Basics of Fantasy

An important ingredient in writing a good fantasy story is making the protagonist’s attitude believable. If the reader thinks the protagonist is acting correctly, she will almost certainly believe that the hero will also act correctly in the final scene.

Major protagonists in fantasy stories have a number of different qualities. Like real-life people, their attitude is not always the same, and they will act differently in various situations. Of course, if you want to create a successful fantasy story you have to create characters who will interact and behave in the same way as the protagonist.

Fantasy adventure stories almost always start with the hero taking the role of an ordinary person and moving on to making him an extraordinary hero. The difference between the two is in the attitudes of the characters: the protagonist goes from being merely human to an exceptional being, and the character whose attitude is expected to be normal will go from being ordinary to extraordinary.

The virtues of this kind of character are several. First, as we all know, the character should be noble and worthy, without some kind of backsliding.

When the character performs a good deed, his actions will earn him recognition. This will promote his character; the reader can easily get behind him and sympathize with him.

Secondly, he must develop a special relationship with the heroine; she must also care for him for her. Otherwise, the heroine’s love interest will draw in unwanted attention. Thirdly, the character should be someone who is capable of accomplishing anything he sets his mind to.

In most action scenes, he has to overcome several obstacles, and at the end he has to come out victorious. He will need to be able to resist temptation and achieve a definite goal. In other words, he must be brave.

Just like any other character, his attitude and behavior in the story must be affected by his moral implications. Not everyone is able to remain pure in all circumstances. Of course, when his virtue gets hurt or maimed, it might reflect badly on his character.

As you prepare your characters, remember the kind of temperament they will have. How they react to hardship will be quite different from one character to another. Different people would react differently to the same situations.

One good examples of ideal characters is the Egyptian Pharaoh. Most of the protagonists in this kind of story are always trying to improve their status, and are always wanting to prove themselves as the best. When there is a minor obstacle, however, the Pharaoh might be able to overcome it, and defeat his opponent in the end.

The protagonists in heroic fantasy stories are usually unlikely heroes. They do not fit any of the categories in the preceding paragraph. But they are really the ones who will lead the story to its ultimate ending.