Building Blocks of a Great Fantasy Novel: From Swords to Sorcery

Fantasy novels have been captivating readers for centuries, transporting them to magical worlds full of adventure, wonder, and danger. Whether it’s the epic battles, magical creatures, or intricate world-building, there’s something for everyone in the genre. If you’re looking to write a great fantasy novel, there are a few building blocks that you’ll need to keep in mind.

Guide to Crafting a Great Fantasy Novel

great fantasy novel


One of the most important aspects of a great fantasy novel is the world-building. You’ll need to create a world that’s believable, unique, and full of interesting details. This can be a daunting task, but it’s also one of the most rewarding parts of writing fantasy.

Start by thinking about the geography of your world. Are there different regions or continents? What are the landscapes like? Are there mountains, oceans, forests, or deserts? Once you have a rough idea of the geography, you can start thinking about the cultures and societies that inhabit your world. What are their beliefs, traditions, and values? What are their religions and mythologies?

You’ll also need to think about the history of your world. What events have shaped the world as it is today? What wars have been fought, and what alliances have been forged? Think about the technology level of your world, too. Are there advanced civilizations with advanced technology, or is magic the dominant force?


Great characters are at the heart of any great novel, and fantasy is no exception. You’ll need to create characters that are interesting, complex, and relatable. Whether your protagonist is a farmhand with a hidden destiny or a powerful sorceress battling evil, your characters should feel real and three-dimensional.

Start by thinking about the motivations of your characters. What drives them? What are their goals and aspirations? What fears do they have, and what are their weaknesses? You’ll also need to think about their relationships with other characters. How do they interact with their friends, family, and enemies?

One of the best things about writing fantasy is the ability to create diverse characters. You can include characters from different races, religions, and cultures, and explore the complex relationships that arise when they come together.


Magic is a staple of the fantasy genre, and it can take many forms. Whether it’s spell-casting, telekinesis, or shape-shifting, magic adds an extra layer of wonder to your world. But it’s important to remember that magic should have rules and limitations. If your characters can solve any problem with a wave of their wand, the story becomes less interesting.

Think about how magic works in your world. Is it a natural force that can be harnessed by those with the right abilities, or is it a mysterious power that can only be wielded by a select few? Are there different types of magic, and if so, how do they interact with each other? What are the consequences of using magic, and what are the risks?


Conflict is what drives the plot of your story, and it’s essential for creating tension and drama. Whether it’s a war between kingdoms, a battle against an ancient evil, or a personal struggle with inner demons, conflict is what keeps readers engaged.

Think about the stakes of your story. What happens if your characters fail? What are the consequences of their actions? You’ll also need to think about the obstacles that stand in their way. What challenges do they face, and how do they overcome them? And don’t forget the villain – a great antagonist can be just as important as a great protagonist.


A great fantasy novel should have a theme that resonates with readers. Whether it’s a commentary on power, love, sacrifice, or redemption, the theme should be woven throughout the story and explored through the characters’ experiences.

Think about the message you want to convey through your story. What do you want your readers to take away from it? How can you use the plot and characters to explore the theme in a meaningful way?

A great fantasy novel is built on the foundation of strong world-building, compelling characters, a well-crafted magic system, engaging conflict, and a resonant theme. By keeping these building blocks in mind, you can create a rich and immersive world that will captivate readers and transport them to a place where anything is possible.

Keywords: fantasy, world-building, characters, magic, conflict, theme, novel, writing, genre, world-building techniques, great fantasy novel, crafting a great fantasy novel, guide to writing a great fantasy novel, steps to writing great fantasy novel

Check out our Novel Writing Workbooks

Check out Little Tree Food Forest for articles on food forests and homesteading.

Check out FoodieScapes for articles on growing, fermenting and preserving food

Check out StoryScapes.World for articles on writing.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get information delivered to your inbox on how to write a book, outlining your novel, keeping journals, marketing your novel, self-publishing, writing poetry and more.