There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

How To Plot Your Fantasy Novel May 11, 2013

Hi everyone !

Today I’d like to share with you a few tips to plot your Fantasy novel effectively. Whether you use this template for your first draft or your tenth one, I believe it is always useful to keep in mind the novel’s important milestones. It helps with the pace of the story and it enables you to keep the reader engaged.

one-does-not-simply-write-a-book

There are dozens of templates out there (the most famous being the Save The Cat Beat Sheet by Blake Snyder). I’ve come up with the one below by taking bits and pieces from here and there. I have found it works well for a Fantasy novel. Feel free to reuse and adapt it to your needs…

Plot Point 1 Opening/Protagonist intro (1% in)

Plot Point 2 Inciting Incident (5%)

Plot Point 3 First Turning Point (10%)

Plot Point 4 First Big Twist (40%)

Plot Point 5 Middle Turning Point (50%)

Plot Point 6 Second Big Twist (70%)

Plot Point 7 Climax (85%)

Plot Point 8 Resolution (95%)

Plot Point 9 Finale (100%)

So what do you think? Do you use a plot spreadsheet to outline or revise your novel? Feel free to leave us a comment below!

EM Castellan

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How to Write Real Villains March 30, 2013

One of the biggest challenges in writing fantasy is creating a real villain. More often than villainsnot, they’re one dimensional, power hungry cartoons who don’t actually seem to have a good motive for their evil ambitions. Just like the protagonist, the antagonist requires a level of depth that constructs and develops them like a real person. But since so many genre writers fall into this trap, it’s easier to create a villainous character when following these four simple rules:

Rule 1- Give Your Villain A Life: Don’t plop the villain into the story for convenience. Give them a back-story, a life with ups and downs that led them to the point where the reader meets them.

Rule 2- Give Your Villain a Motive: As I said before, many stories contain rambling villains who chase the ball but don’t know why. Give them something to work for. A goal they want to obtain.

Rule 3- Let Your Villain Grow: Just as the protagonist develops, grows and changes with the conflict, so should the villain. Even if it’s for the worst.

Rule 4- Treat Your Villain With Respect: If you’ve ever seen a Bond film, the villain will reveal their evil plot, or ramble on about how they will beat the hero. Don’t do this. Ever. If you’ve built your villain with the aforementioned rules, they will act first and ramble later.

Now, Rule 5 is more of a writer specific rule. Something you as the author are required to understand but the reader doesn’t necessarily need to know. Rule 5 is See Your Villain as They see Themselves: People with ill will towards others do not see themselves as evil, vile or villainous. Try to understand and comprehend your villain as the hero in their own right. Believe it or not, good and evil is not all black and white. There’s quite a grey area in the mix.

With these rules in mind, you’ll be able to create a dastardly villain that is not only believable enough to jump off the page, but so multidimensional that the reader may at one point sympathize with them or perhaps even root for your villain to succeed.