View Full Version : Critique: The Three Keys
February 24th, 2007, 04:35 PM
What are the three main keys to build up a Fantasy story? I have my own ideas, but someone out there may have some too . . . .
February 24th, 2007, 06:30 PM
Here are mine
1. Good writing
2. REAL characters no eragons richards etc.
3. A good story
February 24th, 2007, 10:43 PM
Character, Plot, Setting, in that order.
February 25th, 2007, 08:23 AM
PLot, setting, character.
Pick an order that suits your story.
February 25th, 2007, 11:36 AM
In general, the keys to a good fantasy story are same for any novel as previous posters have mentioned: Plot, setting, and character--the order of importance of those three could be argued about endlessly, but it really depends on what the reader is looking for.
To be more specific to the fantasy genre, I would recommed some of these as being key as well:
1) A magic system that is consistent and that fits seemlessly with the world you've created. You don't have to explain it overmuch, but the reader shold be able to deduce important information about how and why magic works from your writing. Magic also doesn't have to be central to your story, and in most cases I would say that it shouldn't be, but it does have infuse the fabric of your world to one degree or another.
2) Have enough of a backstory to your world so that the reader can actually see that the story that you are telling is just one strand in a larger tapestry. Other things of importance have to have happened, are happening, and will happen in your world.
3) Put some time into creating both the cultures that your characters will interact with and the specific things that make your character(s) stand out from the culture they reside in. Culture influences most people, but it almost never solely defines them--for example, it may be cultural traits that dwarves like their ale, have long beards and are greedy--but some dwarves will rebel against those traits and choose to drink water, shave their beards, and give money to the poor.
I'm sure that others will have different ideas as well, and that I haven't touched on everything...but hopefully these will help.
aka Agent Rusty Bones
March 1st, 2007, 06:16 PM
I agree with Agent Rusty Bones; characters, plot, and setting and essential to any story, not just Fantasy.
I was going to come up with some Fantasy-specific elements, but can't think of anything beyond what Agent Rusty Bones as already said. So I'll say this instead:
What's important is ensuring that not only are the three keys working well individually, but working also working together well. Characters acts as they should for the setting, the plot moves according to the characters actions, the setting is appropriate for the plot.
In my own fantasy writing, I have a "main story arc" as yet unwritten while I focus mostly on short stories in the same setting. As these short stories flesh out the setting more and more, I have to go back to main story arc and make appropriate changes to the characters who grew up in that setting and change the rough outline of the plot to fit with both the revised characters and the revised settings.
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