All About Writing: How to Write Fantasy (Part 2 of 2)


(Continued from Part 1)


Now, for the actual story plotting.


TADA suggests the story should progress in proportions, comprising as follows: Opening/Protagonist intro (1%), Inciting Incident (4%), First Turning Point (5%), First Big Twist (30%), Middle Turning Point (10%), Second Big Twist (20%), Climax (15%) , Resolution (15%), Finale (5%). I use it as a guideline, giving me the following (condensed to keep this post brief!)


[Introduce your character and show us their motivation/question.]

SEIREN is a bitter orphan shopping after graduating from magic academy. She spots an alleged spy for Hanna, the neighbouring country, and tracks him down with the help of her sister, MADELEINE, whose soul is trapped in a stone, a predicament she intends to reverse.


[Status: peace. Now is the trigger for change.]

Seiren uses rune magic, destroys the demon summoned by the Hannan, and almost kills the Hannan had ROWAN, a state mage, not arrived. Impressed, Rowan secretly requests to be her tutor. Seiren is uninspired by his burst magic.


[Build up the tension in anticipation for Disaster 1 of 3.]

Rowan does not teach Seiren any rune magic, to her chagrin. He notices she struggles with burst magic and correctly guesses Seiren’s concentration is sapped by fuelling the stone with Madeleine’s soul. He tells Seiren she will never ascend the mage’s ladder if she continues to fail.

Seiren is sent to a ruined city overrun by gangs to quell an uprising, a task wholly out of her league. When her life is threatened, KING POLLIN personally steps in, piquing the interest of veteran mage KOMMORA.


[Throw in a wrench. This is Disaster 1. A decision is made.]

Seiren gets involved in unethical research, approved and funded by the council, in her aim to bring Madeleine back to life, much to Madeleine’s worry.

The rebel mages are first seen beginning a recruitment to overthrow Pollin’s reign and kill their targets when they refuse to join their cause. Other mages begin to notice the magical murders. Kommora begins to investigate and is halted by the king’s mages.


[Throw in two wrenches. This is Disaster 2 — worse than 1. Another decision is made.]
During a particularly gruesome, failed experiment, Madeleine and Seiren argue about the morality of her work. Madeleine reveals she would rather die than see Seiren spiral into darkness. Distraught, Seiren abandons her research and is caught and nearly killed by a rebel mage had Pollin not once again stepped in. Rowan’s friend LOREN teaches Seiren healing magic after hearing her plight.

Rowan looks into Seiren’s past and questions the suspicious circumstances around her parents’ deaths. Loren travels to Seiren’s hometown and discovers Seiren’s mother KRISTEN is still alive. Before Loren can relay the information, the king’s mages kill her.


[Throw in ten wrenches. This is Disaster 3 — worst of them all. Trigger the climax.]
Seiren and Rowan are sent north to aid the country borders due to the threat of Hannan invasion with the death of the Hannan king, where Seiren meets MAURA, Rowan’s military-trained sister. They are instructed by a king’s mage to instigate war by murdering their own. They refuse and escape with the aid of rebel mages in hopes of getting support from Kommora in the capital. They are arrested on arrival and Kommora is threatened to desist her investigation into Pollin.


[Everything’s gone wrong!]

Seiren is exiled, but escapes her captors and return to the capital where her unethical experiments have been unleashed on the citizens. Pollin attempts mass murder of the state mages but is foiled by the rebel mages’ arrival. Led by Kommora, they storm the palace and defeat the king’s mages. Seiren discovers her mother, Kristen, is alive and is part of the orchestration behind her faked murder six years ago, the murder and control of Pollin, and instigating war as a distraction, in order to recreate ancient magic benefiting the king’s mages, with the support of the Hannan prince. Seiren refuses Kristen’s offer to join her cause. Kristen triggers the magical mass sacrifice spell, catalysed by the death of capital citizens, to reap magic.


[Tidying up after the mess up there]

Rowan’s sister Maura has implemented an anti-magic rune, negating the effect of the spell, which ceases, but not before killing Maura. Seiren uses that same catalyst to power up her healing magic, which turns out to be the same ancient magic Kristen seeks, and strips Kristen of her magic.


[Must decide if Happy/Unhappy/Bittersweet. Must address motivation/question at the start of the story.]

Seiren uses the remains of Kristen’s magic to imbue Maura’s body with Madeleine’s soul, bringing her sister back to life at the cost of her own magic. Kristen is arrested for treason and misuse of magic and awaits her sentence.


So what do you think of my plotting method? Do you do something similar or entirely different? Is there anything helpful in mine you might try out? Tell me all about it!



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