Creative Writing – the Fantasy Genre


The key element of the fantasy fiction genre is magic. Fantasy novels may be romantic, historical, action-packed or all three, but the element of magic is what sets this genre apart from all the others. Fairy tales, myths, and legends are part of the fantasy genre. Stories featuring wizards and sorcery, unicorns and dragons, are fantasy. Through fantasy fiction, readers are allowed to visit a world they never would have been able to otherwise.

Although all fantasy stories are unique, there are some characteristics that are common of the genre. In general, the conflict in fantasy novels is of good versus evil. Usually, the protagonist and supporting characters set out to conquer this evil, although this is often played out through a series of books, rather than just one. Most fantasy fiction also features great details, with settings, creatures, words and names that are often created by the author. Fantasy novels must be read carefully, for their settings and characters are not familiar in everyday life.

Supernatural Creatures: Elves, dragons, dwarves, enchanted plants, vampires, werewolves and talking animals. The right combination of these, alongside a few lowly humans, creates an essential dynamic between the real and the surreal.

Magic, or a lack thereof.  Characters have to be able to perform some form of magic. Most often the hero or heroine possesses a very strong magical ability that they dont initially have, or dont know they have, and learn to develop.

Love: Although the love factor must remain on the PG-rated side, a love interest exists in order to pull at the heart strings of readers. Usually the love interest of the main character is unattainable.

The Villain: The Villain must be extraordinary and not easily defeated. The villain is often not revealed in person until the end of the story, in order to create the most impact.

A Great Battle: Without an epic battle in which the hero is nearly defeated, ultimate victory would not be so sweet.

The Weapon: Harry Potter has his wand, Eragon has his sword and Bella has her ability to hide her mind from others. Whatever the weapon, it has to be special in not only its capabilities, but also in the reason behind its existence.

The Setting: From Middle-earth, to Narnia, Alagaesia, Hogwarts, and even Forks, the setting is another character in the story. It is the unique quality of the landscape that allows for most of the events in the story to take place.

Language: Whether its a fabricated language, such as the Elvish speak in Tolkiens works, or its the manipulation of how an existing language is spoken, common vernacular wont do. The inclusion of a fantasy language heightens the readers ability to transport themselves into a different world.



You are going to pretend that you are outlining a new fantasy novel that you are writing.  Let’s take a look at what is listed above as required elements of a fantasy work. 

Create elements that are strictly of your own imagination and not something that has already been created.

Please list each each element, and at least two to three sentences describing this particular element. 

Fantasy Elements:

1.  Supernatural creatures:

2.  Magic (or lack thereof):

3.  Love:

4.  The Villain: 

5.  The Weapon:

6.  The Setting:

7.  Language:

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