Writing a Fantasy novel GuideComposing a fantasy novel guide
Writing Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Real-Life Worlds - Writer's Edition
It is the quintessence of any good fantasy or sci-fi tale and the foundation for a feeling of place in other styles. A good worldview gives your writing an everlasting wealth and at the same time gives the reader the information he needs to comprehend signs and storylines. So how exactly were authors supposed to build realms in their fictions?
Fantasy realms - the construct of completely fictitious universe, which can be found above all in fantasy music. Alternative Realität - Re-imaginations of the detail of our current realm; loved by sci-fi authors. Factual Places - the evocation of a physical place in the universe, used in books without any element of the dream.
Let us begin by getting into the wonderful kingdom of fantasy-diction. It is understandable that the thought of making all these into a whole fictitious universe can be very discouraging - and the decision where to begin can seem almost unthinkable! J. R. R. Tolkien, writer of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and innumerable other classical works, began the evolution of Middle-earth in an extraordinary way: by first having created a whole fictitious vocabulary to be used by his people.
Tolkien, a philologian and gifted Linguistic scholar, created the elven tongue of Quenya and used it as a basis for the expansion of his imagined life into the wide, detailled and abundant central soil we know today. Obviously not all authors will be able (or interested) to create a fictitious formal idiom - but aspiring thinkers can take Tolkien's example to start.
You have a great point of departure by identifying an area of your imagined life that interests you most or is best suited to your development. You will find that parts of your globe are much easier to move to if you have a sound base from which to grow. Once you get the balloon moving by setting a start point, you need to start working out the detail that makes for a compelling, coherent fantasy game.
One good way to do this is to ask (and answer) a number of different kinds of question that relate to the different facets of your life. When you feel overpowered by all sorts of detail that you need to be covering, it is wise to first create a basic question table that you need to reply to your globe.
Much of the on-line resource, such as this listing from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website, contains issues about everything from welfare organization and governance to the principles of science fiction and fantasy technologies. While your universe may be a completely imagined one full of magical or invented technologies, it must still be ruled by the inner reasoning and law you have established for it, and must be consistent and careful.
It is likely that some issues do not relate to or directly influence your character and narratives, so choose which issues are most important to the issues you want to tell in your environment and concentrate on addressing the most important issues. Successfully telling a story comes from a subtile, shaded beginning to build your own universe through story details, descriptions and developmen.
Although the idea of a completely new realm is one of the most imaginative process a novelist can do, it is almost not possible to make something out of nothing. Of course - even if only unconsciously - you will integrate some element from the actual life into your imagination and history and use it as a basis for your inspirations.
George R. R. Martin's Serie A Song of Ice and Fire is a well-known fantasy hero with powerful historic influences. ASOIAF has been an inspiration to many of its elements: the Rosary Crusades, the Glencoe massacre and the Hadrian Wall, to name but a few.
Or if you think your kingdom lacks substance and authenticity, perhaps take a page from Mr. Martin's (extremely long) volume and immerse yourself in the story of the physical universe to be inspired. Fill your globe by forming, customizing, or painting similarities to actual places, sights, central occurrences, or even historic people.
One interesting way to create contrasts or conflicts in your history is to develop your fictitious environment next to or within an establishment - for example here on Earth. Probably the most illustrious example of this reality/fancy crossover is J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter serial, which contains a completely invented universe of mystery hiding on today's Earth.
As the protagonist from whose point of views the narrative is presented, Harry himself is as alien to this universe as the reader at the beginning. We are presented to every human being, every place, every detail and every experiance right next to Harry; how he travels into this magic new realm and gets his answers to his own question, so do we as a reader.
In the Diagon Alley Harry explores his magic new life. Such an attitude not only brings deepness and kinship into your history, but also raises issues about the notion of an alternative real. Like creating an fictional universe, but a little less challenging because of the basis you have to work with, constructing an alternative truth is a kind of worldview often found in dystopic, spectacular and sci-fi.
As you create an alien realm, you develop an alien vision of our own earth, imagine how things could be different, and ask what these distinctions would mean to people. Writers often use this type of writing to articulate their thoughts about the mistakes of mankind and the modern day life and to explore the implications that these mistakes can have to them.
The most important thing to ask yourself as a novelist who imagines an alternative situation is: what if? Suppose a certain important historic occasion had never occurred.
Those are the issues you should be asking yourself as you evolve the distinctions between your own universe and the actual one. You are the core of the changes, struggles and implications that you should explore through your alternative environment, its people and story. An essential distinction between the creation of an alternative truth and the creation of an fictional realm is the exposure to the unbelief you can ask of your reader.
We have explored the fantasy and sci-fi realms we imagined above - Westeros and Essos, the realms of Middle-earth - imagining a whole new universe that has nothing to do with our own. This total distance from the real situation means that the reader enters into a situation with a higher degree of toleration for things that would otherwise have disrupted the rationale of the film.
For example, the reader would never think of questioning the fact that a magical ring has the ability to control the universe; they will also less likely challenge the fact that a young maiden is beginning to conquer a realm when a dragon is implicated in the math! However, in the alternative fictional realism you have to try a little bit more in order to drag the reader deeply into your own universe - and to keep it there.
An urban image from another realm. The best way to establish your alternative realities is to clarify the timeframe in which you want to hire them. How long will your history be related to the actual state? Should you decide to transcribe the past, use the present of forbearance to envision what could have been; think of it as an alternative fact historic invention if you will.
One well-known example is sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, who is exploring our world'as it could have been' if the result of the Second Worid War had been different. However, this story-telling technique is also a favourite car for tales of traveling through history; H. G. Wells' central novel The Machine of History and newer works such as Stephen King's 22.11.63 are great samples of trophies of time travelling that are actually used to investigate alternative states.
It is often similar to those who re-write the past, as it often presents dramatically changed historic occurrences against their own backdrop. The major distinction, however, is that today's narratives are focused exclusively on depicting an alternative view of the contemporary realm, rather than re-writing it.
The Harry Potter line, although primarily a fantasy, could also be regarded as an alternative to the Earth, in Britain today, but it is largely located in a magic universe buried in our own. After all, the idea of the present can be used as a reminder or project of what could happen if today's global landscape does not alter its course.
Suzanne Collins' beloved Famine Games triology and Aldous Huxley's highly regarded novel "Beautiful New World" from 1931 also raise issues about the demoralization of the humankind that point to the kind of scenarios that could be expected for ours. 11/22/63' by Stephen King examines an alternative variation of the story.
To be a convincing alternative view of the rest of the world, you must first be familiar with the facts of the actual one. No matter whether you set up your alternative realities in a realistic place or reimagine a historical experience, you' ll find out everything about its true equivalent and integrate your own wisdom into your new interpretations.
Orwell' s 1984 novel, as noted above, is perhaps the best-known example of a novel that explores an alternative world. It' s evident that he really knew his things before he brought his alternative futurist visions to live. Dystopic and post-apocalyptic fictions have experienced a rapid ascent in recent years, especially in the subgenre of young adults.
Hungry Games Tricology, perhaps the most beloved of the group, has produced a wealth of YA stories playing in rhymaginated version of Earth, and it's simple to understand why. An important choice when writing in this category is how you will handle the Apocalypse yourself.
It is the most frequent option to put the story after the incident and to describe its episodes (therefore "post-apocalyptic fiction" becomes a known gender in itself). Serials like the Hunger Games and Maze Runner Tricilogies as well as independent books like Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Richard Matheson's much customized I Am Legend, take the post-apocalyptic approach.
By choosing this story-telling approach, you can read some of the most successful books, such as Lucifer and Larry Niven's Hammer by Jerry Pournelle, The Stance by Stephen King and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Well, if you're not an author of fantasy or sci-fi, you're probably asking yourself if it makes sense to learn something about fashion.
Other than sci-fi and fantasy, the practices of worldbuilding are more well-known than the creation of a place. The place plays an important part in every history and is often used with great effect in fictional literature. With a particularly pronounced local feeling, the settings become a figure in themselves, embodying, reflecting, supporting and enriching the narration at every turn.
Wherever possible, the best thing to do is to have a good quality of fun wherever you play your game. If you write about the place where you grew up or spend most of your lifetime; if you know the place inside out, it will be much simpler to draw a compelling and appealing image for your reader.
Brontë Brothers are a great example of authors who rely on their own influence and the environment to build a powerful local feeling. Emily's only novel, Wuthering Heights, weaves a dark countryside of British moorland so strongly into her story that it becomes a final personality in itself. Charlotte's most famous work, Jane Eyre, portrays a 19 th centurys British dormitory; alongside Anne's first novel, Agnes Grey, Jane Eyre also investigates living as a Governante in a aristocratic household (and as a wife in Victorian England).
The brontës are by no means the be-all and end-all when it comes to giving you a feeling of the place - record every good novel in a certain place and get a few hints. It is sometimes - for example in a novel that goes back 50 years - not possible to authentically discover the place you write about.
Historic literature is a good source for those who want to create everlasting, genuine literature that plays in past times and places. A vast fictional history contains a plethora of songs to inspire, but a good point of departure could be the exploration of the work:
The French Revolution, Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities creates particularly graphic pictures of London and Paris; Chinua Achebe - a Nigerian writer whose Africa triology, in particular Things Case Apart, draws a distinctive portrayal of post-colonial Africa; Philippa Gregory - writer of The Other Boleyn Girl, who specializes in the history of Britain, which focuses on the histories of the nobility.
Which kind of fictive universe will you create? In the aftermath, you probably feel a little overpowered by the hassle of building a whole word by word - whether this word is fictitious, actual or somewhere in between. Have a well-deserved rest, make a nice glass of coffee and put your life aside for the moment.