Help For Writers, Uncategorized

The Fantasy Novel Checklist

 January 31, 2012

By  CuylerC

This are the steps to take when writing a fantasy novel. Well the steps I’m taking when writing a fantasy novel. I hope it helps anybody else who wants to give it a shot.

Fantasy Novel Checklist

___ Draw A Map.Include Interesting Places of Note that Could Possibly Be Used in Story

___ Draw Inhabitants Of People or Races on Map

___ Develop Creatures and Eco System for World, Record in World Building Notebook

___ Place Creatures of Importance on Map, Indicate Rest in World Building Notebook

___ Develop Language For Each Race as Needed in Current Book, Record in Culture Notebook

___ Develop Culture For Each Race as Needed in Current Book, Record in Culture Notebook

___ Develop the History of the Interesting Places of Note. Record in World Building Notebook

___ Develop Characters as Needed in Current Book, Record in Character Notebook

___ Develop Plot, Using Ideas From Past Check Points, Record in Plot Notebook and Cards

___ Begin Writing Book

___ Go Back to Any Check Point and Add Details as they are Needed While Writing Book

There is a lot more to each check point. Like in culture, you have to develop home life, community, religion, government. Each one of those will have different things related like architecture, clothing, magic, science, folk lore, music.

Characters are going to have many questions aside from physical attributes and habits. You need to go into past life, future plans, present problems. What do they need now, and how are they getting it. What are the things they have done they don’t want others to know about. How will they react if people do know, etc.

There is a lot to this list, but I break it down in an order that will help me move ahead and get the book finished. I placed it in a certain order for a reason.

I find that if I don’t have a map, I don’t have a place to start. I then find I need to place people on the maps, and creatures and other important places of note. I don’t know anything about the people or the creatures, or the places, but I know I will know when I start researching the languages of the people, and the culture, and developing the ecosystem, and the creatures. I have to do it in order.

Once that is done, I can then go and create characters based on their culture. Once I learn about the people I will then work on my plot. Usually if I’m not sure what I need for a plot, it will start developing as I learn about the characters.

If I have a plot already, I can work the people to fit into it. But usually, so far anyways, the plot comes after I develop the people.

Now you write.

While your writing, you will find there are things you need to know about. So then go back and research it as you write. Don’t try to research everything at once, because half of it you won’t even use. If you try to research everything, you will never get to writing. Just research enough to get the book started. Then research as you need the info.

Hopes this helps.


I love words. Words influence and inspire. Words stir emotion and thought. Words can make the world a better place, as well a worse place. I want my words to make the world better.

Cuyler Callahan

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