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How does one write good fantasy?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Lord Hoffenburg of Hoffen, May 26, 2016.

  1. That's my question, as I am looking to improve my writing, but there are problems:

    Issues of Multiple POV
    Sentence structure.

    The thing is readers CAN understand what I'm writing, but MY writing DOESN'T reflect that.

    So how do I become a good writer???? Its so frustrating!
    spectre likes this.
  2. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    The same way you become good at anything else. Practice and study.

    Start reading craft books. There are tons of them. Start studying craft from books, blogs, videos. Take courses. Attend conferences and workshops.

    Practice. Write, write and write some more and get honest criticism on your writing. Join a writer group, or enter one of our short story challenges, or post stuff to the showcase, or find a mentor or crit partner who will be honest and knows what they are talking about.

    Read. Read. Read. But don't just read for pleasure. Study what other authors are doing. Why do you like it? How do they raise tension? Develop character? Stay in POV?
    Jackarandajam and Penpilot like this.
  3. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    Spend time reading threads here. You're asking an extremely open-ended question with no definitive answer.
  4. There is only one way of becoming a good writer. It is to write, get crits, and read. The first two are self explanatory. The third is often misconstrued so let me explain that more.

    Reading is most beneficial when you read with an eye on writing. For example, I have a problem with writing what people think and feel when in their POV. I don't know why it's a problem for me but it is. However, I have been reading some Clancy lately and I noticed how to include these things. He writes in 3d person omni, for my part I learned how to include emotions and thoughts into the narration better than I did before. That is reading with an eye on writing.

    There are some supplemental things you can do like reading writing how to books and listening to podcasts (Writing excuses is phenomenal), but there is nothing like writing, getting and giving crits, and reading with an eye on writing.
    Jackarandajam likes this.
  5. How can a writer improve his writing technique when he suffers from common writing problems that have plagued writers for a long time; multiple POV, head hopping, poor grammar structure. How can he improve his writing to become an perfect author?

    Is that specific enough'?
  6. Thank you for your answer, it really helps a lot!
  7. I'm always reading for enjoyment unfortunately. I don't know why, but it happens like that.

    Those tips you have said are excellent, but then how do you avoid copying author's character 'style' so to speak?
  8. The ability to avoid copying comes from writing yourself. You'll eventually craft your own workable a style.
  9. Thank you very much,
  10. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    I can fully sympathize with this. I find myself getting lost in whatever I'm reading when it's good. But it turns out, I don't have that problem when reading bad writing. I notice the bad examples and can consciously formulate some ideas about what not to do; but really good writing has the effect of distracting me from consciously considering much of the writing.

    My problems are not with overall story structure, themes, and so forth. My problems are at the prose level, actually turning the story into enjoyable, non-obtrusive prose, non-annoying prose. At least, when I'm writing and reading my own words, it's the prose that irritates me most.

    What others have said is great advice. Write, read, write some more. I would also say: Learn not to critique yourself too strongly, too often, when writing your first drafts. Just get the first draft out there. Once you've finished the first draft, let it sit for awhile (a week, two weeks, a month), and then return to it. You yourself will see many things that you find obtrusive, annoying, insufficient. So, revise it. Rinse and repeat. Eventually, when you stop being annoyed with what you are reading, you can pass it off to other readers and listen to feedback and make more revisions. The important thing is to stress less about the quality of your first drafts while you are writing them. Save the stress for your revisions.
    Devora and Heliotrope like this.
  11. Russ

    Russ Istar

    Practice, take courses, read about technique, get quality feedback and be open to it, read good examples critically, and then practice some more.

    Same way you get to Carnegie Hall I suppose.
  12. On top of letting it sit I would argue you start and maybe even finish a work set in a different world.
  13. Thanks for the reply, this is very useful stuff!
  14. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut."
    - Stephen King, On Writing.

    By the way, "On Writing" is an excellent book.
    Devora likes this.
  15. Thank you!
  16. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    That's a completely nonspecific question, but it does have a specific answer.

    Step 1: Accept that perfection does not exist.

    Step 2: Rinse and repeat Step 1.
    Russ likes this.
  17. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    Perfection does exist, though. It's just subjective.
  18. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Perfection that relies on subjective interpretation is not perfection, a perfect author (of fiction) can not exist. Unless you have a multitude of different types of perfection like I do when building things...

    "Is that fence perfectly straight?"

    I stare down the line noting a couple wiggles. "It's functionally perfect."

  19. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    "Self-editing for fiction writers" is a great book, a good many good books can be skipped by owning this one.
  20. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    The etymology is interesting, translating loosely as "completely (or thoroughly) done, made, or performed."

    The original question is interesting because it questions the quality of the author rather than the quality of his or her works: "Perfect author," rather than "perfect book" or "perfect story."

    This seems to me to be going about it all wrong. At the very least, most of us have far more control over what we write than we do over our own natures...(I'm pausing here for further thought, as exhibited by the ellipsis.)
    Demesnedenoir likes this.

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