Writing a Fantasy Novel in 19 Easy Steps

While looking for my earliest book list last week I stumbled across many interesting things, including a chapter by chapter blueprint for producing the first volume in an epic fantasy series that I planned to write in my late teens, but fortunately there never seemed to be enough time.

I thought it might be interesting to reproduce it here (yes, it’s a slow news/Pete’s busy kind of week), and if any of you do feel inspired to go and write it yourself please do so with my blessing:-

1) Becomes a man. Is told of the strange circumstances of his birth.

2) Parents killed. Swears vengeance.

3) Confrontation with overlord. News of war.

4) Enlists in King’s army. Training as soldier.

5) Army life. Friendship with mercenary.

6) Battle of the pass.

7) The journey to the capital city.

8) Life in the city. Quarrel with the mercenary.

9) The siege.

10) Escape from city with royal prince.

11) Shipboard life.

12) Taken prisoner by the Sea Wolves.

13) The Prince betrayed. Storm.

14) Washed up on island. Taken prisoner.

15) Sacrifice to Bella Nostra. Fight with monster.

16) Escape from island.

17) Journey overland.

18) Journey through forest.

19) Arrival in Younger Kingdoms. Knighted by King.

It all seems relatively straightforward to me. I really don’t see why fantasy readers make such a fuss about that Martin chap and all his Game of Thrones malarkey.

So any of the rest of you ever take a look back at literary plans and abandoned/unstarted projects and wonder where the heck your heads were at, or is it just me?

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2 Responses to Writing a Fantasy Novel in 19 Easy Steps

  1. It’s a funny thing about story ideas: No matter how good the idea may be, it seems like if you don’t write the actual story within a certain period of time from the original point of inspiration (and it varies by idea, for reasons I don’t know– could be months for some, years for others), the story just never gets written. Maybe the idea just doesn’t seem that fresh anymore, or you yourself have changed, or you figure if you haven’t attempted it in all this time, there must be a reason. (That’s a terrible experience, to start a story, get so many pages in it, then realize there’s nothing there. Doesn’t happen that often to me, but when it does, all I can do is smile apologetically, put my clothes back on, and leave.)

    • petertennant says:

      Interesting point Rob, though in this case I’m rather glad that I never attempted the book as, looking back from the perspective of my 58 year old self, that synopsis seems to reek of banality.

      You’re right though, that some ideas come with expiry dates/shelf life. Others are ‘use now before it’s too late’, but we seldom know until it is too late.

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