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Dramedy Writer

Joining Fw For Ideas

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Hi Fantasy Writers!

 

In the past, I’ve written Fantasy in the subgenre of Time Travel. I don’t currently have a Fantasty manuscript in progress, but I do have an idea cooking in my head, one I plan to tackle when I finish my current Historical Fiction manuscript. I’m joining because I’d like to break out of the time travel subgenre and try my hand at Medieval Fantasy, but the idea of world-building is slightly terrifying. So I’m here to get my feet wet, so to speak. I’d love some book recommendations from you all!

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1 hour ago, Ironroad28 said:

I've got an idea that I've been working on, but I'd love to have help with it.  Let me know if you're interested.

 

Sure, I’ll help as much as I’m able! I’m a bit elementry in my ideas for Fantasy stories. ?

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On 3/1/2019 at 8:50 PM, Dramedy Writer said:

the idea of world-building is slightly terrifying

I'm going to try to not overwhelm you with ideas, but I'm going to share a little of my world-building process for my fantasy WIP.

 

So Medieval Fantasy will be based on Medieval times and cultures. Now one of the things I did was start with a culture. By this I'm meaning worldviews, philosophies etc. I definitely do have elements of Medieval European culture in the one nation, but I've used that as a starting place. Look around, check out other cultures/people groups from that time period, pick and choose what you like and go from there.

 

So that's the cultural side, and what I started with. I then started playing with maps of my world. Now you may or may not have some "key" physical points that you want/need - I certainly did. This helps, because then the intimidating blank page (I can't draw very well) has a couple locations sketched out already. From there, I actually digressed into a short study weather and climate and mountain ranges and ocean currents. I did this because I had rough ideas of what weather patterns/climate I wanted for specific areas, and I wanted to create something that closely mirrored this world. Now I'm definitely not saying that you should do this (unless you really want to) - this is just what I did. 

 

My next step (and this one will be continual as I write) was to start thinking about the animals/creatures/plants etc. that I wanted. One key thing that readers have come to expect in fantasy are fantasy creatures. You can go with the common ones (orcs, goblins, unicorns, dragons), some less common ones (satyrs, centaurs, minotaurs), or go with making your own. Going with the ones that you see often can be restricting, because then there are expectations as to their powers and abilities. With the less common ones, you'll have a little more freedom as to what they can/can't do, and also already have them designed. Creating your own gives you complete freedom, but can also be risky in that readers won't have a pre-existing idea from which they can draw. In this department, I've actually looked to Greek mythology and other ancient myths and legends, and am probably going to go with creating my own critters, because I'm wanting to tailor-make them for specific purposes and so far, none of the creatures for recycling fit the purpose.

 

So that's been my (on-going) world-building process. I've built a rough framework and now am building as I go. This has really been super fun to do. 

 

One final note, and this could be a controversial one - magic. Christian fantasy doesn't really delve into the use of magic, and you're going to have to decide if you want to include it or not. If you do, then give some thought to various things like who can use it, if they need special things to perform spells, if it costs anything to the individual or the surroundings. 

 

On 3/1/2019 at 8:50 PM, Dramedy Writer said:

I’d love some book recommendations from you all!

Obviously, J. R. R. Tolkien's works (I found "The Hobbit" the easiest to read, and if you know the LOTR stories, then you're just really missing "The Silmirillion"); C. S. Lewis' "Narnia"; and I would add George MacDonald into the mix for "classic" fantasy ("The Princess and the Goblin" is the most beautiful children's fantasy story, and one of my all-time favorites). Then there's George Bryan Polivka - I've only read his "Blaggard's Moon" and absolutely loved it. He does a spectacular job of creating his world, specific creatures in it, and writes a very good story to boot. This is kind-of where my expertise for fantasy runs dry, but I do recommend Ted Dekker's "The Circle" series. It's not pure fantasy, but he does an incredible job of world-building. And the stories are epic.

 

Basically, read fantasy books, watch fantasy movies, and take note of the background - what works in this world? what doesn't? what do you like? what don't you like? what has become the accepted norm for this genre?

 

Okay, I'll stop myself there. Have fun!

Edited by Claire Tucker
Added another book recommendation

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Thanks for sharing your method, @Claire Tucker, and thank you for the book recommendations! I read the Chronicles of Narnia as a kid and loved all those book. I need to read Tolkien too. I’ve loved the Ted Decker books I’ve read and will have to give “The Circle” series a try. ?

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On 3/20/2019 at 1:08 PM, Claire Tucker said:

Now one of the things I did was start with a culture. By this I'm meaning worldviews, philosophies etc.

 

This is what I have done in both of my current WIP's. After that, I just let my imagination run and build my world from there. I'm having a lot of fun designing it in my mind. I do like that idea that was posted a while back about creating a world map. I have drawn one by hand and keep adding and changing as necessary but to have it in color from an app or something sounds really cool! Good luck and I would love to help you in any way if I can!

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The "Prydain" series, based on Welsh legends and mythology was one I enjoyed as a child. I felt the author did a good job creating his world. Unfortunately I cannot now remember his name. I mean, there is only one Tolkien, but this is another writer who did a good, solid job.

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On 4/3/2019 at 12:13 PM, RL Childers said:

Good luck and I would love to help you in any way if I can!

Thank you! I appreciate your offer. 

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2 hours ago, Zee said:

The "Prydain" series, based on Welsh legends and mythology was one I enjoyed as a child. I felt the author did a good job creating his world.

Thank you, Zee! I will check it out.

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Patrick W. Carr - The Staff and the Sword and Darkwater trilogies are in medievalish settings

Stephen R. Lawhead - Byzantium is a medieval journey roaming across Europe

Ross Lawhead - The Ancient Earth trilogy is a crossover between modern and ancient/medieval times

R.J. Larson and Jill Williamson have trilogies based on Old Testament times which could still be helpful and are excellent series; Books of the Infinite and The Kinsman Chronicles respectively.

 

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8 hours ago, Natalia Whilks said:

Patrick W. Carr - The Staff and the Sword and Darkwater trilogies are in medievalish settings

Stephen R. Lawhead - Byzantium is a medieval journey roaming across Europe

Ross Lawhead - The Ancient Earth trilogy is a crossover between modern and ancient/medieval times

R.J. Larson and Jill Williamson have trilogies based on Old Testament times which could still be helpful and are excellent series; Books of the Infinite and The Kinsman Chronicles respectively.

Thank you Natalia! I read some of Carr and Larson a while back. Thanks so much for your recommendations!

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