Let’s say you’ve decided to venture into fantasy writing. And you want to come up with something out of the ordinary. Well, here’s some good news: this guide explains all of the key ingredients you need to write epic fantasy.
Over years this genre has slowly been defined by specialists who have mastered crafting high-stakes plots and engaging narratives from scratch. In this guide, we’ll take a look at them.
In particular, we’ll explore the importance of creating a fantasy world, having interesting plot points and offering some useful advice on how to structure a novel.
If you have any questions at all after or during this article, don’t hesitate to contact me.
How To Write Epic Fantasy – The Key Ingredients
So, let’s take a look at how to write epic fantasy. The best place to start is with the subgenre’s key ingredients.
With its sweeping landscapes, magic, and unforgettable characters, epic fantasy has captured our attention for decades. That’s why it is unsurprising to see so many of us want to craft gems in this genre and inspire others.
Writing epic fantasy is no easy feat, though. It requires skill and thorough planning to create a compelling and engaging novel that will keep readers hooked from beginning to end. This section explores examples of things high-stakes fantasy plots and engaging narratives should have.
A Rich, Immersive Setting
One of the first steps is to create a world in that readers can get lost. That will involve a lot of research and planning, but it’s all worth it. After all, you want a well-developed world which will add depth and complexity to the story, making it feel more realistic and compelling. Geography, history, and culture are some of the details you should pay attention to.
However, it’s important to strike a balance when it comes to worldbuilding. If you can, refrain from revealing every little detail you’ve created. The temptation to do so is always there; you’ve spent an age creating this brilliant setting in the first place.
But too much world building can bloat your reader to the point of boredom. To avoid this, strike a balance. Look to include details at relevant parts of the story and reveal them in natural and organic ways.
Click Here To Learn More About Worldbuilding
A Highly Engaging Plot
Another early step is coming up with a plot. And a high-stakes one will keep readers on the edge of their seats. That sounds like a daunting undertaking, but it’s not impossible. Your project will not get underway until you establish a sense of urgency and tension, which will, in turn, propel the story to the end.
Setting up a conflict with consequences, if not resolved, is always a good starting point. And you can pay someone to do assignments that involve brainstorming fantasy story plot ideas that follow this route. This way, you can relax as an experienced writer of your choice comes up with an original plot for you without spending a fortune—that’s a good shortcut anyway.
The good thing is that you can chat to and forth to ensure you get what you want. You can also delegate any other writing-related assignment you do not have time for.
Finally, make the plot more engaging by creating a reason for personal investment. That involves developing well-rounded, relatable characters that your readers will care about. If you are writing about an ancient curse threatening to destroy the world, give readers a reason to root for the characters as they try to save themselves.
Click Here To Learn More About Plotting A Story
The Magic Spell
A key component of the epic fantasy subgenre is magic.
Depending on the type of story you wish to tell, it may be the central component of your fantasy novel. The goal here is to make it as believable and consistent as possible. Remember, magic can cheapen the stakes if it’s too powerful, beyond belief, or loosely defined. Coming up with the perfect system of spells is, therefore, essential, but don’t feel the need to define it to the minute details.
One theory in the writing world is that the more magic is defined the less magical it is. It’s the unpredictable and surprising nature of magic that can be alluring. This more loosely-defined approach is known as a soft magic system. Whereas a more rigorously defined one is known as a hard magic system.
Make The Reader Care About Your Characters
It doesn’t matter how dramatic or great your plot is, if your readers don’t care about the characters, chances are they’re not going to get far enough into the story to see the events unfold.
The temptation with epic fantasy is to focus on the plot and create almost 2D figures to take the reader through those events. However, a big part of storytelling is exploring the characters’ reactions to the points of conflict they encounter in the story.
For example, if a young hero (a cobbler by trade) is thrust into the frontline of a battle with a race of winged beasts he’s never heard of before, including no introspective reflection or development after that battle makes for a flat story. It’s these inner conflicts that readers care about. We get to know the character as we see them tested, we watch them grow, and that way we begin to care about them.
Head Here To See Some Character Development Examples
Structure, Tone, And Pacing Of Epic Fantasy Novels
Mastering the elements of crafting high-stakes plots and engaging narratives is only half the battle. Paying attention to pacing, structure, and tone, as discussed below, is also vital. Let’s dive in.
It’s advisable to give your novel a clear beginning, middle, and end. There should be a nice flow to the story, with each scene and chapter gradually leading to the next. A good rule of thumb is to subject your plot to the three-act structure, which splits it into an intro, body, and conclusion.
You can also look at my own system I call character plotting which is great for ensuring your story has no dull parts.
Just like any other niche, some styles of epic fantasy can have a common tone. And it’s one that sits close to the mood and literary themes of the story. If it’s dark and foreboding, for example, the writing should reflect that.
The same applies to a lighter and more adventurous style. Consistency is key here. Make sure the tone remains the same from start to finish.
Pacing is all about the rhythm of the story. The highs and lows of novel books, in other words.
Good pacing is one of the characteristics of perfect storytelling, so to try ensure your moments of intense action and high tension get complimented by those of quiet reflection and character development. In addition to helping build emotional investment in your fantasy characters’ ideas and the story, the latter makes the former feel even more impactful.
Reflections On How To Write Epic Fantasy
Crafting high-stakes plots and engaging narratives can be challenging but rewarding. You could liken it to solving a puzzle where everything makes sense at the end.
Remember, the consequences of failing to meet an obligation in your story must be severe for the characters in the novel. That also needs to be established early on and consistently reinforced throughout the story. This will go a long way in ensuring that the narrative is engaging enough to keep the reader invested.
Learn More About Fantasy Writing
There’s a lot that goes into knowing how to write epic fantasy, but hopefully, these tips have helped. Below, you can find some more resources and links on fantasy writing that you may find useful:
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