Writing a novel involves weaving a story out of many details and pieces of information. However, it’s important to remember that with novel writing as well as weaving, the quality of the finished product depends entirely on the quality of content that goes into weaving it. If you prepare properly, provide adequate details and specifics and invest yourself into the art of creating the story; when it’s finished, it should all flow well and fit together beautifully. Romantic fantasy novels have gained popularity over the past few years. While romantic fantasy authors must follow the same guidelines as authors of historical romance or suspense novels, there are a few additional tips that they can benefit from.
Fantasy, by Definition
Fantasy novels allow for more freedom, creatively speaking, than other genres of writing. Take advantage of this. Readers of fantasy novels expect to be taken to another world or an alternate reality than what they’re used to. Let’s say you write about a boy with special powers, but the entire book takes place in a small town in Wisconsin and focuses on him becoming captain of the football team. Where’s the fantasy in that? Keep this in mind while you’re building your story.
Know Your Audience
First and foremost, before you even begin thinking about your story, it’s important to recognize and remember who you’re writing for. If you are interested in marketing the finished product, you should know your target audience and write specifically for them. With romantic fantasy, the main target audience will consist of teens and young adults. Most of these young readers will be female. If you keep your readers in mind and write for your audience, you’re more likely to create a marketable story for your genre.
Build Your World
Begin the brainstorming process with where your story will take place. Do you want your story to take place on Earth or on another planet? If you choose Earth, where on Earth is your story taking place – country, state, city, neighborhood, etc.? Next, create your world; sketch out a map. Include street names, bridges, and buildings, anyplace that will play a role in your story. If you haven’t been to another country ever before, consider this a great opportunity to finally go abroad! You’d be surprised how much more creative, informed, & inspired you’ll feel!
Know Your Characters
Don’t start your book only knowing the eye and hair color of your characters. Spend some time getting to know them. Create them and slowly fill them out until they’re as familiar to you as someone you actually know. Don’t be afraid to include flaws. Nobody’s perfect. You should know how each of your characters would react in any given situation, their fears, their strengths and weaknesses and their goals. In order for your readers to feel a connection, you must develop your characters completely.
Sure, a love story is nice. However, a love story without conflict is boring. Throw an outside force into the mix that challenges the union of your two love interests. Whether it’s a mutant from outer space that wants your heroine for his bride or the threat of the townspeople learning that your lead male character is immortal and lives on human blood, you need some form of conflict for your love interests to overcome.
Not to beat a dead horse, but really, when it’s something as amazing as travel, it’s worth it – believe me. Sometimes, all you need to engender inspiration is to get out of your comfort zone and see some amazing things. My favorite place to travel for romantic inspiration is Paris – the city of love. Still, you could easily find romantic inspiration in places like Bali, India, the English countryside, Japan, Costa Rica, or any other place you find fascinating and romantic. I save up just enough to go every other year, which is about how often I work on a new novel. Besides that, I get great travel insurance, so that I don’t have worry about any unforeseen costs!
Some authors create an outline for their story. However, this isn’t necessary and can even hinder the creative abilities of some writers. If you follow these tips by writing for your audience, about people you know, living in a place you could navigate blindfolded, overcoming some form of conflict in order to be together, your novel will certainly grab the attention of young, fantasy readers everywhere.
Author Pam Johnson is a news reporter who writes for the front page of her local news paper. She also enjoys writing other types of literature, as well as blogging. She is a contributing writer for How Do I Become a News Reporter?