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Posts tagged ‘fantasy writing’

Writing tips from bestselling fantasy author George R.R. Martin

Earlier this month, bestselling fantasy author George R. R. Martin spoke at the Sydney Opera House on his series The Game of Thorns and the craft of writing. Below are a few highlights from Chris Jager’s article on

Avoid fantasy cliches: “One of the things that drives me crazy is the externalization of evil, where evil comes from the “Dark Lord” who sits in his dark palace with his dark minions who all wear black and are very ugly.”

On writing “grey” characters–complex characters who are not all good or all evil: “We’re all grey and I think we all have the capacity in us to do heroic things and very selfish things. I think understanding that is how you create characters that really have some depth to them.” 

Show grief but don’t overdo it: “Presenting not just death, but grief is important. We’ve all experienced the loss of our parents, or sibling, or close friend, and it’s a very powerful emotion.”

Check out the rest of the article to see what Martin has to say about POV, borrowing from history, and imagination.

How to write the dreaded synopsis

Writing a one-page synopsis for my fantasy novel has been more challenging than writing the synopsis for my memoir. Some of the questions I’ve had include how much of my fantasy world do I describe? How much of the plot should I cover? Should I include any of my protagonist’s subplots?

Maybe you’re facing this challenge too. I found helpful posts from other fantasy authors to share:

How to Write a Fantasy Trilogy Synopsis by Glenda Larke helped me realize that my fantastical bits weren’t going to make much sense in a quick summary, so I decided to focus more on characters and less on world-building. Read more

Author Salman Rushdie tells how to create realistic fantasy

Salman Rushdie said he always wanted to write a book with a flying carpet in it, and he finally did. He says the way to make a fantastical idea seem real and believable is to ask questions about the nature of the idea and relay the truth of it to your reader.

The 3-minute video below shows the process he goes through to make any idea believable: