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Five Tips For Planning A Fantasy Novel - cont...

Tip 4. Make your characters believable. This is essential if you want to hook and keep readers interested in the story. A great way to achieve this is to apply logic to every character in every fantasy world you create. This means creating a set of rules that apply to the world and the character. The rules can be based on either real life or they can be simply invented by you. For example:

Your character is the leader of vampire-hunting gang who are tasked with travelling through time to search out and destroy the 12 original elders – the ones who turn all the others into vampires. They operate in secret to prevent panic among the general population, have a complex ritualistic code they work to whilst enduring a huge amount of stress as they try to lead convincing ‘normal’ lives with their families.

So, to make the characters believable they must:

  • keep their operations secret or face punishment
  • have valid reasons for their actions against the elders
  • have a weakness, some kind of limit on their ability to perform their role
  • have problems in their personal family lives, such as struggling to keep the two lives running smoothly
  • have the ability to interact with different times and locations
  • have the ability to interact with the ordinary and supernatural worlds

Tip 5. Make sure you keep careful notes of all the details you invent for your new fantasy world. This will help you maintain continuity throughout the novel. There are many ways of doing this, some writers like to have a set of cards with the details on, others set up spreadsheets; so play around with different systems to find one that suits you the best.

And, now you should be ready to start writing your new fantasy novel – have fun!

If you think you’d like to try writing a novel, why not read through our Novel and Short Story Writing course prospectus?


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Lizbeth Crawford"My debut novel, Hate To Love You, by Elise Alden (my pen name for contemporary and historical romance), received three offers of publication. I went with Harlequin Carina Press.

"So, thank you Writers Bureau, to which I am extremely grateful. The Novel and Short Story course gave me the tools I needed to write my first novel."

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