Magic is a mainstay–some might even argue a defining characteristic–of fantasy fiction. A writer determines whether magic follows a system of rules or leaves it mysterious and unexplained when building the world the story is set in. That is only the first step of using magic in fantasy fiction, however. The writer then needs to decide how they will depict the use of magic by the inhabitants of the world.
The means and methods of using magic really adds flavor to the setting of a fantasy fiction story. Witches and shamans casting bones or reading entrails sets a very different tone from wizened old men with long, white beards invoking the Read more
I recently attended an employer-mandated cultural competency course, and while I don’t feel any more culturally competent than I did before the workshop, one of the exercises we participated in provided a great template for constructing a detailed culture in twenty minutes. I’ve talked before about how important it is to flesh out cultures when world-building for your fantasy fiction story. Now I’m going to give you 7 easy steps to do just that. Read more
If you haven’t read my previous posts on building a fantasy fiction world, you’ve missed out on discussions about using geography to support your story, integrating the history of your fantasy world without resorting to large information dumps, and creating dynamic inter-character relationships by developing cultural factors like race, religion, government and social mores. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fantasy world without magic.
Much like methods for world-building, how a writer handles magic generally falls somewhere between two poles: a system of extensive rules or no explanation whatsoever. Unlike world-building, where you can find a happy medium somewhere along the continuum, if you stray too far from the poles with magic, you’ll end up with confused and dissatisfied readers. Read more
All life is created, and must, therefore, have a creator. Jord created the world and filled it with life. Then He created the Nefilum as stewards over the world. The Nefilum rebelled against their task, however, and turned to the worship of demons, seeking dominion over the natural world. Jord was grieved, but He could not bring Himself to destroy that which He made. So He created a vast wasteland that divided the world in two. In the east, He left the Nefilum to fend for themselves. In the west, He created a second race, the Ayla.
Most fantasy fiction writers begin their stories in the middle. That is, the present era of the world they’ve created. This doesn’t mean they haven’t developed ideas of what has gone before. Often, it’s just the opposite. A writer may have detailed notes concerning the history of their fantasy world, which they reference throughout the events of their novel. Who knows, they may even go back and publish that history as a novel on its own. Read more