Are you an aspiring fantasy novelist looking to create a captivating world of magic and adventure? While you may have a million ideas running through your head, planning a fantasy novel can be overwhelming. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many writers make common mistakes that can hinder the success of their story. In this article, we’ll explore the top three mistakes to avoid when planning your fantasy novel, so you can save yourself time and frustration and ensure a successful journey to publication. Let’s dive in!
Mistake #1: Not creating a detailed world
While crafting a compelling plot is essential to any story, it’s equally important to create a detailed world for your characters to inhabit. This is where Mistake #1 comes in: not creating a detailed world. Fantasy novels are known for their intricate and mesmerizing settings, but without a well-developed world, your story may fall flat. World-building involves crafting everything from the geography and political systems to the societal norms and religions of your fictional universe.
When planning your fantasy novel, take the time to fully flesh out the world in which your characters will exist. This will not only add depth and realism to your story but will also help guide your plot and character development. By understanding the nuances of your world, you’ll be able to write with confidence and create a truly immersive experience for your readers. So, whether you’re using existing mythologies as inspiration or creating an entirely new realm, don’t overlook the importance of world-building. It’s a vital key to success in the fantasy genre.
Mistake #2: Focusing too much on the plot and not enough on the characters
While crafting a captivating plot is crucial for any story, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of character development. Focusing solely on the plot can result in two-dimensional characters that lack depth and personality. Your characters are the heart of your story, and neglecting them can be a costly mistake.
When planning your fantasy novel, take the time to create multi-dimensional characters with unique personalities, motivations, and backstories. They should have their strengths and weaknesses that drive the plot forward. Consider their inner conflicts, relationships with other characters, and their emotional journey throughout the story. This way, your readers will be invested in your characters’ fates, and your story will become more compelling.
Additionally, developing your characters can help you avoid writing plot-driven narratives. Instead, you’ll be creating a story driven by your characters’ actions and motivations, making it more relatable and authentic. So, when developing your fantasy novel, always remember that the characters are just as important as the plot.
Focusing on developing your characters will also lead to a better outline. Sketching an extensive character profile will help you identify the stakes and conflicts that drive your story. It will make it easier to outline the story, thereby reducing the risk of inconsistencies and plot holes. By the end of it, you’ll have a story that is well-developed and has characters that are complex and memorable. So, take your time and develop your characters, and the plot will follow on its own.
Next, let’s dive into Mistake #3, where we discuss the importance of outlining your story before you begin writing.
Mistake #3: Not outlining the story before starting to write
Writing a novel without outlining the story first is like setting out on a long journey without a map. You might get there in the end, but the journey will be fraught with wrong turns, missed opportunities, and lost time. Outlining your story is an essential step in the writing process that will help you avoid inconsistencies, plot holes, and writer’s block.
An outline is a roadmap that guides you through the story, with signposts along the way that indicate major plot points, character arcs, and conflicts. It’s a valuable tool that helps you stay on track, maintain consistency, and avoid unnecessary diversions. It also helps you keep track of your story’s pacing, making sure that it’s balanced and engaging throughout.
Outlining can be as simple or as detailed as you like, depending on your writing style and the complexity of your story. Some writers prefer to create a basic outline that includes only the major plot points, while others prefer to go into greater detail, fleshing out the characters, themes, and settings.
Whatever your approach, creating an outline will save you time in the long run. It will ensure that you don’t waste hours writing scenes that don’t move the story forward, or worse, contradict earlier scenes. It will also help you identify any gaps in your story, giving you the chance to fill them before you start writing.
In conclusion, outlining is an essential step in the writing process that will save you time, reduce the risk of inconsistencies, and keep your story on track. So, before you start writing your fantasy novel, take the time to develop a solid outline, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a compelling and well-crafted story.,
In conclusion, planning a fantasy novel can be as magical and challenging as the story itself. However, by avoiding the three common mistakes of not creating a detailed world, focusing too much on plot, and failing to outline the story, you can save yourself time and frustration in the planning process. Remember, taking the time to develop your characters and plot, and creating a detailed world will lead to an immersive and captivating story. So, start your journey with the right planning process. As Stephen King said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Happy writing!
Emily LK is an indie romantic fantasy author who loves to provide tips and guidance to new and want-to-be writers. She is the author of multiple romantasy novels including the completed Dragon’s Song series and the New Adult Series, Mages of Might