A guide to becoming a creative writer

When you lift slightly more than you can handle, you get stronger. In life, when the gun is to your head, you either figure it out, or you die. When you cut yourself open, you bleed ideas.

A guide to becoming a creative writer

Although there are several good guidebooks to creating a science fiction world, few deal with the quintessential elements of a fantasy realm. This guide ambitiously attempts to help fantasy authors discover their realms long before they sit down to the keyboard and fill in the details.

In addition, I've written a much-beloved 30 Days of World Building tutorial designed to help you hit the ground running with your world building in just a few minutes a day. Fantasy, like all fiction, is a function of the imagination. One common element in fantasy fiction is magic, a mysterious force which breaks normal physical and scientific laws.

It has been said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and this is certainly true in fantasy. Although based on a science fiction premise, these books share a fantasy flavor by the effortless use of instantaneous travel, or teleporting.

A guide to becoming a creative writer

In fact, the Dragonriders series has three points of magic: These three magical points are all based around the dragons of Pern. Although some non-dragonrider humans can telepathically communicate, they do not share the teleportation or time travel abilities of the dragons and fire lizards, which can go between.

In another classic fantasy example, Ursula K. LeGuin's Wizards of Earthsea can use many types of magical spells, but they all rely upon names. Any object or creature to be magically manipulated must have a known name, which the wizard uses to command that creature's essense.

Wizardry, then, is the study of names, and the responsibilities inherent in knowing another creature's name. So, if a wizard wishes to teleport a rock from one space to another, he must know the rock's name, and possibly that of its destination.

A guide to becoming a creative writer

This system seems to work best for enchanting creatures and objects, transforming them into other objects, and ensnaring them. Telepathy seems unlikely in this kind of world. Calling down pure magical energies is also unlikely, although calling lightning is not and who is to say that the one is really less destructive than the other?

Starting with the common player character classes fighter, ranger, paladin, mage, cleric, druid, thief, bardthese novels are rife with gaming references which non-gamers and gamers who are tired of such unimaginative creations find irritating. Perhaps one of the most common problems with these novels is the fact that they rely so heavily on the exact same system of magic.

Basic World-Building For basic world-building, start with a map. Draw your map from anything, but remember that the natural world is full of irregularities. Sometimes, drawing a continent based on the stain a leaf left on the sidewalk after a storm is better than trying to make one up yourself.

Similarly, when and if your characters ever enter a village, city, or settlement, they will find that, for the most part, these are rather chaotic and "natural" formations themselves. Trust me; if you've ever been to Europe, you know that many of the towns seem to be built on a meandering cowpath.

There are many reasons for this kind of street structure, not the least of which is defensive.

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But the primary reason is that the road was there before the buildings were, and they follow natural lines and geographical formations. Only in great empires and attempts thereto are straight lines used. The Roman roads were so phenomenal and so frightening because they were a straight line from departure to destination; the Romans did not let geographical barriers keep them from their objectives.

Similarly, many American cities were built on clean, straight lines, to reflect an orderly lifestyle that was hoped for in this frontier. Further west, and in many of the midwestern towns, cities didn't just happen; they were planned out meticulously.

Salt Lake City and Washington DC are two wonderful examples of cities that were planned out before they were ever built.

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Once you have your map, decide on a technology level. Sure, you don't want your fantasy characters to have guns or do you? Are there paved or cobbled roads, or do people just follow the cow paths from one town to the next?

How difficult or dangerous is it to travel, and what kinds of hazards exist?Dotdash's brands help over million users each month find answers, solve problems, and get inspired. Dotdash is among the fastest-growing publishers online. Video: How to Become a Professional Writer: Step-by-Step Career Guide Learn how to become a professional writer.

Research the job duties and the education and training requirements to find out how to start a writing career. Some of us were brought up in creative families. Some of us learnt creative writing in school.

Some of us discovered creative writing on our own - be it in a library, a bookshelf in a friend's house, or somewhere else.

Some of us are young, and some of us are old.

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But, if you are visiting this page. Being a good writer leads to being a better and more coherent thinker. It’s also one of the few mediums that no matter what you do, or who you are in life, you will write nearly every day. The biggest issue with becoming a creative writer online is the amount of competition that you have.

There are many writers out there online, and there won’t be as many jobs available. So, you’ll have to compete for the jobs, which can be hard if you don’t have as much experience as your peers. Writer Salaries & Job Growth Writer Salaries Across the US. Writing is a diverse field, with a broad assortment of well-paying career paths.

The national median salary for writers and authors was slightly above $60, in , according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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