The Writer’s Toolshed

How To Create A Fantasy Castle, Keep And Fortress

Reading Time: 17 minutes 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

Reading Time: 8 minutes 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!

Killer Diseases of the Middle Ages

Reading Time: 9 minutes 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 To Write A Flashback | Essential Tips

Reading Time: 9 minutes Why the hostility toward flashbacks? If done well, they work. But done badly, they break the reader’s experience, preventing them from discovering what happens next in the story. To quote editor, Sol Stein, “If we are enthralled, we don’t want to be interrupted.” The trick, therefore, if you feel compelled to use one, is to use the flashback in as little a disruptive way as possible. Here are a few techniques to help you do that.

Religion In Fantasy

Reading Time: 8 minutes Religion and belief systems feature a great deal in the fantasy genre, and it’s unsurprising why. Religion, faiths and beliefs shape our own lives in a multitude of ways, providing purpose, meaning and structure.