First, I loved books about animals. As I got older, I started liking fantasy and darker fiction. After that, I fell in love with urban fantasy and dystopian. College was the first time I decided that I wanted to write what I so often read.
A lot can, and has been, written about how authors should approach this type of world-building.
Much of it, however, seems to focus on historical aspects. Unfortunately, a number of fantasy novels feature rather ridiculous sounding dialogue. I mentioned this problem in a few recent reviews, and I had similar misgivings while readingeven more fantasy. I am withholding specific titles because I see no reason to insult the poor books a second time.
Kelly Vo is an avid reader, freelance writer, and the CEO/Owner of Kevo Writing. She is currently working to publish her first Urban Fantasy novel, and frequently writes short stories and . Don’t Write a Fantasy Novel Before Reading These 8 Tips How to write a book 4 Comments Do you want to be the next JK Rowling and write a smashingly good fantasy novel that will earn almost as many good reviews as it does money? If it's fantasy she'll write it and all its creatures – wizards, sprites, elves, vampires, sorcerers, dragons, demons, and of course dwarfs – they all get a mention in at .
In general, however, the characters only sound absurdly stilted to the modern reader. The author inevitably recognizes this and begins slowly introducing contractions, until the characters sometimes use them and sometimes do not—leading them to sound occasionally stilted and always confused.
This is a bad approach. The problems arise when authors, as noted above, do not have a clear conception of what words were used in the time period they are attempting to write.
Which leads to the next point: Lack of Consistency Consistency is important on both the sentence and the novel structure level. On the novel level, the style of the narrative should match the style of the dialogue.
The problem is exacerbated in books that purport to be first person narratives. And this really only makes sense in books like Incarceron where the society is purposely striving to live as though they are in a previous time period.
It is possible to make almost any type of writing style work, but it has to be consistent. Great medieval fantasy can be written without any attempt to sound medieval at all. By doing so, I wish to indicate that it is possible to write something that sounds accurately medieval without using actual Middle English.
Although I would support that as an interesting artistic choice, and some medievalists would be with me, the book would probably not sell well to a popular audience. Thankfully, there are other options.
Admittedly, Tolkien held two advantages over the average author. He was both a linguist and a medievalist by profession. He was intensely interested in the use of words and in the Middle Ages, and was able to use his knowledge to work backwards with language, occasionally inventing words that sound appropriately antiquated to the modern reader but which never really existed.
See The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary for an extensive discussion of this topic. Tolkien was highly familiar with the medieval tales and language that inspired him, and so was able to recreate the feel of them believably.
Yet a closer look at his text indicates that very often, Tolkien uses word order and sentence structure to create formal language. But still there is much that is fair.
And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater. The Lord of the Rings sounds real because it sounds just old enough to seem appropriate to its setting and just modern enough that it does not strike readers as overly odd.
Get a sense of how people really talked then. Consider changing your sentence structure rather than your vocabulary.
What are some books you think get this dialogue right?If it's fantasy she'll write it and all its creatures – wizards, sprites, elves, vampires, sorcerers, dragons, demons, and of course dwarfs – they all get a mention in at .
Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Forged in Blood and Lightning: A Contemporary Norse-inspired Fantasy Novel Still from time to time, I would write some of the phrases down.
Every word counts in this amazing book. There is magic, warlocks, Norse mythology, vampires, witches and a lot of supernatural elements, as well as. Fantasy and science fiction are about other worlds.
Sometimes worlds in the distant past, full of wizards and dragons. GET INSPIRED This is the fun part. For inspiration during your worldbuilding, find music, artwork, and photographs that capture your world.
When building the world of Moth. Novel writing was always the ultimate goal.
It took me seven years to write my first novel--giving birth to two boys at the same time--a medieval fantasy liberally laced with horror. It sits in my hope chest still, though I still have ‘hope’ for it.
Kelly Vo is an avid reader, freelance writer, and the CEO/Owner of Kevo Writing. She is currently working to publish her first Urban Fantasy novel, and frequently writes short stories and .
20 Things That Can Help You Find Inspiration for Writing March 31, in Writing for Life with 33 Comments Today’s guest post is by writer Lesley Vos, sharing some great ideas to .