Tips for Writing Fantasy Novels and The Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books

Tips for Writing Fantasy Novels and The Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books

Tips for Writing Fantasy Novels and The Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books

The fantasy genre endures for many reasons. It transports us to other worlds, stimulating the imagination. It draws on powerful archetypes and symbols. Read these tips for writing captivating high fantasy novels. We have also covered the benefits of buying second hand books in addition to the major content. 

Read and re-read.  

You can only write as well as you read. Study the classics of the fantasy genre, taking note of what grabs you about each fantasy author’s approach—for example, world-building, character development, or plot twists—and how the storyteller navigates the aspects you find most daunting. You can reread your favorite fantasy books while applying the same lens. 

Tie your worldbuilding into your plot 

Plot and worldbuilding should see eye-to-eye. “You want to be original, so ask yourself, what sets my world apart?” says Alex Foster, a ghostwriter who has penned eight bestsellers. Importantly, a rich universe can be a major player in your plot — playing as big of a role as any other character. 

“In A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin uses the environment as a plot point when describing both summer and winter seasons — as winter brings dark, dead things that can wipe out the entire Realm,” says Foster. “He also adds architecture as a plot point in the form of the Wall, a massive ice edifice separating the North and the South. How fascinating that such a massive piece of plot centers around a single wall. Sounds simple, but you can see its complexity. Stephen King also does an expert job in Under the Dome, when a small town is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by a giant, transparent dome.” 

Know your market.  

For first-time fantasy writers, it’s especially important to consider your audience. Are you writing for kids, young adults, or more mature readers? Which of the many fantasy subgenres would your story fall into: high fantasy, steampunk, dystopian, paranormal? Identifying your market can help with a sales strategy as well as inform creative decisions. 

Start small.  

Creating a fictional universe is a massive endeavor. Get to know your fantasy world by writing short stories involving your main character or others—with no plans to publish. Before writing The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien penned multiple unreleased tales set in Middle-Earth. Doing so allows you to shape your fantasy fiction without pressure. 

Choose a point of view.  

A fantasy novel or fantasy series can play out in third-person via an omniscient narrator, or first-person through the eyes of one character or many. While the first approach lets you dole out details however you please, allowing your characters to lead means your readers will discover the world as they do, building in suspense and surprise. 

Avoid high fantasy clichés 

Fantasy lovers may expect certain tropes (common features) of the genre. Even so, your world will be all the more striking if it is at least a little original. Mythical creatures such as dragons and centaurs are well-represented by now, for example. This doesn’t mean you can’t use mythical creatures that are familiar. After all, most symbols, plots and other elements of fiction are continuously recycled. Yet you can subvert reader expectations and create a strong sense of your world as a distinct place. 

For example, dragons have often been described as hoarders. An extensive list of overused fantasy plots and character types includes the cliché where a girl ‘is held captive by evil dragon who finds her entertaining, thus saving her from becoming crispy fried.’ 

As an example, this trope could be reversed. George R.R. Martin does exactly this in the fifth novel of his A Song of Ice and Fire series: The character Daenerys Targaryen holds dragons captive herself, confining them in a cage to prevent them from wreaking further havoc. 

Meet your characters.  

Avoid tired fantasy tropes by designing characters who are as complex, unique, and imperfect as people in the real world. If you can literally sketch your characters, do so—if not, write down everything you can about them. “Interview” your characters by asking each a standard set of questions about their motives, emotions, habits, and history. 

Outline your story.  

Novel writing is always complicated business, but telling a fantasy story is typically challenging. Even the pros use outlines to keep track of their timelines, plots, and characters—J.K. Rowling has shared bits of her handmade Harry Potter spreadsheet. Such a practice ensures no thread gets lost, and provides a way forward if you get stuck. 

Make, and keep, rules.  

Even the most epic fantasy has to be grounded in its own reality so that it feels believable. If this is your first book set in a fictional world, consider researching some societal basics like politics or economics. Ask obvious questions like, “Where do rivers come from?” Even magic systems can, and should, have their own plausible rationale. 

Write authentic dialog.  

Your characters’ respective styles of speech can speak to moods and motivations, as well as their cultural origins within the civilization you’ve created. Rather than cram unnatural amounts of exposition into the conversation, use action to advance the plot while treating dialog as an opportunity to convey a better sense of who your characters are. 

Take your time.  

Once you’ve built a unique world and populated it with rich characters, it can be tempting to explain everything and introduce everyone in the first few pages, but doing so could overwhelm the reader. Instead, reveal your carefully crafted fiction bit by bit, using all five senses to bring the world to life as the narrative draws your audience deeper into the tale. 

Second Hand Books 

The new method to read is through second hand books. Buying used books is a cheap, entertaining, and environmentally friendly method to buy books, whether for practical reasons or personal pleasure. The NEW method to read is through second hand books. When it comes to purchasing books, we virtually always choose second hand books for both practical and personal reasons. It's a less expensive, more enjoyable, and more environmentally friendly way to purchase books. Here are the main advantages of buying used books without further ado!  

Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books  

Buying second hand books is less expensive!  

Why spend $30 on a new hardcover book that you'll only read once and then use as a paperweight? A used book store or a yard sale are likely to have the same novel for a considerably lower price. Because second hand books aren't always in mint condition, retailers discount them significantly. You may get second hand books for as little as a $1 in some situations!  

If you're serious about getting the greatest deals on second hand books, we’d even suggest respectfully bartering with the proprietors to get a better deal. If you're buying several second hand books, you might be able to save money by bundling them. Overall, if you're the type of reader who devours novels in a hurry, buying old used books can save you a lot of money.  

Buying second hand books is a way to show your support for small businesses in your community.  

Second hand bookstores, which are typically tiny and local, are one of the greatest places to buy second hand books. Buying used novels rather than new books from big-box stores might help you support your neighborhood and connect with local bookshop owners and fellow readers. Second hand stores frequently host events such as author Q&As or weekly book groups. One second hand novel can thus introduce you to an entire universe of other enthusiastic readers.  

Buying second hand books gives used books a new lease of life.  

There's virtually nothing worse to me than finishing a book and then letting it accumulate dust on the shelf for a few years. Thousands of perfectly decent second hand books are buried in attics and basements all around the world, according to us. Books are worth more, and buying second hand books encourages a culture of giving back. When you buy second hand books, you are confirming that there is a market for this type of product and assisting stores who promote these ideas in remaining in business.  

Consider giving back if you are the type of person who frequently purchases gently used novels. One of the finest sensations in the world is donating books. Giving the gift of reading to someone who might not otherwise be able to afford it can be really satisfying. Even exchanging the book you just finished for a different second hand book can help to ensure that all books have a second opportunity and a life beyond the bookshelf.  

The "Old-School" Charm of Second Hand Books  

Give us the musty, shredded pages instead of that new book fragrance. To be honest, we’ve grown to appreciate the underlined sentences and dog-eared pages that past readers have left behind. It makes us ponder about the old used second hand book's former existence and provides us with a unique insight into what passages stood out to the reader before us. Of course, you must be aware of the mysterious stains and sticky pages that can be found throughout, but that's half the fun!  

Roulette Reading courtesy of second hand 

You never know what you'll find when you walk into a new bookstore. Even if you specifically request a book, there's no assurance it will be available; yet, you may end up with something better. When we go to a second hand books vendor online or physical shop, we always attempt to get one book that we’ve heard of and one that we’ve never heard of before. Because we shop second hand books, we occasionally uncover an author or book we would not have discovered otherwise. The nicest part is that used books are so inexpensive that it's not the end of the world if you don't like what you choose. You should be able to return to the store and exchange it for another book. Even in the worst-case situation, you've just lost a few dollars. 

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