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Manual: The Definitive Guide to Fantasy Writing: A Journey into the World of Imagination

Updated: 5 days ago

Semi-abstract illustration depicting a fantasy world with floating green lands, separated in the center, and suspended buildings



  • The appeal of fantasy and the importance of creative writing


Part I: The History of Fantasy

  • The mythological and literary roots of fantasy

  • The great masters of fantasy: from Tolkien to Rowling

  • Evolution and subgenres of fantasy: high fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy and beyond


Part II: Creating Your Fantasy World

  • The art of worldbuilding: rules, tips and techniques

  • Cartography and geography: building a credible world

  • Races and creatures: humans, elves, dwarves and fantastic creatures

  • Magic and the power system: finding the balance between rules and mystery

  • Religion, politics and culture: developing the complexity of your world


Part III: Characters and Plot

  • Creating memorable, multidimensional characters

  • The hero, the antihero, and the villain: archetypes and nuances

  • Developing relationships between characters: friendships, rivalries and loves

  • The plot: from beginning to end

  • Subplots and themes: adding depth to your story


Part IV: Examples of Success and Analysis

  • The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's masterpiece

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: allegory and symbolism by C.S. Lewis

  • Harry Potter: the magic of J.K. Rowling's writing.

  • Game of Thrones: the narrative complexity of George R.R. Martin.



  • The checklist

  • Famous quotes

  • Glossary of fantasy terms



The appeal of fantasy and the importance of creative writing

Over the years, the fantasy genre has won a place of honor in the hearts of readers, offering imaginary worlds and extraordinary adventures far removed from everyday reality. In fantasy, in fact, it is possible to escape the worries and difficulties of life by immersing oneself in fantastic universes and epic stories in which good and bad clash in an eternal struggle.


Creative writing, particularly fantasy writing, can be considered an art: it requires great skill to weave compelling plots in surreal worlds shaped from nothing. For you, an aspiring fantasy writer, it is crucial to understand the importance of this art form and the responsibility it entails: the writer is tasked with creating stories that can inspire, entertain, and make you think, but there are few genres like fantasy that can make you dream of imaginary worlds. After all, for the duration of the book's pages, the writer has attempts to improve the lives of those who read.


Creative writing is a powerful tool that allows for the exploration of ideas, themes, and issues that go beyond the mere telling of a story. Through the words and images they evoke, fantasy authors have the opportunity to investigate deep issues, such as ethics, morality, the search for identity, and the importance of diversity. Moreover, fantasy is a genre capable of stimulating the imagination and intellectual curiosity, prompting readers to question their own beliefs and to look at the world with different eyes. Fantasy can be (and almost always is) much more than pure entertainment.


On the path to writing the fantasy novel, it is essential that you are aware of the importance of mastering creative writing and devoting time and energy to honing skills in this area. This means reading a great deal of literature in the genre, both classic and contemporary, to understand its trends and styles while experimenting with your narrative voice.


Take advantage of the creative writing exercises that WriTribe provides to improve your creative writing skills; they can be developed and refined through constant practice and determination.


In this guide, we will take you step by step in discovering the world of fantasy. We will delve into the history of the genre, analyze the works and authors who have contributed to its evolution, and provide you with practical tips for creating a compelling and fascinating fictional universe. We will also explore different aspects of character creation and plot development, and guide you in using effective narrative techniques to make your novel compelling and engaging.


A key element for those who try their hand at fantasy writing is the ability to immerse themselves in different worlds and bring them to life through words. For this reason, we encourage you to feed your mind with stories, myths and legends from different cultures and to observe reality with attentive and curious eyes. Inspiration can arise anywhere: in nature, history, science and even in the most ordinary moments of daily life.


A crucial challenge for fantasy writers is the internal consistency of the fictional universe they create. This requires careful planning and rigorous organization of information about geography, culture, magic, and society. In our guide, we will suggest effective methods for managing these aspects, enabling you to build a solid and coherent world that readers can explore with pleasure and wonder.


Another essential component of fantasy writing is the ability to create three-dimensional characters with complex, multifaceted personalities that can evolve over the course of the story. We will offer suggestions for bringing to life heroes, anti-heroes, and antagonists who can arouse empathy, curiosity, and interest in the reader, and we will show you how to weave their stories into a compelling plot full of twists and turns.


Finally, we will address the importance of using an appropriate narrative style and writing techniques that make your work enjoyable to read and easy to understand. We will explain how to create vivid and engaging descriptions, how to write realistic and meaningful dialogue, and how to manage the pace and structure of your novel to keep the reader's attention.


Mastery of all these skills will enable you to write fantasy works that will leave their mark, contributing to the enrichment of the genre and the evolution of literature in general. Your dedication and passion for creative writing will guide you along this path, which can be difficult at times, but always rewarding and challenging.


We are confident that by following the advice in this guide, you can successfully meet the challenge of producing a fantasy novel draft.


Part I: The History of Fantasy

3. The mythological and literary roots of fantasy


To fully understand the evolution of the fantasy genre, it is important to examine its mythological and literary roots. Many of the elements that characterize modern fantasy have their origins in ancient traditions and folktales, which have inspired generations of writers and helped shape the genre over the centuries.


The mythologies of different cultures, such as Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic, and Mesopotamian, are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for fantasy authors. These mythological tales tell the exploits of heroes, demigods, and fantastic creatures, and often address universal themes such as love, sacrifice, loyalty, and the struggle between good and evil. In addition, myths enact an imaginary universe in which fantastic and realistic elements are mixed, offering a narrative model that has profoundly influenced fantasy literature.


Fairy tales and folk legends have also played a key role in shaping the fantasy genre. These tales, passed down orally from generation to generation, often feature archetypal characters, such as the princess in peril, the valiant knight, and the evil dragon, who have become icons of fantasy. In addition, the tales explore themes such as magic, power, and transformation, anticipating some of the central topics of fantasy literature.


Medieval and Renaissance literature offers numerous examples of works that helped lay the foundation for modern fantasy. Prominent among these are epic poems such as "La Chanson de Roland," "Beowulf," and "Orlando Furioso," which recount the adventures of legendary heroes and are imbued with an atmosphere of wonder and mystery. The works of authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare and Edmund Spenser also feature fantastic and supernatural elements, testifying to the persistent attraction of the fantastic in the literature of every age.


Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, fantasy continued to evolve thanks to the contributions of writers such as Jonathan Swift, who with "Gulliver's Travels" created a satirical and visionary work that anticipated many of the themes of contemporary fantasy literature. Authors such as Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe also experimented with the fantastic, resulting in tales that mixed the real and the unreal in innovative and surprising ways.


However, it was in the 20th century that the fantasy genre experienced its real boom, thanks to the work of authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Ursula K. Le Guin. These writers took fantasy to new levels of sophistication and complexity, creating detailed and coherent imaginary worlds populated by memorable and profound characters. Tolkien's work, in particular, has had a lasting impact on the genre, thanks to his epic ambition and painstaking attention to world-building. His Lord of the Rings trilogy is considered a masterpiece of fantasy and has inspired countless subsequent authors.


Throughout the 20th century, fantasy diversified, giving rise to a number of subgenres and literary currents. These include "sword and sorcery," which focuses on heroic adventure and action, and "science fiction," which combines fantastic and technological elements. In addition, works have emerged that mix the fantastic with other literary genres, such as Gabriel García Márquez's "magic realism" and Neil Gaiman's "urban fantasy."


Over the past decades, fantasy has continued to evolve and gain popularity through the work of authors such as George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, and Brandon Sanderson. These writers have created highly successful works that have captivated a wide and diverse audience and have demonstrated that fantasy can be a literary genre of great depth and cultural relevance.


In analyzing the mythological and literary roots of fantasy, it is possible to see how the genre is deeply rooted in our cultural traditions and collective imagination. Indeed, the appeal of fantasy lies in its ability to offer an alternative to reality and to allow us to explore different worlds in which the boundaries between the possible and the impossible dissolve.


Knowledge of the origins of fantasy and its various historical manifestations will enable you to fully appreciate the richness and complexity of the genre and to situate your work within a broad and articulate literary context. In addition, the study of fantasy classics and the works that have marked its evolution will provide you with a repertoire of narrative techniques and thematic ideas from which to draw to enrich your writing and make it more incisive and original.


The nine authors to read before writing fantasy.

If you plan to write a novel in the fantasy genre, then reading the nine authors we offer is absolutely essential to your training process. Not only will it help you gain a better understanding of the fantasy genre in general, but it will allow you to learn how successful authors create believable and engaging worlds and characters.


We recommend that you approach novels in a technical way, with a notebook and taking notes. You need to pay attention to several elements. First, analyze the way the author constructs the fictional world in which the story takes place. What are the rules that govern this world? What and how many creatures and races inhabit it? How are the different places and cultures represented? Then, check how the next author did, so you will begin to get an accurate overview of each one's techniques. Also carefully evaluate how the author handles the plot and narrative structure of the novel. How are turning points and subplots handled? How does the author manage the pace of the story? How does he/she close the chapters? How many heroes are there? How many antagonists? Trust me it will be a most useful and enjoyable job.

To begin, in analyzing the main authors who have contributed to the development and spread of the fantasy genre, it is impossible not to start with J.R.R. Tolkien, the undisputed father of modern fantasy. His trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" and other works set in Middle-earth, such as "The Hobbit" and "The Silmarillion," revolutionized the genre, creating a complex and detailed fictional universe in which history, mythology, linguistics and geography are interwoven in unprecedented and fascinating ways. Tolkien set new standards for world-building and the creation of memorable characters, influencing generations of writers and solidifying fantasy as a major literary genre.


Another master of fantasy is C.S. Lewis, author of the famous "The Chronicles of Narnia" series. The adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in the magical world of Narnia have captivated millions of readers, thanks to their ability to mix fantastic, allegorical and spiritual elements. Lewis was able to create an imaginary universe rich in symbolism and deep meaning, offering a vision of the fantastic that transcends pure entertainment and opens up to ethical and philosophical questions.


Ursula K. Le Guin is another prominent name in fantasy literature, best known for her "Earthmare" cycle, set in an archipelago of islands populated by wizards, dragons and fantastical creatures. Le Guin took fantasy in a more intimate and psychological direction, focusing on the inner growth of characters and the exploration of themes such as power, balance and harmony with nature. Her elegant and poetic writing helped elevate the fantasy genre to a refined and sophisticated art form.


Among the great masters of contemporary fantasy, George R.R. Martin, author of the "Chronicles of Ice and Fire" saga, better known as "Game of Thrones," stands out. Martin took the fantasy genre in a darker and more realistic direction, with an intricate and unpredictable plot populated by ambiguous and complex characters. His approach to fantasy, mixing elements of history, politics, and court intrigue, renewed the genre and made it more accessible to a sophisticated adult audience.


J.K. Rowling is another hugely successful and relevant author in the fantasy landscape. Her "Harry Potter" series has captivated readers of all ages with its compelling narrative, unforgettable characters and the magical world of Hogwarts. Rowling has shown that fantasy can be both entertaining, exciting and moving, and has helped spread the genre beyond traditional boundaries, attracting a large and diverse audience.


Philip Pullman, with his "These Dark Materials" trilogy, has succeeded in engaging readers through the creation of a fascinating parallel universe in which elements of science fiction, theology and philosophy are intertwined. The adventures of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, the protagonists of the series, deal with complex themes such as loss of innocence, knowledge and power, proving that fantasy can also be fertile ground for the investigation of moral and existential issues.


Terry Pratchett is another highly successful author in the fantasy genre, thanks to his series of novels set in the Discworld. Pratchett's works are characterized by their biting satire, clever humor, and social criticism, making him a unique author in the fantasy genre. His ability to combine fantasy with irony and reflection on human nature has broken new ground for the genre, showing that fantasy can be an effective vehicle for expressing profound ideas and messages.


Among contemporary authors who have contributed to the evolution of fantasy, it is also important to mention Neil Gaiman, known for his works of urban fantasy and his ability to mix the fantastic with elements of mythology, folklore and popular culture. His stories, such as "American Gods" and "Neverwhere," are characterized by a dreamlike and surreal atmosphere in which the boundaries between the real and the imaginary blur and intertwine.


Finally, Brandon Sanderson is another prominent author in the current fantasy scene, appreciated for his ability to construct original and coherent magic systems and for his attention to detail in creating imaginary worlds. Works such as the "Mistborn" series and the "Archive of Souls" cycle have demonstrated Sanderson's versatility as an author and his ability to renew the fantasy genre through new ideas and narrative approaches.


Studying the works and narrative techniques of these great masters of fantasy will enable you to understand the different facets of the genre and discover how each author helped shape it and define its canons. Drawing on their distinctive experiences and styles will provide you with a wide range of tools and approaches that you can use in your own writing, expanding your creative repertoire and enriching your work with new ideas and perspectives. And don't worry: at the bottom of this guide we will also tell you which works to read and why.


Evolution and subgenres of fantasy: high fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy and beyond

Over the years, the fantasy genre has evolved considerably, branching out into a number of subgenres that have expanded its narrative and thematic possibilities. Examining these subgenres will enable you to understand the different nuances of fantasy and identify the approach best suited to your writing.


High fantasy, for example, is characterized by the creation of imaginary worlds completely separate from reality, with their own physical, magical, and social laws. These worlds are often populated by nonhuman races, such as elves, dwarves, and dragons, and are the scene of epic adventures involving heroes, wizards, and supernatural forces. An emblematic author of this subgenre, beyond the celebrated Tolkien, is Robert Jordan, whose universe of "The Wheel of Time" became a benchmark for many later writers. High fantasy requires considerable worldbuilding skills and attention to detail to make the fictional world believable and engaging.


Urban fantasy, on the other hand, sets stories in a contemporary urban setting, in which fantastic and supernatural elements are mixed with everyday life and modern technologies. This subgenre is distinguished by its realistic atmosphere and more intimate and personal approach to fantastic storytelling. Notable authors of urban fantasy include Neil Gaiman, with works such as "Neverwhere" and "American Gods," and Jim Butcher, with the "Dresden Files" series. Urban fantasy requires a good understanding of the urban context and contemporary culture, as well as the ability to integrate fantastic elements in a believable and original way.


Dark fantasy, on the other hand, is characterized by its dark and pessimistic tone, and its predilection for themes such as death, corruption, and evil. This subgenre often overlaps with the horror genre, while maintaining a strong fantasy component in its stories. A notable example of dark fantasy is George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" saga, which presents a complex and unforgiving world in which heroes and villains mingle and alliances are always precarious. Dark fantasy requires special attention to narrative pacing and atmosphere building, as well as a flair for dealing with difficult and disturbing themes.


In addition to these main subgenres, there are numerous variants and contaminations of fantasy, such as historical fantasy, which sets stories in real historical settings enriched with fantastical elements, or genre fantasy, which mixes fantasy with other literary genres, such as detective, romance, or mystery. This wide range of narrative possibilities offers authors the opportunity to explore new creative horizons and mix elements from different fields, resulting in innovative and engaging stories.


An example of historical fantasy is Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," set in 19th-century Britain and enriched with elements of magic and mystery. The novel shows how it is possible to combine the rigorous reconstruction of a bygone era with the entertainment and wonder typical of the fantasy genre.


In the area of genre fantasy, however, we can mention "The Scar" by China Miéville, a novel that combines elements of fantasy, noir, and steampunk in a complex and compelling narrative. This kind of hybrid approach can offer new insights and stimuli to writing, allowing authors to reinvent traditional fantasy canons and experiment with new forms of expression.


Another relevant aspect in the evolution of the fantasy genre is the emergence of works that address social, political, and philosophical issues, using fantasy as a means to explore issues of contemporary relevance. This type of narrative, often referred to as "engaged fantasy" or "idea fantasy," is distinguished by its thematic depth and its attention to the cultural and political context in which it is set.


A significant example of this approach are the novels of Octavia Butler, who uses fantastical elements to reflect on the theme of slavery and social inequality. Similarly, Max Gladstone's "The Craft Sequence" addresses issues of power, economics and globalization through the lens of the fantastic, demonstrating how the genre can become an effective tool for social inquiry and critique.


Finally, it should be noted that contemporary fantasy is characterized by increasing interaction with other art forms, such as film, television, video games, and comic books. This dialogue between different media has helped to spread the genre outside the literary circuit, creating new interpretations and forms of expression and expanding creative possibilities for authors.


An emblematic example of this interaction between different media is the TV series "Carnival Row," which combines elements of fantasy, crime and historical drama in a rich and engaging narrative universe. Similarly, the video game "The Witcher" has contaminated the world of video games with fantasy literature, offering players an immersive and adventurous experience that builds on the saga created by Andrzej Sapkowski and the adventures of monster hunter Geralt of Rivia.


Part II: Creating Your Fantasy World

6. The art of worldbuilding: rules, tips and techniques


Worldbuilding is one of the fundamental aspects of writing a fantasy novel. It is the process by which a coherent and detailed fictional world is constructed to serve as a framework for the events narrated. Good worldbuilding not only enriches the plot and characters, but also helps to engage the reader and make him or her a part of the universe created.


To begin the worldbuilding process, it is important to establish some basic rules that characterize your world. These rules can cover geography, history, society, culture, religion, politics, economics, science and magic, among other aspects. Defining these rules will allow you to have a solid foundation on which to build your universe and avoid inconsistencies and incongruities in the narrative.


Once you have established the basic principles of your world, you can proceed to develop details and details that will enrich its setting. For example, you can think about specific cultural traditions, particular costumes and clothing, local cuisine, festivals and celebrations, myths and legends, and so on. These elements help bring life and depth to the created world and make it more realistic and vivid.


In creating your fantasy world, it is crucial to pay attention to internal consistency-that is, consistency among the various elements that make up the universe. To ensure such consistency, it is useful to keep in mind the cause-and-effect relationships between events and features of the world, and to make sure that the choices made are plausible and logically motivated.


Another crucial aspect of worldbuilding is creating a system of magic that is original, interesting, and consistent with the rest of the universe. Magic can be a central element in the plot and conflicts of the novel, and it can take different forms depending on the rules established by the author. It is important to define the limits and consequences of the use of magic, lest it become a deus ex machina or an arbitrary element in the story.


To hone your worldbuilding skills, it is useful to study the techniques used by other successful authors in the fantasy genre. By analyzing their approaches and methods, you can gain inspiration and learn how to avoid common mistakes. At the same time, it is important to develop a personal style and an original approach to worldbuilding in order to stand out from the crowd and provide the reader with a unique experience.


An effective technique for improving worldbuilding is to create maps and diagrams representing the various components of the world, such as ge ography, cities, places of interest, trade routes, and political borders. These visual tools can help you better visualize your universe and identify any gaps or inconsistencies in its construction.


During the worldbuilding process, it is also critical to consider the impact that the setting and society will have on the characters and plot. Characters, in fact, are a product of the world they live in and the experiences they have in it, and so it is important to make sure that their development is consistent with the setting and social dynamics you have created. At the same time, the events narrated must be closely connected to the context in which they take place to ensure greater reader immersion and involvement.


To further explore your worldbuilding, it is also useful to consider the themes and messages you wish to convey through your work. The fictional world you create can be a powerful medium for expressing ideas and reflections on issues of social, political, or philosophical relevance, and can help you convey a deeper and more meaningful message beyond pure entertainment.


Finally, in creating your fantasy universe, it is important to strike a balance between detail and accessibility. While it is essential to develop a rich and complex world, it is also essential to avoid overloading the reader with excessive or unnecessary information. To achieve this balance, you should wisely dose information about the world and integrate it organically into the narrative, avoiding weighing down the pace of the story with long digressions or overly detailed descriptions.


In summary, the art of worldbuilding requires considerable creative skill, a solid understanding of the rules and techniques of the genre, and great attention to detail and consistency. By developing these skills and keeping in mind the tips and recommendations outlined here, you will be able to create a compelling and original fantasy universe that serves as an ideal backdrop for your stories and characters, and that captures the reader's imagination and involvement.


7. Cartography and geography: building a credible world

Cartography and geography play a crucial role in worldbuilding, helping to make your fantasy world believable and coherent. Creating detailed maps and studying the geography of the fictional universe can help you visualize the spaces in which your characters move and understand how these affect the plot, social dynamics, and interactions between the protagonists.


To begin building the geography of your world, it is important to have an overview of its main features. You can start by defining the most relevant geographic elements, such as continents, oceans, mountain ranges, rivers, deserts, plains, and forests. These elements will have a significant impact on climate, biodiversity, natural resources, and the people who inhabit different regions.


Once the main geographical elements have been outlined, maps can be created to represent them. These maps can vary in scale and level of detail, depending on your narrative needs and the complexity of the world you create. You can make maps on a global, continental, regional or local level, and use them as a reference tool to orient yourself in your universe and to plan your characters' movements and adventures.


When drawing maps, it is crucial to take into account the laws of geography and cartography to ensure a realistic and credible representation of the territory. For example, it is important to consider the layout of mountain ranges and rivers, which influence the formation of natural borders and political boundaries, as well as the distribution of resources and arable land, which determines the density and location of population centers.


In addition, it is essential to keep in mind the laws of geology and geomorphology, which govern the formation and evolution of the landscape. By studying geological processes, such as volcanism, erosion, plate tectonics, and sedimentation, you can better understand how the geographic elements of your world were formed and how they will change over time.


Weather and climate conditions also play a key role in the geography of your fantasy world. To create a realistic and consistent climate, it is important to consider factors such as latitude, altitude, ocean currents, winds, and the presence of geographic barriers. These elements will affect the distribution of rainfall, temperature, vegetation and wildlife, and will have a significant impact on the characters' daily lives and the challenges they face.


Finally, it is important to consider the political and cultural aspect of geography, that is, how different peoples and nations interact with the land and its resources. The history, traditions, and beliefs of different cultures will influence how peoples relate to their environment and how they shape it over time. This aspect of geography can greatly enrich the plot and background of your fantasy world, adding depth and complexity to the interactions between characters and nations.


In conclusion, cartography and geography are essential elements in building a credible and coherent fantasy world. Paying attention to geographical details and the natural laws that govern their evolution, while also taking into account political and cultural aspects, will make it possible to create a rich and multifaceted fictional universe that will capture the interest and imagination of readers.

8. Races and creatures: humans, elves, dwarves and fantastic creatures

In creating your fantasy world, one of the most important decisions concerns the races and creatures that populate it. These beings are crucial in bringing the fictional universe to life and determining the social, political, and cultural dynamics that shape your story.


The most common races and creatures in fantasy novels include humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, dragons, and other mythical creatures. However, the variety of beings found in different fantasy subgenres is immense and often draws on mythologies, legends, and folklore from multiple cultures. For example, in the subgenre of urban fantasy, it is common to find creatures such as vampires, werewolves, and fairies, while in dark fantasy, demons, ghosts, and creepy-looking creatures are often present.


In creating the races and creatures of your world, it is important to consider their origins and the cultural influences that inspired their creation. For example, the elves and dwarves featured in J.R.R. Tolkien's novels draw inspiration from Norse mythology and Anglo-Saxon literature, such as the epic poem Beowulf. Tolkien went on to influence countless subsequent authors, who adopted or adapted these creatures in their own works.


Similarly, the figure of the vampire, the protagonist of many urban fantasy novels, has its roots in Eastern European folk legends and 19th-century Gothic literature, such as Bram Stoker's famous novel "Dracula." Over time, the vampire has undergone numerous transformations and reinterpretations, such as those found in the works of Anne Rice or the series by Stephenie Meyer and Charlaine Harris.


Another example is dragons, legendary creatures found in many fantasy subgenres and originating from different cultures and traditions. In fantasy epic novels such as George R.R. Martin's "The Chronicles of Ice and Fire," dragons are fearsome and powerful creatures linked to magic and power. In other works, such as Christopher Paolini's "Eragon" series, dragons, on the other hand, are intelligent and noble creatures, able to communicate with humans and establish deep relationships with them.


In creating the races and creatures of your world, it is also crucial to consider their physical characteristics, abilities, customs and culture. These elements will influence the plot and dynamics between characters, and allow you to create a richer and more engaging narrative. For example, the differences between elves and dwarves in Tolkien's Middle-earth, both in terms of appearance and mentality, give rise to conflicts and alliances that are central to the plot of "The Lord of the Rings."


To create original and fascinating races and creatures, you can draw on different sources, such as mythologies, legends, folklore, and literature from various cultures, or invent new beings that reflect the themes and atmosphere of your novel. In addition, it is important to take into account the interactions between different races and creatures and how they affect the plot and character development.


In conclusion, the races and creatures of your fantasy world are essential elements in bringing to life a rich and compelling fictional universe. By studying cultural sources, analyzing physical and behavioral characteristics, and understanding the dynamics among the beings that populate your world, you will be able to create an original, coherent, and fascinating fictional environment capable of capturing the attention and imagination of readers.


9. Magic and the power system: finding the balance between rules and mystery

In conceiving your fantasy novel, it is essential to consider the role of magic and the power system. Magic can be a pervasive and mysterious force or an element governed by precise and well-defined laws. Finding a balance between rules and mystery is essential to avoid inconsistencies and to maintain the reader's interest.


A notable example of a well-structured magic system is found in the works of Brandon Sanderson, such as the "Mistborn" series. Sanderson develops systems of magic with clear and logical rules, in which each ability has precise limits and costs. This approach allows for situations of tension and conflict, as characters must come to terms with the restrictions of their power.


On the other hand, the saga "The Earthsea Chronicles" by Ursula K. Le Guin presents a more mysterious magic related to language and the power of words. In this case, magic retains an aura of mystery and sacredness that contributes to the evocative atmosphere of the stories.


It is also important to consider the impact of the magic system on the society and culture of your world. For example, in Susanna Clarke's novel "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," magic plays a central role in Napoleonic-era English society, influencing politics and international relations.


10. Religion, politics and culture: developing the complexity of your world

To make your fantasy universe more realistic and compelling, it is crucial to explore the social, political and cultural aspects that characterize different races and nations. Religion, in particular, can be a key element in understanding the motivations and values of the characters and in giving depth to the plot.


In George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" cycle, for example, religion plays a crucial role in the political and social dynamics of the world of Westeros. The different faiths present in the saga, such as the cult of the Seven, the cult of the Fire God and the cult of the Old Gods, determine alliances, conflicts and claims to the throne.


Politics and culture, in turn, contribute to making your world more complex and multifaceted. In Licia Troisi's "The Chronicles of the Emerging World," the power struggle between the Tyrant and the various factions in revolt is central to the plot, while the culture and traditions of the various peoples enrich the fictional universe.


In developing the religion, politics, and culture of your world, it is important to reflect on the internal consistency and impact of these elements on the daily lives of the characters. For example, how do they affect the main characters' inst itutions, laws, and customs? What conflicts or tensions may arise because of religious, political or cultural differences?


In building a fantasy world, it is also crucial to consider the historical evolution of different cultures and nations. For example, in Andrzej Sapkowski's "The Witcher" saga, the history of the Continent is influenced by wars, invasions, and migrations of peoples, which have shaped the current political and social landscape. This attention to history makes Sapkowski's world more verisimilar and engaging.


Another aspect to consider is how religion, politics and culture interact with other elements of your world, such as magic, races and fantastic creatures. For example, in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, the Church is a powerful and oppressive organization that seeks to control the knowledge and power of "dust," a magical and mysterious substance.


To successfully develop the complexity of your fantasy world, it is essential to do extensive research and think about how the various elements affect each other. You can take inspiration from historical, mythological or literary sources, but it is important to adapt these inspirations to the specifics of your fictional universe.


Finally, it is crucial to make sure that the religious, political, and cultural aspects of your world serve the plot and characters. It is not only about creating a detailed and fascinating setting, but also about using these elements to give depth to the events and dynamics between the characters. For example, political tensions and cultural differences can be the basis for conflicts, betrayals, alliances, and friendships, which make the story more compelling and engaging for the reader.


The combination of these three elements is critical to creating a credible and fascinating fantasy world. Remember to think about internal consistency, historical development, and the impact of these on the plot and characters. In this way, your novel will not only be an adventurous and exciting tale, but also a work that explores deep and universal themes that resonate with the reader beyond the boundaries of the fantasy genre.


11. Create memorable and multidimensional characters

In the fantasy genre, characters are the beating heart of the story, and their characterization is crucial to capture the reader's attention and make the story compelling. To create memorable, multidimensional characters in your fantasy novel, we recommend following these steps:


Develop character personality and psychology: Each individual, whether human, elf or fantasy creature, must have a distinct and realistic personality. Think about the character's motivations, fears, ambitions and weaknesses, and try to show his or her evolution throughout the story. For example, in Joe Abercrombie's "The First Law" series, the character of Logen Nine Fingers is a brutal warrior, but also a man tormented by his inner demons, seeking redemption and peace.


Create a consistent background: The character's personal history, family, culture and past experiences are elements that help define his identity and behavior. In Terry Goodkind's novel "The Sword of Truth," the main character Richard Cypher grew up as a simple woodsman, but he discovers that he is the heir to a powerful wizard, and this revelation profoundly changes his perception of himself and the world.


Establishing relationships between characters: Interactions between characters are a great way to explore their personalities and dynamics. In fantasy, alliances and rivalries can arise from a variety of factors, such as race, social class, religion or political faction affiliation. In the "Earthsea" cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin, young wizard Ged forges friendships and faces enemies on a journey of personal growth and discovery of his own power.


12. The hero, the antihero, and the villain: archetypes and nuances

In fantasy, as in other literary genres, it is possible to identify certain recurring character archetypes, such as the hero, the anti-hero, and the villain. However, it is important not to limit ourselves to these stereotypes, but to explore the nuances and ambiguities that characterize individuals in a complex and multifaceted world.


The hero is the protagonist of the tale, the one who embarks on an adventure to save the world or fulfill an important mission. In fantasy, heroes can be warriors, wizards, princesses or simple peasants, but what unites them is courage, determination and a sense of duty. However, heroes can also show weaknesses and inner conflicts, as shown by the character of FitzChevalier Lungavista in Robin Hobb's trilogy, a young assassin struggling to reconcile his role as a spy and killer with his desire for love and belonging.


The antihero, on the other hand, is a complex character who deviates from the traditional heroic ideal and exhibits morally ambiguous or questionable characteristics. Antiheroes can be cynical, selfish, or cruel, but at the same time charming and charismatic. An emblematic example of an antihero in fantasy is Geralt of Rivia, the protagonist of Andrzej Sapkowski's "The Witcher" series, a tormented and disillusioned monster hunter who moves among the shadows of a corrupt and dangerous world.


Finally, the villain is the main antagonist of the story, the one who embodies evil and opposes the hero's goals. However, fantasy villains can be more than just enemies to be defeated; often, they are multifaceted characters with their own reasons and nuances. Take, for example, the character of Raistlin Majere in Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's "Dragonlance" series: a wizard with an ambiguous heart, whose actions are driven as much by lust for power as by suffering and a desire for revenge.


To highlight the differences between characters in the fantasy genre and those in other genres, it is important to keep in mind the specifics of the context in which they move. In fantasy worlds, magic, nonhuman races, and fantastical settings can profoundly influence characters' personalities and relationships. For example, a hero who comes from a society of immortal elves will have a different point of view and ethics than a human hero, while a villain trying to take a throne in a kingdom of dragons and wizards will have different motivations and resources than a villain in a crime novel.


In addition, fantasy offers the opportunity to explore deep and universal themes through metaphors and symbols, such as the struggle between good and evil, the search for identity, and the power of redemption. These themes can be embodied by iconic characters, such as Frodo Baggins in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," who represents humble and tenacious heroism in the face of darkness, or Daenerys Targaryen in George R.R. Martin's "The Iron Throne" series, who embodies the desire for justice and freedom in a world of violence and oppression.


It is only fair to make a small drift and address the subgenre of urban fantasy. Here, protagonists have distinctive characteristics that distinguish them from characters in other types of fantasy. Set in a contemporary or slightly alternative (talvosta dystopian) urban setting, urban fantasy blends fantastic and supernatural elements with everyday life and real-world issues. As a result, the protagonists of these stories tend to have specific traits that reflect this particular setting and the complexity of the challenges they face. In particular, if you want to approach this subgenre, you need to remember three specific characteristics:


Conflict of Worlds: Urban fantasy characters often live on the border between the human world and the magical or supernatural world. They must juggle the responsibilities and rules of both worlds, trying to maintain balance and protect the secrets about them. An example of this type of protagonist is Harry Dresden, the wizard detective in Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files" series, who works as a private investigator in the human world and as a negotiator for the White Council of Wizards.


Unique Abilities and Powers: Urban fantasy protagonists are often endowed with special abilities or supernatural powers that distinguish them from other characters and make them well-suited to combat threats from the magical world. However, these abilities can also cause problems and complications in the character's daily life, as in the case of Mercy Thompson, the mechanical shape-changer protagonist of Patricia Briggs' eponymous series, who must hide her true nature to protect herself and those she loves.


Complex relationships with other characters: Urban fantasy protagonists form complex and intriguing relationships with other characters, both human and supernatural. These relationships can include alliances, friendships, rivalries, and romances, which add depth and nuance to the plot and characterization of the characters. For example, Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter" series showcases a wide range of relationships between the protagonist, a vampire hunter, and the various supernatural beings that populate her world.


If you can master these three characteristics of your urban fantasy character you will certainly achieve an intriguing and, to the reader, very interesting character.



13 The plot: the particularities of fantasy - how to organize yourself

In the fantasy genre, plot plays a crucial role in immersiveness and reader involvement. Compared to other genres, fantasy storytelling has certain specificities that require careful organization and skillful handling of fantasy elements and settings. To help you build a compelling and well-structured plot in your fantasy novel, we offer the following suggestions:


Define the setting and rules of your world: Before you begin developing your plot, it is essential to establish the characteristics of your fantasy universe, such as the geography, history, cultures, races, and laws that govern magic. We have already discussed this, but it is worth reiterating that this information will allow you to create a solid foundation on which to evolve the events and situations of your story. In the novel "The Voice of Shadows" by Sebastien de Castell, the author builds a world in which magic is closely linked to music, and this peculiarity profoundly influences events and interactions between characters.


Develop a coherent narrative structure: The plot of a fantasy novel can also be articulated on several levels, such as the fate of the main characters, political events, and external threats to the world. In this respect it does not differ from many other genres, but there must be consistency between 'magic' and facts. To ensure consistency and fluidity in the narrative, we recommend that you outline a narrative structure that guides the development of events and situations, taking into account subplots and plot twists. In Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" series, the author skillfully weaves together the stories of various characters and political dynamics, maintaining narrative harmony and a brisk pace.


Balance fantastic elements with human themes: Although magic and fantastic creatures are an integral part of the fantasy genre, it is important not to neglect the human themes that give depth and emotional resonance to the story. Try to balance the fantastical elements with the characters' inner conflicts, interpersonal relationships, and moral dilemmas. It is in the latter that the reader will recognize himself and develop empathy. In Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel "The Priestess of Avalon," the author addresses issues of faith, love and sacrifice in a world where magic and deities coexist with historical events and power struggles.


Manage rhythm and narrative tension: A key element of a compelling plot in fantasy is the ability to manage rhythm and narrative tension, alternating between moments of action and introspection, twists and turns, and sequences of emotional development. It is important to prevent the narrative from getting lost in excessive descriptions or unnecessary digressions, while keeping the reader's attention at all times. Infodumping is the biggest risk in this genre. In Joe Abercrombie's "The Seven Kingdoms" series, the author succeeds in balancing the intensity of the action scenes with the psychological reflections of the characters, providing an engaging and exciting narrative experience.


Interweave plot with worldbuilding: To make your fantasy novel even more compelling, it is important to integrate plot with worldbuilding, showing how events and situations are influenced by features of your fantasy universe. This can include using cultural, geographical or historical elements to create unique backgrounds for scenes, or elaborating on political and social systems that influence the dynamics between characters. In Mathias Malzieu's novel "The Mechanics of the Heart," the historical context of nineteenth-century Europe blends with steampunk imagery and fantastic inventions, resulting in an original and fascinating plot.


Exploits narrative archetypes with originality: The fantasy genre is rich in narrative archetypes and recurring themes, such as the struggle between good and evil, the hero figure, and the search for identity. However, it is important to use these elements in an original and creative way, avoiding clichés and stereotypes. For example, in Sigge Eklund's novel "The People of the Labyrinth," the author reinvents the theme of the struggle between good and evil by setting the story in an underground labyrinth in which the characters are forced to confront their fears and temptations.


Plan plot development: Finally, to ensure consistency and fluidity in the plot of your fantasy novel, it is essential to plan the development of events and situations, taking into account subplots and plot twists. This will allow you to avoid inconsistencies or narrative holes, and to maintain a sustained and engaging pace for the reader. Build the outline carefully; you can always change it, but in the meantime you will have a course to follow. In Joe Abercrombie's "The First Law" series, the author carefully plans the evolution of characters and political vic ends, offering a complex and exciting plot that unfolds through several novels.


In summary, building a compelling and well-organized plot in the fantasy genre requires careful attention to setting, narrative pacing, character relationships, and original use of archetypes. Careful planning of events and situations, along with the integration of plot with worldbuilding, will help create an engaging and immersive narrative that will captivate the reader and immerse him or her in your fantasy universe. By using these strategies, you will be able to take full advantage of the potential of the fantasy genre and set yourself apart from other authors by delivering a story full of excitement, adventure, and magic.


Subplots and themes: adding depth to your story

In the fantasy genre, as in other literary genres, subplots and themes can add depth and interest to the main story. They help make the fictional world more complex and bring credible and fascinating characters to life. In this section, we will examine how to develop subplots and themes in the context of fantasy, emphasizing the peculiarities that distinguish this genre from others.


First of all, it is important to consider that subplots can cover both the external aspects of the story, such as political events or conflicts between factions, and the internal aspects, such as the relationships between characters or their personal challenges. In fantasy, subplots can often take on a magical or supernatural dimension, integrating with the fantastic elements of the fictional world. For example, in Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" cycle, one of the main subplots concerns the struggle for control of magic, which is intertwined with political events and relationships between the main characters.


As for subplot themes, of course, these can vary widely depending on your tastes and the message you intend to build. Recurring themes in fantasy include the conflict between good and evil, the struggle for power, fate and choice, redemption and sacrifice, and the exploration of different cultures and societies. These themes may be dealt with explicitly or implicitly through symbols, metaphors, and situations that reflect the author's concerns.


However, remember also that, in fantasy, subplots can prove very useful in explaining the magical or dark mechanics of the story. In practice, you use this flow to educate and inform the reader.


In general, to develop the subplots of your fantasy novel, it is helpful to follow some basic steps:


  1. Identify the main themes of your story and think about how these connect to the plot and characters. Ask yourself what messages or ideas you want to explore whether you want to use the main plot or the subplot.

  2. Think about subplots that can enrich your story and make your world more complex and interesting. Consider how these subplots intersect with the main plot and how they affect the characters and their relationships.

  3. Analyze landmark fantasy works to understand how successful authors developed subplots in their novels. This will help you understand how to use these elements effectively in your work.


  1. Be careful not to overload your story with too many subplots or themes, as this may make the narrative confusing and difficult to follow. Try to maintain a balance between the main plot and secondary elements, making sure that the latter serve to support and deepen the narrative.

  2. A European example of effective management of subplots and themes in fantasy is Licia Troisi's " Chronicles of the Emerging World" saga. The author manages to interweave numerous subplots, such as friendships, rivalries, betrayals and the discovery of secrets, thus enriching the tale and making it compelling. Themes range from the struggle for freedom and justice, to the value of friendship and solidarity, to the confrontation between different ways of conceiving power.


In conclusion, the use of subplots and themes in fantasy can add depth and interest to your story, making your fictional world more complex and engaging. To do this effectively, it is important to identify the main themes you want to explore, develop subplots that intersect with the main plot and characters, and think about the possible interactions between these elements. By analyzing reference fantasy works and maintaining a balance between the main plot and subplots, you can create a compelling and nuanced novel that will captivate and engage readers.


The importance of vivid and engaging descriptions.

In the fantasy genre, the ability to create vivid and engaging descriptions is critical to transporting the reader into imaginary and compelling worlds. Unlike other genres, fantasy often requires the creation of entirely new settings, creatures, and cultures, which makes the need for effective descriptions all the more important. In this chapter, we will explore techniques for crafting unforgettable descriptions, illustrating the risk of infodump and analyzing some examples from European fantasy literature.


  1. Show, don't tell: One of the basic rules of writing is "show, don't tell," or show rather than tell. In fantasy, this principle is especially relevant, since the reader must be able to clearly visualize what he or she is reading. For example, instead of saying that the character unleashed magic from his wand, write that a blue light appeared at the tip of the wand, and a moment later lightning sprang from it and struck his opponent.


  1. Use the senses: to make descriptions more vivid and engaging, it is important to engage all five of the reader's senses. Describe not only what the characters see, but also what they hear, smell, taste, and touch. This sensory approach will immerse the reader in the experience and help them perceive the fictional world as real. In WriTribe you will find creative writing exercises to train you.

  2. Be specific: in fantasy, it is important to be precise and detailed in your descriptions. Avoid using generic terms and instead try to be as concrete as possible. For example, instead of saying that a character wears armor, describe the type of armor, material, shape, and decorative details.

  3. Balance descriptions with action: a common challenge in fantasy writing is to avoid infodump, or the tendency to overload the reader with too much information and description. This caution serves to counterbalance the previous point. To avoid this risk, try to weigh descriptions with action, placing descriptive details in the context of dynamic and engaging scenes.


An example of vivid and engaging descriptions in European fantasy can be found by reading "Cycle de Wieldstadt" by French author Pierre Pevel. Pevel creates a rich and detailed setting populated by intriguing characters and fantastic creatures. The descriptions of places, clothing, and situations are precise and vivid, allowing the reader to become fully immersed in the fictional world.


Examples of Success and Analysis

The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's masterpiece

The Lord of the Rings, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is considered one of the masterpieces of fantasy literature. This epic work, divided into three volumes - "The Fellowship of the Ring," "The Two Towers," and "The Return of the King" - chronicles the struggle between good and evil in a fictional world called Middle-earth. By analyzing this saga, the beginning writer can draw numerous insights and learn valuable lessons for creating compelling stories and richly detailed fictional worlds.


The plot of Lord of the Rings revolves around the ring of power, an evil object created by the evil Sauron to dominate Middle-earth. The main character, Frodo Baggins, a lowly hobbit, is tasked with destroying the ring by casting it into the flames of Mount Doom, the only place where it can be annihilated. On his journey, Frodo is accompanied by a motley group of characters, the Fellowship of the Ring, who pledge to protect him from the dangers they encounter along the way.


The Lord of the Rings offers many insights for the beginning writer, including the creation of a coherent and detailed fictional world. Tolkien is a master at crafting a story with its own geography, history, politics, and culture, enriched by numerous languages and mythologies. The beginning writer can learn the importance of careful planning and rigorous worldbuilding in creating a believable and fascinating setting.


Another noteworthy aspect is the characterization of the characters. Tolkien succeeds in bringing to life memorable and complex figures, each with their own personality, history, and motivations. The beginning writer can learn the importance of developing multidimensional characters who evolve over the course of the story, interacting with each other and facing challenges that test their character and abilities.


Moreover, The Lord of the Rings is a work that emphasizes the importance of plot and interwoven subplots. Tolkien creates an epic story with a broad narrative arc, without neglecting to develop subplots that deepen the characters and themes of the work. The beginning writer can learn the importance of balancing a compelling main plot with subplots that add depth and interest to the narrative.


Finally, Tolkien's prose is characterized by a rich, descriptive style that helps immerse the reader in the author's imaginary world. The beginning writer can draw inspiration from Tolkien's language and his ability to describe landscapes, characters, and situations in a vivid and engaging way, learning the importance of careful word choice and accurate description to make the work more immersive and engaging.


J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings represents an essential reference point for those approaching the fantasy genre. Analysis of the work offers valuable lessons in worldbuilding, characterization of characters, plot and subplot development, and the use of a descriptive and engaging style. By studying Tolkien's masterpiece, you can hone your storytelling techniques and aspire to create successful stories in the landscape of fantasy literature.


The Chronicles of Narnia: allegory and symbolism by C.S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven novels written by C.S. Lewis, known for their allegorical and symbolic nature. Set in the fantasy world of Narnia, the work chronicles the adventures of various characters, most notably the Pevensie brothers, who find themselves caught up in a struggle between good and evil. The stories have been loved by generations of readers and have had a significant impact on the fantasy genre.


One of the main peculiarities of the Chronicles of Narnia is the use of religious allegory and symbolism. Unlike Tolkien's work, which features a complex epic and extensive historical background, Lewis focuses more on the inclusion of elements that refer to Christian theology. For example, the Aslan lion, a central character in the series, is a symbol of Christ and represents sacrifice and redemption. The use of religious symbols lends additional depth to the stories and allows Lewis to explore themes such as faith, hope, and love.


However, despite the importance of religious symbolism, The Chronicles of Narnia does not neglect the worldbuilding aspect. The world of Narnia is rich in magical creatures, fantastical settings, and diverse cultures. In this sense, the beginning writer can appreciate the way Lewis manages to combine effective worldbuilding with symbolism and allegory.


Another distinctive aspect of the Chronicles of Narnia is the narrative structure. Unlike the linear epic of Lord of the Rings, the Narnia stories are more episodic and follow the events of different characters over time. This allows Lewis to explore various points of view and tell stories that can be read independently while still being part of a larger narrative universe.


In addition, C.S. Lewis's writing style is distinguished by its simplicity and clarity. While Tolkien employs more formal and complex language, Lewis adopts a more accessible and direct style, making his stories suitable for a wider and more diverse readership.


Finally, the Narnia series is characterized by the strong emotional impact of its stories. Through the characters, Lewis explores a wide range of emotions and feelings, from joy to sadness, from friendship to betrayal. This aspect may offer interesting insights for the beginning writer who wishes to deepen the characterization of his or her characters and make their stories emotionally engaging.


Harry Potter: coming-of-age charm and J.K. Rowling's magical universe

The Harry Potter series, written by J.K. Rowling, consists of seven novels chronicling the adventures of young wizard Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. These books have been a huge success worldwide, thanks to the magical setting, memorable characters and compelling plot. The success of Harry Potter can offer important lessons for beginning writers, especially in world-building, character development and storytelling.


One of the most fascinating aspects of Harry Potter is its magical universe. The world of Hogwarts and other magical schools is rich in detail, from history to the laws that govern magic, from fantastical creatures to the dark arts. Rowling's attention to detail helps make her fictional world believable and engaging, offering the reader an immersive reading experience.


In addition, the Harry Potter series has a strong coming-of-age element, namely the growth and maturation of the main characters. Along the plot, Harry, Hermione and Ron face challenges, overcome obstacles and learn important life lessons. This growth process makes them realistic, three-dimensional characters with whom readers can easily identify.


Another key element of Harry Potter's success is its compelling plot, which combines elements of mystery, action and adventure. Each novel in the series has a distinct story arc, while being connected to the others through an underlying plot that runs throughout the seven books. This narrative structure allows Rowling to maintain the reader's interest and build an exciting and satisfying climax over the course of the series.


The themes addressed in Harry Potter, such as friendship, courage and the fight against evil, are universal and appealing to a wide readership. However, Rowling also manages to deal with deeper and more complex issues, such as discrimination, power and death, giving the series a depth and maturity that sets it apart from many other fantasy works.


Finally, J.K. Rowling's writing style stands out for its clarity and accessibility, making the series suitable for readers of different ages and abilities. The fluent and engaging writing allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the magical world of Harry Potter and experience the emotions of the characters firsthand.


In conclusion, analysis of the Harry Potter series highlights the importance of accurate and detailed world-building, well-developed characters, and a compelling and well-structured plot.


Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin's political complexity and intrigue.

George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series of novels, better known as Game of Thrones, is an epic fantasy work that has won millions of readers and viewers through its television adaptation. Featuring an intricate plot, a wide range of characters and a richly detailed fictional world, the series offers valuable lessons for beginning writers in the fantasy genre.


One of the main features of Game of Thrones is its political complexity and the power plots that weave throughout the narrative. Set on the fictional continent of Westeros, the series follows the events of several noble families fighting for control of the Iron Throne. Martin presents a realistic view of power and politics, inspired in part by the War of the Two Roses in English history. This political complexity adds depth and realism to the work, setting it apart from many other fantasy stories.


The worldbuilding in Game of Thrones is remarkably detailed and vast. Martin has created a fictional world rich in diverse cultures, languages, religions, and geographies. This meticulous approach to worldbuilding makes the setting of Westeros and the surrounding continents authentic and engaging for the reader.


The Game of Thrones series is also famous for its large cast of complex and multifaceted characters. Martin develops characters with diverse motivations, personalities, and moral nuances, avoiding stereotypes and traditional archetypes. This depth in characterization allows readers to identify and sympathize with a variety of characters, even those who might be considered antagonists.


Another distinctive aspect of Game of Thrones is its narrative unpredictability. Martin does not hesitate to endanger or eliminate important characters, creating tension and suspense along the plot. This bold and unpredictable choice keeps the reader glued to the pages, eager to discover the fates of the characters and the fate of the Seven Kingdoms.


Finally, George R.R. Martin's writing style is characterized by its precision and realism. Martin uses rich, descriptive language to paint vivid and engaging scenes, but avoids falling into infodump or overloading the reader with excessive detail. This balance between description and action makes reading Game of Thrones smooth and exciting.


In summary, the analysis of Game of Thrones highlights the importance of a complex and politically nuanced plot, well-developed characters, and detailed and believable worldbuilding.


Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Rick Riordan's fusion of mythology and modernity

Percy Jackson & The Olympians is a series of fantasy novels written by Rick Riordan that chronicles the adventures of Percy Jackson, a boy who discovers he is the son of a Greek god and a mortal woman. The series, consisting of five novels, follows Percy and his friends as they grow up and in their struggles against mythological monsters and gods. Riordan's work offers interesting insights for beginning writers who wish to try their hand at the fantasy genre, thanks to his innovative fusion of mythology and modernity, the construction of relatable characters, and the use of accessible language.


One of the distinctive elements of Percy Jackson & The Olympians is its setting, which combines elements of Greek mythology with the modern world. Riordan successfully integrates ancient legends and gods into a contemporary context, creating an original and captivating fictional universe. This approach allows mythological stories to be revitalized, making them interesting and engaging for a modern readership.


The added value for a beginning writer lies in understanding how Riordan has managed to blend classic elements of mythology with current themes, thus creating a work that is both familiar and innovative. This ability to blend tradition and modernity can inspire writers to find new ways to reinterpret and rework ancient legends and myths, adapting them to the contemporary context.


Another important aspect of the series is the characterization of the characters. Percy and his friends are teenagers who face challenges typical of their age, such as self-discovery, identity formation, and managing interpersonal relationships. Their personal growth and the dynamics among the characters are well developed and realistic, which makes it easier for the reader to identify with their experiences.


In addition, the plot of Percy Jackson & The Olympians is compelling and well-constructed, offering just the right combination of action, adventure, and emotional character development. Riordan manages to keep the reader's interest by presenting challenges and twists that force the protagonists to evolve and adapt. This element can offer insights regarding the construction of a compelling and well-structured plot.


Riordan's writing style is accessible and engaging, characterized by simple language and a humorous and light narrative tone. This approach makes the Percy Jackson series suitable for a wide and diverse audience, allowing readers of different ages and abilities to immerse themselves in the fictional world created by the author.


An interesting point for a writer who wants to make a fantasy novel is the use of universal themes within the work. Despite the fantasy and mythological setting, Percy Jackson & The Olympians deals with themes such as friendship, courage, loyalty, and the struggle to find one's place in the world. The inclusion of these themes allows readers to connect emotionally with the characters and reflect on their own personal experiences.


The checklist

This lengthy guide can be summarized in a series of short points that will help you remember the basic rules for writing this kind of novel.


  1. Delve into the fantasy genre by studying reference works and successful authors.

  2. Define your fantasy subgenre (high fantasy, urban fantasy, etc.) and its characteristics.

  3. Create a coherent and original fictional universe that can sustain a series of novels.

  4. Develop a well-defined system of magic or powers with clear rules.

  5. Design memorable, multidimensional characters, including heroes, antiheroes, and villains.

  6. Reflect on the archetypes and nuances of typical characters in fantasy and other genres.

  7. Organize the main plot and subplots, taking into account the particularities of the fantasy genre.

  8. Add depth to your story through themes and subplots that engage the reader.

  9. Write realistic and meaningful dialogue, using language appropriate to your audience and setting.

  10. He creates vivid and engaging descriptions while avoiding excessive infodumps.

  11. Analyzes successful works in the fantasy genre, such as "Lord of the Rings," "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Harry Potter," "Game of Thrones," and "Percy Jackson & The Olympians," to understand the key elements that contributed to their success.


Famous quotes

  1. "A journey into Middle-earth is a journey into the reader's own consciousness." - J.R.R. Tolkien

  2. "Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?" - J.R.R. Tolkien

  3. "What is reality but a collection of past and present images, of dreams and hopes?" - C.S. Lewis

  4. "Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in life; it is a form of mental life that allows us to cross the boundary between the real and imaginary worlds." - C.S. Lewis

  5. "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

  6. "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  7. "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.... The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

  8. "The night is dark and full of terrors, but the fire burns them all." - George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

  9. "One cannot choose a life without colliding with death." - Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

  10. "Magic is just the science we don't know yet." - Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief


These quotes and aphorisms come from some of the most beloved fantasy works and celebrate the importance of imagination, courage, and knowledge in life and literature.



Here is a glossary of some common terms in the fantasy genre. However, it is important to remember that each fantasy work may have its own unique set of terms and definitions. This glossary provides a general basis for understanding the genre.


  • Alchemy: a form of magic or science that focuses on the transformation of substances, such as turning base metals into gold or creating magical elixirs.

  • Arcane: that which is secret, mysterious or hidden, often used to describe magical knowledge or practices.

  • Bestiary: a compendium of fantastic and mythological creatures found in a fantasy universe.

  • Clairvoyance: the ability to see hidden events or information, often through dreams, visions or magical objects.

  • Druid: a priest or priestess of nature, often associated with magical powers and knowledge of plants and animals.

  • Elemental: a magical creature composed of one of the basic elements: earth, air, fire or water.

  • Fairy: a mythological creature, often small and winged, associated with magic and nature.

  • Guild: an organization of individuals with similar interests or skills, such as mages, merchants, or thieves.

  • Spell: a magical formula or ritual used to produce a supernatural effect.

  • Magician: a practitioner of magic, often with extensive knowledge of spells and rituals.

  • Necromancy: a form of magic involving control of the dead or communication with spirits.

  • Oracle: a person or object that reveals the future or provides wisdom and advice.

  • Paladin: a holy warrior who fights for justice and the protection of the innocent, often with the help of divine powers.

  • Portal: a magical passage connecting two places, dimensions or planes of existence.

  • Prophet: an individual who receives divine revelations or visions of the future or significant events.

  • Races: the various intelligent species that populate a fantasy world, such as elves, dwarves, orcs and humans.

  • Shaman: a spiritual practitioner who communicates with the spirit world and uses magic to heal, foretell the future or exert control over the elements.

  • Sorcery: a form of magic often considered evil or dangerous, associated with curses, demons, and mind control.

  • Talisman: an enchanted object that provides magical powers or protection to its owner.

  • Vampire: an immortal creature that feeds on the blood of living beings to survive and maintain its strength and youth.

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