The Writer’s Toolshed

Fantasy Castle Ideas And Designs

We’ve lost more than we know, but what we have retained has inspired some, if not all, of the greatest fantasy stories in one way or another. Taking the time to do a bit of research on what you’re writing about will empower your storytelling and, hopefully, enthral your readers. Today we’re besieging the fortifications which dominated the Middle Ages, and of course which feature in our beloved fantasy genre.

Medieval Cannons: The Essential Guide

For Fantasy Friday this week, I thought we’d return to medieval warfare and to something I don’t come across all too often in the fantasy stories I read: the cannon. This article covers the development of European cannons, how they were made, the gunpowder used, and how they fared in battle. Hopefully, it’ll give you a few ideas for your own tales!

How To Create Suspense In Writing

We’ve all read that novel where at some point you put it down and forget it ever existed until you trip over it one day and then in a state of annoyance donate it to the charity shop. It failed to grip you, to compel you to go on. Often the culprit is a lack of suspense—the glue that binds the reader’s hands to the covers.

Killer Diseases of the Middle Ages

Diseases ravaged the lives of millions of people throughout the Middle Ages. A combination of bad diet, poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation and an ill-informed understanding of medicine left many people vulnerable to fatal infections.

Given many fantasy stories have a medieval setting, similar circumstances would give rise to diseases in a secondary world. As we’ll see, this presents interesting opportunities for the fantasy writer.

How Do You Know When To Rewrite Your Story?

When all you have for counsel is yourself, you can never be sure if a re-write is the right thing to do. What if the original version is better? What if I’ve made it worse? There are, however, some things we can do to help make this crucial and difficult decision a little easier.

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