Flavor of the Month: Fascinating Fantasy

Flavor of the Month: Fascinating Fantasy

A Lesson by Camille Corbett

Because unicorns don't come out your a*s, they come out of your imagination.


Ah fantasy, glorious, imaginative, and down right beautiful, fantasy. This lesson is for writers who were told they were like fantasy writers in the application I put on the previous lesson. First let's define what fantasy is.

Fantasy: a genre that uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting. Many works within the genre take place in fictional worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from science fiction in that it does not provide a logical (or pseudo logical) explanation for the scientifically impossible events that occur, though there is a great deal of overlap between the two (both are subgenres of speculative fiction).

When writing fantasy one should adhere to these 5 simple tips, and they should be on their way to greatness.

1.) Like in all genres, it is important for a fantasy writer to WRITE EVERYDAY!

2.) It is important to make the made up world you have, elaborate. If you are writing a novel about a world, write a few short stories that takes place in your made up world before beginning your novel, so you are comfortable writing about it, and it becomes more real.

3.) Even in your made up world, your characters should be very normal and relatable. Readers will like to connected with something familiar in this new foreign world.

4.) I love when fantasy books talk about food, it's almost like you travel to real place and try all the foods, it's marvelous. So try to incorporate food, for everyone eats, so it makes the world even more relatable.

5.) Also, try to make your style very warm, using conversational diction and medium to long complex sentences that illustrate things perfectly.

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Posted 13 Years Ago

1)Some people do best when they write every day; others do best when they write in short, intense bursts with plenty of "down time" to recharge both halves of the brain in between.

2) I don't think it's necessary to actually write short stories about a setting first (my own short stories came after the novel in which I first used that setting), but it is definitely a good idea to do something to become comfortable, as you say, with the world you're writing about. That probably does a lot to prevent over-description of setting, too.

3) "Normal" and "relatable" are relative terms. What is normal for me is possibly not normal for you, or for the next person who reads this lesson. If the author can relate to the characters, though, that is sure to make the writing better - makes it easier to get inside the characters' heads and thus easier to describe their emotions and motivations as well as their actions.

4) If you like fantasy novels that talk about food, you should read Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos novels. He always talks about what the characters ate; one novel in that series even begins each chapter with a detailed description of a meal - almost detailed enough to serve as recipes for those foods.

5) What if a warm style with conversational diction isn't appropriate for the story that is being told? It absolutely would NOT have worked for any of the stories that H. P. Lovecraft wrote, just as one example. And while I generally like medium-to-long complex sentences myself (I was once accused of writing like Faulkner, even though I'd never read anything by him), sometimes that isn't appropriate, either. Occasionally, the most basic noun-verb-object sentences - or even just noun-verb - convey the scene better.

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Added on August 8, 2010
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Camille Corbett
Camille Corbett

Marietta, GA

I'm a 21 year old Fulbright ETA writing to kill the time and find my sanity. I have been gone for a while. But I have returned, so watch out for some new stories.