Fantasy and speculative fiction novels are richly layered, involving elaborate world-building, a large cast of characters, and elements of magic or technology. Writing books in these genres can seem like a daunting task, so we’re here to help with some inspiration. Each question you answer will give you ideas for a different aspect of your story!
Question 1: What setting should you choose? Select the answer that best describes how and where you like to write.
I can write anywhere: a library, a coffee shop, an airport.
You should write a post-apocalyptic novel that features a world after a natural disaster, a pandemic, or a zombie outbreak.
I write whenever inspiration strikes, even if that means canceling plans.
You should write a dystopian or futuristic novel featuring a world where perfection is only an illusion.
I schedule my writing sessions in my calendar to keep myself accountable.
You should write a heroic or fairy tale-inspired fantasy set in an imaginary kingdom.
I write sporadically, going long stretches of time without writing and then diving back into my project.
You should write a paranormal book featuring a world that has both humans and supernatural beings.
Question 2: What should your main character be like? Choose the answer that best describes your writing strategy.
I’m a planner. I like to have my plot all worked out ahead of time.
You should write about a lost or secret royal—someone who is either in disguise or has yet to discover their true identity.
I can’t plan my stories. I just sit down and start writing.
Your story should revolve around a memorable villain—an unpredictable mastermind who is out to rule (or destroy) the world—and the heroic character who will try to stop them!
I like to start with the ending of my story. I plan a huge, dramatic twist and then work backward to figure out how to get there.
You should write about an antihero: a protagonist who sees the world in shades of gray and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
I start by creating characters, then I put them in a situation and see what they do.
You should write about a character who thinks they are ordinary, but discovers they possess a dangerous magical power.
Question 3: What other fantasy elements should you incorporate? Choose the answer that best describes your 2020 writing goals.
I’d like to be more organized in 2020. I have notes and ideas scribbled on scraps of paper everywhere.
You should incorporate elemental magic into your story: the ability to control wind, fire, or water.
I’d like to be more creative in 2020. I constantly second-guess myself and I want to let my ideas flow more freely.
You should incorporate a magical artifact into your story, a powerful talisman that opposing characters want to get their hands on.
I want to make more writer friends in 2020—people to bounce ideas off and trade pages with.
You should incorporate a quest into your story, a journey that could hold both grave danger and great rewards for your characters.
I want to be more motivated in 2020. I get too distracted by life and need to focus!
You should incorporate a terrible curse into your story, something one of your characters has been (or is about to be) suffering under.