What do Agents Want from Fantasy?

Do you know the #MSWL hashtag? If you’re looking to publish traditionally, you should! Welcome to the agent’s wishlist. Most-requested element? Diversity! If you’ve got a story brewing that you think will never sell because it’s “too weird,” take another look. It may just be what agents are craving.

The Fantasist

It’s never been a better time to be a fantasy writer.

Why?

The genre is undergoing epic change.

Tolkienesque white straight male hero stories birthed the fantasy genre for our modern age, but now their sword arm weakens. They won’t disappear completely, nor should they, because there’s a place at the feasting table for everyone.

But they won’t ever be the same. They’re changing, and their transmogrification will continue, like a cursed hero who eventually realizes what he thought was a curse is actually a blessing, and so he ceases to seek its lifting and begins to take advantage of it instead.

More importantly, a more diverse kind of fantasy is growing, not as a matter of some deluded form of political correctness, but because people are starving for it. Writers are writing the stories contained within their hearts, and publishers seek to sell books to a hungry audience. And…

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10 Misconceptions About Medieval England

A friend of mine stumbled on this gem and I have to say, as a fantasy writer, I totally slipped up on at least two of these. Looks like I had better buy The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century. More reading? Woe is me, what a terrible fate! Hehehe.

It seems a common thing to screw up on these ten details. Have a look-see! Perhaps you’re guilty too?

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Sacrificing Plot for Political Correctness

You know how you’ve always heard the advice that you should keep writing to the end of the manuscript before you even think of editing? Before you delete anything? It’s lovely advice when it works. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t. Writing the sequel to The Broken Prophecy has turned out to be just such an instance.

I stopped writing A Hollow Vengeance halfway through because I just wasn’t feeling it. After some exploration and the advice of my marvellous, patient, and very astute peers, I realized that it wasn’t working because I started writing it from a place of guilt. That’s right. I felt guilty for having focused so much on Damon in the first book. I worried that I hadn’t done enough for Phoenix.

The first draft of Blood of Midnight featured Phoenix as a character who was introduced halfway through the book and ended up just being the main character’s love interest. Thank the Gods that I didn’t stop there and instead took my time to learn more about character development, plot, cliché, and the frustrating lack of good female protagonists in fantasy and fiction in general. I committed to having a fully fleshed out character who could stand on her own, who was three-dimensional, had a personality, goals, hopes, fears, and is just generally not a sock puppet or a cardboard cut-out of a person. Continue reading “Sacrificing Plot for Political Correctness”