantasy-only publisher, editor, and/or agent?

When attempting to publish a fantasy book, how will I go about selecting a publisher? Is it possible to find a list of publishers that publish specifically fantasy books? Similar to publishers being ...
12
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5answers
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How does one avoid bland, generic fantasy while they write?

I have been mulling over the plot and characters for an elaborate fantasy work for a number of years now. The longer I mull things over, the more possessed I am that this story is worth telling. The ...
12
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8answers
700 views

What's the benefit of using invented languages in-story?

I'm working on a fictional story set in a fantastical (although coherent) universe; I'm used to seeing, in works like this, invented languages: Tolkien's languages for The Lord of the Rings, or ...
11
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5answers
844 views

Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?

I've been working on a story idea for a few years now, during which I designed a world (fantasy-based) in which it would take place. The thing is that because this is a different planet, I thought it ...
10
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3answers
349 views

Frailties, mistakes, and imperfections

In the past, I've been inclined to believe that god-like characters are fun to write about. They are impossible to kill, cause omnipotent levels of destruction without consequence, and always come out ...
10
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7answers
505 views

How little “fantasy” can be in a story and it still be recognizably fantasy?

How little "fantasy" can be in a story and it still be recognizably fantasy, and not mainstream fiction? The "recognizable fantasy" question is one I struggle with all the time. Fantasy exists on a ...
9
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11answers
4k views

Avoid blending Fantasy and Sci Fi

In the world I'm writing, there's a decent amount of magic - mages, spells, healing, etc. There's also a few aspects - hoverboards, strength/speed enhancing experiments - that don't quite fit into the ...
9
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5answers
1k views

How to write a story that spans decades

I'm looking for techniques to write a fantasy story (A song of ice and fire style) but the problem is the duration of the story : The first three years there are lot of plots, and betrayals. After ...
9
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3answers
360 views

Conlang question

Diving (OK, dove) into conlanging for a novel I'm working on. The Conlang is atmospheric and allows for some subplot intrigue, but it's not absolutely essential to the story. I've got basic grammar, ...
9
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6answers
1k views

How can I turn my short story into a novel?

I just wrote last week about Sleeping Beauty but a different version of it. (I changed the characters, and the conflict, and mostly everything except the fact that one of the main characters is cursed ...
9
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1answer
126 views

Expositing a lack of racial difference

I have a story set in a fantasy-Africa, in which the protagonist must make her way from her rural home to a coastal city in order to seek medical treatment that will save her life. One beta reader for ...
8
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13answers
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How do evil protagonists win the reader over in dark fantasy stories? [closed]

I thought about writing fantasy story from the perspective of the evil antagonist (think from Sauron's perspective). So my bad guy will be the protagonist and my good guys will be the antagonist. I ...
8
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6answers
670 views

Write multiple trilogies or make a saga?

So I am currently writing a fantasy story that tends to be long. This question is related to the following question: related The main difference resides in that it is certain that the story will be ...
8
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5answers
215 views

How to write a homosexual character, whose homosexuality isn't the point of the story?

I'm writing a modern fantasy novel, with a female protagonist whose principal romantic interest is another girl. I want to know how I can write her without having her homosexuality being the ...
8
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2answers
490 views

Out of this world… Giving it time?

I am starting to write a fantasy story. For the first time, i am using computer software to help organize my story. The program confronted me with a question. What is the birthday of a character? It'...
8
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3answers
534 views

Spiritual elements in a science-fiction novel

Does using unexplained spiritual elements (soul, "spiritual"/non-physical beings, afterlife, God, etc.) in a story with a futuristic setting make it science fantasy rather than science fiction?
8
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3answers
175 views

Needing to Believe the Story Is Real

I am writing a series of interconnected metafiction stories revolving around epic fantasy tropes. The basic premise involves gradually building up an epic narrative and then breaking it down, and the ...
8
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2answers
458 views

How can I create drama in a story that is mostly political and procedural?

I'm writing a fantasy story about whether a teacher should be fired or not over teaching competency; most of the story revolves around the politics and the procedural process of the decision. So much ...
8
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6answers
227 views

A cross-[What] kind of romance?

In the scientific taxonomy of Living Things, you have: Life Domain Kingdom Phylum Class etc. down to Species, and maybe thence to Breed. If I were talking about my neighbor's dog who is half ...
7
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5answers
277 views

Can I plug a loophole in my magic rules without rewriting the whole novel?

I've gotten feedback for a complete draft of my WIP fantasy novel. Overall it's looking good, but a couple of friends noticed a significant loophole in the system of magic I use in the book. The book ...
7
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7answers
812 views

Plot devices for the climax of an adventure story

Setting aside the specifics of my particular plot for a moment, I have need of plot inspiration: how do I set up an escape from a death trap that seems plausible after the fact, and not too contrived? ...
7
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6answers
90 views

How to demonstrate an evolution of magic without it seeming like it is improvised?

I'm writing a fantasy novel, in which the story progresses over a number of years. Throughout the story, I want to display an evolution of the magic, much like technology evolves in our world. The ...
7
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5answers
655 views

Will using real-world cultural vocabulary in a fantasy setting disengage readers?

If I have certain minor rituals/garments/culture tidbits in a fantasy setting that mirror those of Earth, and I describe them using the real-world vocabulary, will that disengage readers from the ...
7
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6answers
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Can I use real presidents (past and present) and real companies in a fictional story?

I'm not sure if I want to use real people and companies or make up an entirely different world with different people, presidents, and companies than our real world. If I did the latter I would offer ...
7
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1answer
409 views

How can I find short-story spinoffs for my fantasy epic?

I write epic fantasy; I've written two trilogies in a joint setting, and am writing further books in the same setting. I would like to start writing short stories for my setting as well - stories ...
6
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11answers
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How do I round out a powerful character?

I've created a character named "Mathias Mindblade" who is trained by a wise wizard to lead a rebellion against the Darkness Empire and eventually to establish an Empire of Light. Mathias has some ...
6
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6answers
254 views

What defines a Fairy Tale versus typical Fantasy?

My second-grader has been asked to write a "fairy tale." We are both clueless about what makes a story a "fairy tale" different from a fantasy story. Is there some special, defining element to a fairy ...
6
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4answers
192 views

Less universe-specific synonyms for “squib”?

I write primarily fantasy; recently, it's been brought to my attention that I use the terms "muggle" and "squib" informally fairly often in roleplay. If I were to publish something, I'd not want to ...
6
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2answers
374 views

Querying for a setting-heavy speculative fiction novel

I'm an attentive follower of Janet Reid's Query Shark, and I've learned a lot. But Reid doesn't represent speculative fiction, which seems to present wrinkles of its own. Particularly, Query Shark ...
6
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1answer
247 views

How could the surprise-villain thread have been less contrived in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone”?

Throughout Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry is certain that Snape is serving Voldemort, and bulling Quirrell into helping him. At the climax, we learn that Snape is protecting Harry, ...
5
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8answers
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Is it appropriate to use real-life quotes in fantasy/sci-fi novels set in alternate worlds?

Situation: You have an imaginary world, fantasy, sci-fi, whatever, and you are at a point where, as an author, you know a suitable quote for the situation a character is dealing with. Is it ...
5
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5answers
212 views

Is Jaime Lannister a “telling not showing” example?

Warning: spoilers of A Song of Ice and Fire. I was reading through this site that you should avoid telling what a character is by using other characters, example "Dan is the funniest person I know" - ...
5
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3answers
164 views

Method for handling non-canonical fantasy fiction

I started writing a short story that involved demonic possession. The nature of the possession is symbolic. The story is an allegory. When I shared the initial draft among some friends, I had feedback ...
5
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3answers
230 views

What is the name of the genre of stories with multiple realities?

The movie "Sucker Punch" and the "Once Upon a time" series make it hard to distinguish what state of reality is the "real" one (not that it matters). In "Fixing the Shadow" we encountered a character ...
5
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3answers
9k views

What is the recomended word-count for a fantasy-fiction book?

By recommended I mean what is the standard for it to be not too long and not too short. I know I should write until I am finished but I want to take practicality into account as well. Mainly when the ...
5
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4answers
148 views

Bogged Down with Legends of Wind

It's not that I have a lot of writer's block, it's the mash-up of stories I'm compiling that all have to fit together in some way. I have outlines and I have a heap of unfinished stories, all going ...
5
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4answers
244 views

Incorporating Military Experience into Fantasy Writing?

I was in the Marines from 2000-2004, and I'd say I have a love/hate relationship with my experiences therein. I'm wondering how I could incorporate them into fantasy writing. Could you tell me where I ...
5
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1answer
81 views

Is history best left untold?

I am working on a fantasy novel and have built my world leading up to the 'main story'. Much of the context of the story has to do with religions created by past civilizations and references to "the ...
5
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4answers
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Could a different structure for “Feast of Crows” have been a better solution to Martin's five-year-gap?

The latest two volumes of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire have been poorly received compared to the series' earlier books. What's interesting here is that Martin's original plan did not include these ...
4
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9answers
825 views

How to distinguish if a novel is science fiction or fantasy?

Through the process of writing my novel, I've found that I really don't know where it fits in the written realm. I believe I should have a clear understanding to identify what genre my book belongs in....
4
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9answers
577 views

Why should I try to create realistic fantasy characters?

One use for fantasy is wish-fulfillment. With that in mind, why is there a need for realism in creating a character in a fantasy novel?