*sing song voice*
La-di-da… I’m going to conjure up a beautiful creature and put her in an illustrious world filled with adventure, endless possibilities, and unfailing love.
I’m writing my first Fantasy novel, and it is outrageously difficult. I’d like to take this opportunity to share a little about my new WIP (work in progress) and warn you. If you’re willing to jump into the quicksand, better known as fantasy, don’t freak out. There are a few things I’ve learned over the last few months that have kept me from sinking and suffocating, and I hope you find them helpful…
1. Stay calm.
I’m a little weird about plotting (planning out my story) and pantsing (writing and seeing where it takes me). I normally do a little of both, and I’ve learned that with Fantasy I have to plot significantly more. The key is to NOT overwhelm yourself with all the things dancing in your brain-space. I’ve managed to stay sane by keeping a notebook of ideas, timeline, and character bios. I also find Pinterest to be useful. I have a board for the novel I’m writing, and pin things that inspire me.
You can’t tell me these images don’t blow your mind…
2. Exhibit enough patience to wriggle through the world development.
Building your world can’t be rushed. In the same way a flailing, erratic individual sinks deeper into quicksand, you will find yourself buried in otherworldly landscapes, politics, races, and history. Take one aspect of your fantasy world at a time and start with the beginning. It’s easier to understand why things are the way they are if you flesh out how they all got there. Patience is a virtue, and it’ll prove to be an advantage in the middle of your novel when you’ve already worked out the religious beliefs of your alien race and have to write a scene between to characters that can’t be together because one worships the stars while the other prays to the moons.
Note: Creating cultures and authority that scratch the surface of reality makes your story more believable. In my current WIP, there is a specific social class that is completely consumed with itself. (Sound a bit familiar.)
3. Exercise insight so you can see the end of your story through the gooey snares of plot, characters, and setting.
Getting ensnared by the twisting plots and subplots, consumed by the characters, and lost in the setting is easy with Fantasy. I easily slip into the role of co-piloting my Millennium Falcon (a.k.a. Hyundai Elantra) on long drives with Chewbaca… I mean my hubby! LOL! It’s even more effortless to slip behind the eyes of my main character in my current WIP. I have to be careful not to get so caught up in her that I loose another character along the way. Each subplot should compliment, and remain vivid to the reader through the story.
If you can escape drowning in it all, you just might survive feeling successful as a storyteller. Dreaming of new landscapes and the people that inhabit them is what Fantasy is all about, but constructing those worlds takes some back-breaking work.