What ingredients do I use to build a fantasy novel?

 

  1. A physical world I myself would like to explore.  Think the hover-boards in The Uglies or Hagrid’s hut in Harry Potter.
  2. A political problem that echoes a real problem in our world and thereby raises philosophical questions.
  3. A main character we root for who also has a personal weakness and room to grow over the course of the novel. Think debilitating shyness, uncontrollable anger.
  4. A single main problem that the character must fight to solve.  More than one problem may converge, but one driving problem keeps the  reader focused.
  5. A mystery.  The problem and the mystery drive the story.  Readers want to know what will happen next, and they want to unravel what happened before.
  6. A nemesis.  Another character who bullies the main character helps drive the story.
  7. A friend who differs from the main character and challenges the main character’s ideas of friendship.