Writing Fantasy || Point of View

Writing Fantasy || Point of View

Whose Point Of View Matters Most In Your Story?

The answer to this question will play an important role in the tone of your entire novel. We listen to other people probably every day in one form or another, in personal conversations, a lecture at school, a boss or characters on a TV show. Notice how the tone of their voice influences you. What tone do you want to convey in a particular scene or throughout the entire story?

  • Interesting
  • Funny
  • Lively
  • Friendly
  • Romantic
  • Quarrelsome

The characters telling the story have their own unique voice and, depending on that voice, will tell a scene in a specific way.

8 Points to Ponder when Writing Point Of View. Writing tips.

8 Points To Ponder For Point Of View

  • Have you thought about what tense you’ll write in? Will your story read better in past tense or present tense? Past Tense – “Suzie shopped at the mall”.
  • Present Tense – “Suzie is shopping at the mall”.
  • When you sit to write each scene, who do you hear talking in your mind?
  • First Person – “I love doughnuts”.
  • Second Person – “You love doughnuts”.
  • Third Person – “Suzie loves doughnuts”.
  • Omniscient (aka, all-knowing) – “Suzie loves doughnuts but she doesn’t realize they’re laced with a powerful hallucinogenic”. Use this voice sparingly, as when none of the characters knows something but your reader needs to know it.

 

Choose Your Narrators

Just like in a movie audition, test your characters’ voices to see which point of view sounds best for each scene. You may want to do several viewpoints throughout your story, but remember to not switch viewpoints in the middle of a scene or chapter unless you make a specific break in the narrative. It confuses the heck out of the reader. If you’re new to writing fantasy/fiction keep it simple and write one POV for each scene. You may feel like you want to write the entire story from one POV, but test other voices to see if you can spice things up, add some humour or simply add a different perspective to delight the reader.

 

Voice Test for POV

Write a paragraph from the author’s POV. This means you just write out the paragraph as it happens, without emotion or opinion. Then write it out in all the voices of your characters who are in that scene. Let them say what they feel and what they’re thinking.

  • Who sounds good for this particular scene?
  • Who has an emotional investment in what’s happening?
  • Who will it influence later in the story as your plot unfolds?
  • Who sees something no one else does?

 

Example:

  • “Suzie went to the mall again. I hope she’s not spending all her money. She still has two weeks before her next paycheck”.
  • “She went to the mall again. Who does she think she is, buying all those fancy expensive clothes? They look ridiculous on her anyway.”
  • “Suzie went to the mall this morning. She needed to choose a dress for her grandmother’s funeral”.

Do you see how each character changes the tone of the scene? What were they thinking and feeling? Ask them why. Draw the scene out from your chosen character’s point of view.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

 

Resources to check out

Back To The Future – where the twists are revealed by other people’s POV and by the main character.

 

 

 

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Writing Fantasy || Society

Writing Fantasy || Society

Who Lives In Your Fantasy World?

We have the freedom to create an entirely new world from our own imagination! How amazing is that? We get to decide everything that happens in this world and who lives there. We’ve already decided what our world looks like. Now we’re going to decide how our world works.

fantasy-society-lynne-collier-blog
art by kellepics

Your World’s Society, Technology & History

Before you can create your characters you’ll need to know what goes on in the world around them and how they fit into this world. However, if you’ve already drawn up an extensive list of characters and decided what they eat for breakfast, no problem, don’t waste all that creativity, just build the society around them and let it unfold from there.

Here are some things to consider about your world:

Social Norms

  • What kind of work do they do?
  • What significant events have shaped the history of this world?
  • What’s their educational system like?
  • Do they own businesses or trades?
  • Are there male and female or children and how do they develop?
  • What religious beliefs are in play? How do they worship? Write down some of the moral values.
  • Is there a law enforcement system? How is it run?
  • Is it a democratic society, dictatorship or monarchy?
  • How do they communicate? Is there more than one language?
  • What about transportation?
  • How do your characters communicate long distance?
  • What do they do for fun
  • Does your world run on electricity, steam or natural resources?
  • Are there warring factions?
  • What are their weapons?

 

Ask Yourself, “If This Is True, Then What Needs To Happen?”

• If characters go to work in cities, then where do they live?
• If in high-rise buildings, then how do they get to the top floors?
• If by elevators, then how are they powered?
• If by electrical power, then how is it generated?
• If by water, how is it produced?
• If by rain, how is it stored?
• …
You get the idea. Here we have characters that live in high-rise buildings where they get to their apartments by taking an elevator which is powered by electricity produced by water which is held in reservoirs outside of the city.

You can go on from there, filling in the “If This, Then What..?” questions until all the questions about your characters’ needs are met in their world. You only need the details that are relevant to the characters. There’s no need to write long unnecessary descriptions which will only bore your readers. You just need to know how they do what they do.

Remember to show this in your writing, don’t tell it. (More on this later).
You may need to go back and add transportation routes, such as wide rivers and ports for boats, roads for trades’ people, or something like train tracks to your world map. Add any changes as you write your story so you don’t forget the details.

The easiest way to figure this out is to put yourself in the shoes (hairy feet, hooves) of your characters. Walk around in your world like them and see what you need.

Have fun!  #writingfantasy

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

Writing Fantasy || World Mapping

Writing Fantasy || World Mapping

 

Mapping Your Fantasy World

When we write fantasy stories we need to decide where the story takes place. This is called ‘mapping’ and can be an artistic rendering of the world where your story lives, or it can be a topography of the terrain drawn like an actual map with all the hills, valleys, rivers, roads and towns. I prefer to collect Pinterest pins, but at some point, I need to discover what components make up my fantasy world and literally how long it would take a Dwarf to get to the Castle Keep. So, a drawn or written map is essential to the span of time for him on his travels.

10 things you need to know about your fantasy world before you begin writing your novel.

If it takes a few days for the journey, then I know to add an adventure, altercation or meeting with someone along the way, because let’s face it, a journey without an event is just plain boring and not at all interesting to your reader. In real life we couldn’t travel three days without meeting a fellow traveller, missing a bus connection or experiencing bad weather. So it is with other worlds. That’s where the storyline unfolds, in the in-between times.If you’ve already decided on a rough outline for your story (more on this later if you haven’t already started one), now is the time to decide how big your fantasy world needs to be in order to incorporate all the events you have planned. Even if you don’t have an outline written down, you’ve probably envisioned an encounter with an enemy, a chance meeting with someone, and a plot twist somewhere. What kind of backdrop needs to be in your world for these events to happen? Walk around in your world a while.

Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold”, from The Lord Of The Rings (you can see it on YouTube), describes the terrain beautifully and sets the scene for the Dwarves’ backstory and imminent adventure.

Your Hero’s Lifestyle

 “…using real places as a springboard can help you frame elements consistently and with a more grounded result” – Ammi-Joan Paquette, author and literary agent explaining mapping in Writer’s Digest, March/April edition 2016.

Look around your real world. Do you see the potential for mapping your fantasy world based on reality?

I often draw from my childhood memories of the hills and dales of England, where the Bronte sisters gathered most of their inspiration. You can find some of those places on my Pinterest board, West Yorkshire England

10 more things to consider before you write your fantasy story.

Fantasy Inspiration

Who were the authors who shaped your childhood memories of fantasy and make-believe? These are the writers we tend to remember the rest of our lives. My childhood memories of magical and fanciful tales come from four well-known children’s books:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Magic Faraway Tree and Noddy by Enid Blyton

Rupert The Bear by Alfred Bestall (originally created as a comic strip by Mary Tourtel)

 

Your Next Step

Draw or describe your own fantasy map and copy to your secret Pinterest inspiration board if you’re not ready to share it with the world yet. Here’s a link to my Fantasy Inspiration board which is public, but I have a secret board I’ll share once my novel is published. Or pin your inspiration to a board you’ve created to share your work with your followers. I’ve done this with my Dwarf Book I’m Writing. Another way is to cut out pictures from magazines and actually pin them to your office bulletin wall or stick them to your fridge with a crazy magnet.

Comment on how you were inspired for your creation and where you post/pin/stick your inspirational images/words. I’d love to hear about the world you’ve created.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image and gave us this beautiful world to live in.

Lynne

 

Writing Speculative Fiction || Christian Worldview

Writing Speculative Fiction || Christian Worldview

Do you find it challenging to write fantasy as a Christian? When I first set out to write in this genre I wasn’t sure what was ‘ok’ for me to add to my stories. Could I write about wizards and magic, vampires who live forever because they suck the blood out of people, zombies who are the walking dead not anywhere close to embodying the resurrection? And what about trying to convey a scriptural message? How was I going to do that with this imagination of mine?

Holy Bible, God's Word, Living Water.

A. K. Preston comes pretty close to summing it up for me when he writes, “The Christian worldview is, in fact, the most creatively inspiring of all. You need only take a glance through Isaiah, Daniel or Ezekiel to see that God inspired the biblical writers with truly vivid and fantastical imagery to communicate His message to the world. This makes the speculative genre, to me, one of the richest possible from a Christian viewpoint. Here we have a place where both writer and reader step completely outside of everyday experience to consider things from a radically new perspective – a forum for ideas to be sketched out to their logical conclusion and for the hypothetical to be explored.

When it comes to sharing the truth, the question we ask ourselves usually goes “How can I answer this argument?” In my own vocation, I rephrase it thus: “What kind of story can I tell about this?” For the latter is the most truly enduring argument of all.”

Read the entire post here A.K. Preston on Worldview As Story.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image and gave you such a beautiful imagination.

Lynne

 

Resources

https://www.pinterest.ca/lynnecollieraut/writing-christian-speculative-fiction/

https://www.pinterest.ca/lynnecollieraut/writing-christian-fantasy/

http://speculativefaith.lorehaven.com/

 

 

Writing Fantasy || World Building

Writing Fantasy || World Building

How to begin writing fantasy

Read. Read. Read. Follow other fantasy writers online, take pieces from every fantasy book you’ve ever read and enjoyed, scribble notes while you watch your favourite fantasy TV show, watch fantasy movies till your eyes get all buggy and you grow antennae. Then when you’re about to burst – Write. Write. Write!

Fantasy world with floating island, tree and house in the sky
Fantasy World by andrianvalentino

George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, offers this advice when writing fantasy: “…stealing from one source is plagiarism but stealing from lots of sources is research!”

The fantasy world

I believe you can’t add characters until you know where to put them. Feel free to disagree. That’s just a personal opinion because that’s the way my brain works. So before your Elf prince can rescue the fair woodland maiden, you may need a place for them to live in.

If you’re like me and you’re a very visual learner, Pinterest is a great place to start for fantasy images you can save for future reference. You can click through to the websites and read the entire article about the image if you trust the source. You can also create a ‘secret’ board for images you may like to use for settings and characters in your next novel. Another great place to find images to inspire you is DeviantArt, (you can block certain images by using the ‘Mature Content Hidden’ button). Then, when you can steal a minute to yourself, grab your favourite libation and sit back in your chair and daydream of the faraway places and mystical beings on your boards. Or sketch yet-unimagined places and beings of your own!

What does your fantasy world need?

As you collect your images or draw your own art, be thinking what your world needs to make your story a fantastic one.

  • What kind of terrain and atmosphere will your story need?
  • Does it need seas, rivers, animals, birds, mountains, valleys?

I love to take a walk in the woods and imagine my characters walking there too. A woodland would be a great place to take some photos of your own if you’re writing a book about Elves and Halflings and use them as ‘gems‘ to promote your book later.

This is one of my favourite things to do when I start a new book. Watch for my next blog post on Fantasy World Mapping with two free cheat sheets!

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

Writing Fantasy || ‘Design Your Own Flag’ by Ann-Margret Hovsepian

Writing Fantasy || ‘Design Your Own Flag’ by Ann-Margret Hovsepian

 

Design Your Own Flag

I had a lot of fun with The Dwarf Name Generator, how about you? I have names for all the characters in my ebook now!

Ready to have more fun? This week I’m sharing an excerpt from a blog a friend of mine wrote. She’s a talented artist and her heart is to help people discover their creativity. Here’s why I’m sharing this with you; she blogged about creating a personal (or group) flag. I thought, seeing as most of you are writers of fantasy like me, you’d love knowing how to add that creative element to your books. You could even create a flag for your fantasy world and use it on your book cover.

On her blog, Ann-Margret digs deeper and gives you links to resource further. Cool, huh? Here’s part of her blog post:

 

Ann-Margret Hovsepian

“This activity is perfect for a family, youth group, classroom or any themed club. It would make a great ice breaker for a big event, too. 

I want you to imagine that you (or your group) are a country. What would your flag look like?

There are endless ways to design a flag because you have these options to consider:

  • Shape (most flags are rectangular but there are a few exceptions)
  • Pattern (stripes, cross, quadrisections, canton, etc.)
  • Colours
  • Symbols

Vexillology

According to the North American Vexillological Association (vexillology is the study of flags), here are five basic principles for designing a flag:

  1. Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory…
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes…
  3. Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set…
  4. No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing on any kind or an organization’s seal…
  5. Be Distinctive or Be Related. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections…

 

Create your own flag by Ann-Margret Hovsepian

(Ann-Margret adds a link here on her post to a flag creator)

If you want a more old-school approach to designing your flag, you can print out this simple template and then colour it in. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

flag

 

–Ann-Margret

Follow the rest of Ann-Margret’s post with fun ideas for completing your flag design at    annhovsepian.com  (and PS–she has freebies!)

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

Writing A Short Dwarf Story – Pun Intended!

Writing A Short Dwarf Story – Pun Intended!

What I’m Writing Now

I’m slowly writing a speculative fiction novel about lies and deception, but I’m also writing an ebook about a young Dwarf who goes off on an adventure. It’s a story for adults of all ages who love fantasy but I’ll make it a ‘clean read’ so older children can read it too. (It does have some ugly fight scenes and nasty villains so I won’t be releasing it as a children’s book.)

I’m following my Writing Fantasy blog series to keep me focused because I tend to get scatterbrained if I don’t have an outline to follow. Are you like that? I’m definitely a pantser when it comes to writing, but I’ve learned I also need to plot ahead of time to free up my creative brain to just write, write, write, once the outline’s ready.

Here’s my premise:

Ephesians 4:32
“And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”

Here’s the logline:

The quiet life of a farmer is about to change for the son of outcast Dwarves whose clans have been warring for many generations. An invading army is descending from the land of the Nords across the sea, slaughtering hundreds of Dwarves and Elves in their path, and the young farmer has been asked to go and warn the very clans who exiled his parents. But when he nears Dwarf Mountain, he’s met by travellers who will change the course of the battle, and the young Dwarf’s life, forever.

Dwarves on Pinterest

Want to see some great Dwarf pins?  Here’s a link to my Dwarf Fantasy Book I’m Writing image board. You’ll find ideas for the main hero, villains, Dwarf battle armour, settings and clothing. I hope some of them will inspire your fantasy work. (I don’t censor pins so click through to other people’s sites cautiously)

 

Dwarf male with spear and axe. Art concept from The Fellowship Of The King book by Lynne Collier.

Are you writing about Dwarves?

Here’s a basic Dwarf Name Generator you can use to find your own Dwarf name and some others for your characters, created by Benjamin T. Collier

 

You can get a full list of prefixes and suffixes for Dwarf names as well as other free resources here.

You can follow my writing progress on Twitter.

Have fun writing your Dwarf story!

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne