Let me ask you a question. You like Fantasy…right?
Good. Now that we’ve got that established, read on.
Writers I know, especially the ones who write Fantasy, often ask me: “How can I improve my writing?”
Well that’s a pretty good question.
Lucky for you, I’m feeling generous today. So let me share my experiences with all of you.
In addition to reading quality literature,(classics often do the trick)the best way to improve your writing outside of writing groups, and of course writing, is to conduct research.
I’m sure you’re going to ask: “How is that going to help my writing?”
Patience grasshopper, I’m getting there.
Research can help in spades. In a way, it’s almost as good as writing itself. “But wait?” you ask. “How can research help me? I’m a fantasy writer. I deal with stuff that usually doesnt inhabit our everyday world.”
Just hang on my friends, I’m about to tell you.
Research, done properly can educate you on a wide variety of subjects, which your subconcious mind soaks up. Here’s an example. I like to write about fantastical creatures. Not always fabricated creatures per say, like a twelve-headed hydra that smokes Honduran cigars and watches Fantasy Island reruns on DVD, but real creatures that have magical powers. Like a bird that can cloak itself while flying, or speak Spanish.
But before I can do that I need to learn more about animals in general. So, if I’m writing about a Mountain Gorilla who can predict next week’s winning lottery numbers, I’ll go and learn as much as I can about Mountain Gorillas. Be it online, or library research, or watching NAT GEO or the Discovery Channel.
That way, when I incorporate this enchanted Mountain Gorilla into my story, even though we know these types of creatures do not exist in real life, the creature becomes, believable.
Yes. It’s true. Like writers of other genres, we Sci-Fi/Fantasy writers must make our characters….BELIEVABLE.
Its the best way to take your Fantasy writing to the next level. By incorporating this type of thinking you put yourself way ahead of the pack. And that is where you want to be.
You can also interview experts in their appicable field. What worked for me was contacting/interviewing animal trainers at the Zoo, or Veternarians. These people love animals, and will gladly talk to you, just make sure to schedule an appointment beforehand.
One more exmaple. Let’s say you like to write about magical freight trains that transport two-headed tree frogs that can sing like Sinatra. What you could do is learn all you can about trains and Frogs in general. Then, incorporate it into your writing.
I hope this has helped you see the big picture.
See you next time, my friends.