How to Write Fantasy Novels: 10 Top Tips for Writing Fantasy

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Oct 6th, 2023

How to Write Fantasy Novels - featured image

In a world awash with digital distractions, the timeless allure of fantasy novels remains strong. Whether it’s the saga of Middle-earth or the Seven Kingdoms, these narratives offer us an escape into realms of wonder.

Crafting mythical realms isn’t merely magic—it’s an art. Aspiring to be the next Tolkien or just trying to get your first book published? Dive into this guide. From world-building to deep character development, you’ll find tools to enchant your readers and elevate your tales.

Here are a few valuable tips on how to write fantasy novels:

1. Develop a Rich World

World-building is the cornerstone of your fantasy novel. Use fantasy journals and detail a setting saturated with traditions, history, and geographical specifics. From the grandeur of majestic palaces to the secrets of dark forests, let your world emanate through every chapter. Delve into its politics, economies, and belief systems; the more intricate your canvas, the deeper your readers will dive. Challenge your imagination to come up with something unique that will pique the attention of your target readers.

a beautiful mountain fantasy world

“Nobody believes me when I say that my long book is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real. But it is true.” ― J. R. R. Tolkien

2. Create Three-Dimensional Characters

Aside from building a fantasy world, develop your characters. They serve as the heartbeat of your tale. Strive to create individuals shaped by a mix of desires, strengths, and vulnerabilities. A dynamic hero or a villain with shades of gray can inject layers of emotional complexity, drawing readers into the unfolding drama of your narrative. It’s also a good idea to consider your audience, so you can easily create characters they will find relatable.

3. Concoct a Unique Magic System

A robust magic system adds layers, transforming your story from merely engaging to truly memorable. If you’re looking for a masterclass in crafting a unique magic system, the Harry Potter universe serves as an excellent case study. For a deep dive into the mechanics of spells, potions, and magical artifacts, a visit at Wizards Welcome can offer some insights.

4. Embrace Themes and Symbolism

Themes and symbols offer more than aesthetic merit; they add layers of meaning. Weave your narrative around central themes like courage, sacrifice, or the complexities of morality. Through recurring motifs or symbols, these overarching concepts act as a cohesive force, adding depth to the reader’s experience. Incorporating these elements thoughtfully can also ignite discussion among your readers, turning your novel into more than just a story but a topic of conversation.

5. Mind Your Language—Literally

Language is both a tool and an art form. Experiment with unique dialects, archaic expressions, or even fabricated languages to enrich the narrative and give specific cultures within your world a distinct voice. Moreover, the tone and style of your language can set the mood, whether it’s ominous for darker themes or light-hearted for moments of levity. Remember, your choice of words can serve as an unspoken narrator, guiding the reader’s emotions and expectations as they traverse your fictional landscape.

a beautiful woman in a fantasy setting

“When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever.” ― Alexandre Dumas

6. Pay Attention to Pacing

Pacing is your narrative’s invisible conductor. Good pacing harmonizes the tempo between different scenes—some rapid and filled with peril, others slow and contemplative. This controlled rhythm sustains the reader’s interest and prevents fatigue or boredom from settling in.

7. Be Careful With Exposition

An effective exposition can enlighten your readers. Administer it cautiously, like seasoning in a dish—enough to intrigue but not overpower. Weave this information into dialogue, internal reflections, or through action to maintain your story’s natural flow and momentum.

8. Utilize Multiple Perspectives

The richness of your narrative often lies in the diversity of its viewpoints. Using multiple perspectives adds an element of complexity and provides a panoramic view of your world. One way to do this is by adding dual timelines. While it’s more common in historical fiction, you can also utilize it in a fantasy novel.

a symbolic fantasy image

“Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity.” ― Stephen King

9. Don’t Shy Away from Complexity

Complexity enriches your story. Life is not merely black and white, and your characters shouldn’t be either. Dive into the realms of moral ambiguity and ethical dilemmas, challenging readers to consider weighty issues. This adds layers to your narrative, making it thought-provoking and relatable.

10. Revise, Revise, Revise

The path to a compelling story involves numerous revisions. Dedicate time to reworking plot arcs, fine-tuning characters, and refining dialogue. Take feedback seriously, focusing on enhancing the story’s contextual relevance and overall coherence. Writing is an evolutionary process; allow your work to mature into its best form.


Writing a captivating fantasy novel is a multi-faceted endeavor, requiring a blend of imagination, intricate world-building, and deep characterization. By focusing on a unique magic system, pacing, and textual complexity, you can elevate your story from mere escapism to a resonant work of art. As you undertake this creative journey, remember that revision is your ally, allowing your narrative to evolve into its fullest, most impactful form. Happy writing! Next up, you may want to explore a guide to the top fantasy book publishers.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.