It has been awhile since I’ve posted. I just got back from a week in Atlanta on business. I didn’t have a chance to work on my novel while there. But I’m back now and excited to be writing again.
Fiction is the truth inside the lie.
Stephen King wrote those words. In writing fantasy, we can apply King’s words because we are creating a fantasy world and then making our readers believe that our lie is real. We couldn’t do that if there wasn’t some truth inside the lie. So in order to create a realistic fantasy world we must start with the truth and then build a lie around it.
I ran across an essay on the topic by Penny Ehrenkranz:
Did you ever wonder how David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Piers Anthony, or J. R. R. Tolkien created their worlds? These and other successful fantasy writers found the magic to create realistic fantasy worlds, but they didn’t find it in a book of spells.
Creating your fantasy world means building a world based upon reality and making sure that your reader knows the rules of that world. Your characters must remain true to those rules throughout your story. For your readers to accept and continue reading your story, they have to believe in your world and accept what is happening to your characters.
J. R. R. Tolkien begins his Lord of the Rings series with The Hobbit, by creating a world so real that it has become a classic upon which so many others are based. … How do you go about creating a reality that readers will accept as readily? There are several things to take into consideration. Your setting must be believable. Characters should dress appropriately for the period of your story as well as use weapons appropriate to your world. If magic is involved, you should define the rules of magic and stick with them throughout your tale. Read entire essay.
And so, now that I’ve revised the historical parts for accuracy, I’m going back through THE MAGIC QUILT again, chapter by chapter, focusing on the magic world that is Katharine’s reality. Is the fantasy world that I’ve created in the young adult historical fantasy realistic, believable and most of all, exciting to young adult readers. I look forward to this part of the revision process — building the lie.