How to Write a Fantasy Novel- Notes

Hello everyone! As I’m sure you have noticed, I have not been posting to my blog lately. That is because my blog has managed to evolve from a public page to somewhat of a diary for me. I have been using it to collect and process my personal thoughts, and so the articles I have written remain as drafts. I wrote this for myself, but then I thought it might be of use to some of you.

As many of you know, I like to write (obviously, I have a blog). Since I was about 15 I’ve seriously wanted to write a novel, but I never had free time. Now, I have the time.

These are some notes that I took for myself to facilitate my process of writing. If you are a writer these might be of use to you. If you have no interest in writing these will most likely bore you and I suggest you click off.

If you’re still here, please don’t judge my notes too harshly. These were taken for me and I did not intend to share them. I have drawn from outside sources and I have attempted to credit them, but I did not include a MLA formatted works cited page, so please don’t sue me if the info came from your website.  

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TYPES OF CONFLICT

Being Hunted- someone wants to kill you and you’re trying to hide, someone wants something you have and you want to protect it

  • evading justice – you did something wrong and now are trying to hide from authorities (falls under being hunted)

Hunting- (finding something before someone else who could use it for evil gets to it, looking for something that is missing, looking for someone who is missing

Time Crunch- having to complete a task within a short amount of time with high risk

Star-Crossed Lovers- separated by the people they care about (family feuds or different socioeconomic brackets / friends hate each other/ one or both people are in other romantic relationships), separated by distance, separated by time (time travel), separated by reality (one person is real the other person is a character from a book/a catfish on the internet/the figment of a mentally ill person’s imagination), separated by form (vampires vs werewolves, people who were homosexual before it was socially acceptable, a person in love with something intangible)

Doesn’t Understand Self- a person with a great capability who doesn’t know how to harness it or know they have it, person who is possessed

Longing- a person wants something they can never have (harry potter longs for the love and affection of his dead parents)

“The Chosen One”- someone who is called to do something that others can’t because they have an unnatural capability (harry potter defeating Voldemort), a person who is the first to do something (when Frankenstein creates a monster, when the first person came out as gay, the first person to invent something that nobody understands)

Unwanted Fame/Responsibility- Being famous when it was dangerous for someone to be, Price Harry? Henry? (IDK his name) when he was younger was supposed to be responsible bc he was famous but he just wanted to have fun and party

Trapped- being trapped somewhere unsustainable for life (Lord of the Flies) (this also requires team work (man v man) if trapped with a group)

Destruction- everything you have is destroyed by war or natural disaster or enemies

Government- government stealing rights or harming ppl (1984)

3 basic types:

man v man

man v nature

man v self

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PLOTS

Quest- (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight)

****Excerpt from How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster: “The quest consists of five things: (a) a quester, (b) a place to go, (c) a stated reason to go there, (d) challenges and trials en route, and (e) a real reason to go there. Item (a) is easy; a quester is just a person who goes on a quest, whether or not he knows it’s a quest. In fact, usually he doesn’t know. Items (b) and (c) should be considered together: someone tells our protagonist, our hero, who need not look very heroic, to go somewhere and do something. Go in search of the Holy Grail. Go to the store for bread. Go to Vegas and whack a guy. Tasks of varying nobility, to be sure, but structurally all the same. Go there, do that. Note that I said the stated reason for the quest. That’s because of item (e). The real reason for a quest never involves the stated reason. In fact, more often than not, the quester fails at the stated task. So why do they go and why do we care? They go because of the stated task, mistakenly believing that it is their real mission. We know, however, that their quest is educational. They don’t know enough about the only subject that really matters: themselves. The real reason for a quest is always self-knowledge. That’s why questers are so often young, inexperienced, immature, sheltered.”

Overcoming the Monster- (Pretty sure Harry Potter series works as an example for this one too)

****Wikipedia: “The meta-plot begins with the anticipation stage, in which the hero is called to the adventure to come. This is followed by a dream stage, in which the adventure begins, the hero has some success, and has an illusion of invincibility. However, this is then followed by a frustration stage, in which the hero has his first confrontation with the enemy, and the illusion of invincibility is lost. This worsens in the nightmare stage, which is the climax of the plot, where hope is apparently lost. Finally, in the resolution, the hero overcomes his burden against the odds.”

Rags to Riches- (Cinderella, Princess and the Frog)

Paraphrased from thewritepractice.com:

  1. character is living in bad conditions (maybe poor and treated poorly) and is called to leave home
  2. Experiences initial success that might cause illusion, allows them to gain hope
  3. Big problem happens they makes us think the character’s way of life might return to how it was initially. They hit their rock bottom
  4. They fix their problem all on their own against all odds and then they face a last confrontation that separates them from their goal
  5. They win and get everything they ever wanted

Voyage and Return- (Chronicles of Narnia, Alice and Wonderland, Finding Nemo)

Paraphrased from thewritepractice.com:

  1. Character has a boring or undesirable life and experiences a “fall” into another world: Alice falls down the rabbit hole, the children in Narnia climb through the wardrobe, somebody goes temporarily unconscious and into a dream state
  2. Character is fascinated by the new world that seems impossible, but feels sort of out-of-place/uncomfortable there (foreshadows return to home)
  3. Things in the new world start to get a little creepy and the protagonist feels scared. The new world begins revealing itself as sort of evil and oppressive. There is a presence of “dark magic”
  4. All hell breaks loose and the new world is basically out to get the protagonist. The darkness of the new world is trying to suck the character into its shadows and destroy it and the character is trying to escape the clutches of death.
  5. The main character makes a thrilling escape and finds their way back home with more knowledge and being changed as a person.

Plots not mentioned: Rebirth, Tragedy, Comedy

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COMMON COMPONENTS OF FANTASY LITERATURE

-a unique magic system with rules of conduct (this can be a cause for conflict or character development)

-a unique setting- unique language, terrain, weather, social norms, history, societal operation, food, religion

-Power System: who has it? Who wants it? How do you get it?

-have several main characters but a single most important one

-more than one POV- (this makes me nervous)

-have smaller conflicts happening between protagonist and himself and the protaganist and other characters while maintaining the central conflict that the protaganist has with an external force that drives the plot

-Don’t just make up conflict if there is no reason for it. It must arise from things like  characters who have incompatible personalities that are forced to work together or from something the character did earlier in the novel. If it doesn’t have a believable cause it feels stupid and forced.

-decide where your characters stand in the hierarchical power structure of the universe (research real systems of gov and societal structures and base it off that)

-make the plot have surprising twists

world-building

-incorporate mythology- (confusing??)

-weapon with special abilities and origin story

-villian often not revealed until near end of story

-usually there’s a love interest, often of different genetic makeup (ex. vampire (edward) and human (bella) in twilight)

 

Ok that’s it for now. Hopefully you learned something– I definitely did. To anyone who is writing a book, I wish you good luck!

Morgan

Know Yourself.

What if the world could see everything through your eyes? You could be understood by enemies and friends alike. Everyone would be on your side. What if you could speak about whatever you wanted and nobody ever interrupted you? What if you could be honest? What if you could inspire change without having to change to be accepted by others?

These are not merely wishful ideas, these are the realities of writing. When you write, you have power. By deciding which details to include and which to nix, you’re coloring reality. Everyone’s bias is in your favor because it was influenced by you.

In your writing, nobody can change the topic of contemplation. You have time to articulate your thoughts, and there’s no immediate consequence from your words because you have the opportunity to refine them. You’re able to say exactly what you mean by finding the most accurate words to express yourself, instead of relying on the mediocre arsenal of vocabulary the rests at the forefront of your mind as you do when speaking aloud. 

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Writing is an escape from reality with characters who are your best friends joining you on adventures as wild as your dreams. As a writer, you’re an artist and a creator. You can make life and end it. You choose what you want to happen, and unlike in nearly every other area in your life, you actually have control.

Writing is one of the only situations in life in which you can be utterly honest. You can choose to destroy your words, remain anonymous, or be bold enough to share yourself with the world. Writing is freedom because it comes from inside. Your thoughts are part of you, not something that can be taken away from you. George Orwell’s novel 1984 exemplifies this concept well. Using 24-hour surveillance of the citizens of a region named Oceania, the totalitarian government persecutes anyone who displays opinions that diverge from that of the government. Though the main character submits to the government physically, (at least in part one of the novel, because I’m not any farther than that yet) his mind remains in protest of his maltreatment and his writing becomes a tool for his discovery of his desire to overthrow the ruler of the Oceania, Big Brother. In short, nobody has to agree with your thoughts, but they’re valid just because you have them. And even if your ideas are agreed with only by a minority, or by nobody at all, you could still be right.

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I’ve obviously spent a generous amount of time writing and it has caused me to change as a person. It has allowed me to discover my judgments, passions, and motives which I would have taken much longer to realize without typing them out on my computer. You will reveal to yourself your underlying opinions on topics that you didn’t even know you had an opinion on by writing essays, stories, or simply writing about whatever catches your attention at a certain moment. It’s a way of processing your observations in a conscious manner. This has led me to understand myself and it will do the same for you. I know why I do things, what’s important to me, and exactly what I want to get out of my life. Being aware of those interests will give you the ability to steer your life in the direction you want it to go. If you start writing, you’ll learn things about yourself that you wish you hadn’t as well as things you’ll wish you had known sooner. And if you keep writing, your life will most likely change.

My fondness for writing has derived from my love of words. I have favorites: ephemeral, hubris, and synesthesia are some of them. I think about words and their meanings and sounds quite often, they fascinate me. Though this may seem odd, if you consider the effects of words, we should all have a profound appreciation for them. Without them, where would we be? So take a chance and try writing. It might just change your life.

Until Next Time,

Morgan

My Youtube Channel

Hey Everyone!

I made a youtube channel! I posted my first video– it’s a travel vlog from San Diego, California. Here’s a link: Youtube- Morgan Spangler.  I’m planning on making more videos as I get to travel more, but I’m not going to be unrealistic, I’ll probably be posting once a month or once every 2 months to start off. I don’t travel more than that as of right now. What’s your favorite place to travel? Comment below! Mine is Hawaii 🙂

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Until next time,

Morgan

p.s. new blog post coming soon ❤

 

Ashville, N.C.

Many of my readers are from North Carolina and are most likely well acquainted with Ashville. If you’re not, it’s a trendy town in the mountains, a place where you might find a hipster or two in the abundance of vintage record stores. Lots of vegan restaurants, Subarus, and hippies–you get the picture.

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Last Friday, my friend and I dipped out of school early to drive up there. We wanted to go to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but after our two-hour car jam sesh, we saw it was closed. Instead, we found a side road next to a mountain and decided to go exploring.

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After exploring some backroads and almost getting kidnapped in the woods (long story), we drove to the hotel. We met up with her fam downtown and grabbed dinner at Red Ginger which was amazing. We ate dessert on this old double-decker bus that has been permanently parked next to some buildings in the city and converted into a coffee shop. Eventually, we went back to our hotel for some night swimming and deep talks.

IMG-1979.JPGThe next morning, we grabbed breakfast (though it looks more like dessert) at a restaurant that only serves biscuits! These are like donut holes except they’re the texture of biscuits. Delicious.

We headed to a skate park so I could ya know, ride my skateboard and stuff. Just kidding! We went there for my friend’s brother, but it ended up being such a serendipitous experience because there was all this beautiful graffiti covering the buildings. The art was so captivating; my favorite was this wall.

DSC05488.jpgI’m not going to lie: I feel like I look really silly in this picture, but it’s the best one of the wall I had.

 

Later, we went to downtown and shopped. That’s when I decided that it was a good idea to buy a forty dollar, 3 tier box of Valentine’s Day chocolates to eat myself. Turns out, it was not a good idea. Also, I dropped some money on a hat that’s not really appropriate to wear in public (unless you enjoy getting looks of disapproval from strangers). All in all, I think I made some really great decisions. We made a quick stop at the Grove Park Inn and then headed home.

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For only 1 1/2 days, we actually packed in a lot of activity. Happi Traveler 🙂

Until next time,

Morgan

 

Feeling Comfortable

If you know me, you are most likely aware that I love art. If not, now you know. For a while now, I’ve come across art on Pinterest with a certain kind of cartoonish style that really appeals to my eye. After searching, I discovered some of the people who created these pictures. Their names are Yaoyao Ma Van As, Pascal Campion, Mehrdad Isvand, and Emmy Cicierega. Turns out, Mehrdad Isvand works for Walt Disney Animation Studio and was involved in the creation of Moana (one of my favorite animated movies). What makes their pieces so appealing is the sense of comfort and safety in all of the images. In addition, I am probably the “targeted audience” of these pieces since most of them portray young women who seem to spend a generous amount of time alone or in the company of animals. This art exudes happiness and peace in everyday life; It’s a nice change from most of the deep and contemplative art that typically attracts me. Here is some of their work:

Yaoyao Ma Van As

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Yaoyao Ma Van As is my favorite of these artists because her pictures focus on young women who enjoy spending time alone. I feel like many people assume that people who like to be alone are not happy, and this dispells that belief. She’s also a vegan and animal lover. You can buy her prints on the website https://www.yaoyaomavanas.com/prints/

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Pascal Campion

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Mehrdad Isvandi 

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Emmy Cicierega

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Unknown

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This is only one style of art that interests me, and if you’d like to see more art, you can check out my Art board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/morganspangler0/art/ I’m not all that active on Pinterest, but my Art board is regularly updated because I use bits and pieces of things I find on there as inspiration for my own work. Let me know if you guys enjoy learning about art or if you prefer I stick to my other usual topics.

Until next time,

Morgan

P.S.

If you watch T.V, you most likely have heard of a new show called A.P. Bio. It aired February 1st and I just watched the first three episodes on Demand. (Not really sure how three episodes are already out, to be honest). It’s so hilarious and I can already tell it’s going to be my new obsession. It’s about an ex-Harvard philosophy professor seeking revenge on his arch-nemesis while teaching A.P. Bio at a high school without ever really teaching. So, if you’re into that sort of thing, you should try watching it.

 

Why Do You Do What You Do?

Everyone has a unique set of values that they hold sacred, and these values make up the core of a person. One of my core values is authenticity. It’s the paramount quality I search for in those I bring into my life, and oftentimes others’ inauthenticity causes me to distance myself from them. Looking back at my last blog post and its stats, I wondered why didn’t this one do as well as the others? After some time, I realized that I wasn’t passionate about my last post, and the style in which I wrote reflected that.

Now that I’ve discovered this, I’m gonna try to keep it extra real on here, because I think that’s what makes a blog interesting to read. Maybe it’s easier to blog about clothes because nobody can dislike you for your opinion on them, but it’s more worthwhile to write about a topic that you care about, even if people are more likely to judge you for it.

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I care about travel and I enjoy contemplating the deeper meaning of simple choices, so here is why I think traveling is important on a philosophical level.

Because you learn to adapt to change and accept others. In another country, you become the minority, and this allows you to experience a tiny dose of the vulnerability that foreigners feel when they come to your country knowing nothing of how to assimilate with your culture. Experiencing the role of the minority temporarily removes the power that you feel so entitled to as a member of the majority in your home country.

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Because if God doesn’t exist, at least you had your fun. And if he does exist, you had your fun without hurting anyone. I’m always hesitant to share my beliefs about religion with others because it is one of the few areas of my life that I don’t really have all figured out. Anyways, what I’m trying to say with this point is that traveling is a way to genuinely enjoy life without drugs, fornication, gluttony or any other “sinful” behaviors. Whether or not you believe in religion, you might as well avoid sin just in case there ends up being some kind of moral judgment-day for you.

Because it makes you realize how small you and your problems are, but it also reveals to you that you are in yourself living, yet you are also part of a larger living organism, like the concept of organs (don’t you remember freshman biology? Cells make up tissues, tissues make up organs, etc.). Similarly, you and your community contribute to making up the world at large. So basically, your direct role in the world is small, but you indirectly impact the world more than you’re aware of. Here’s a diagram:

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Hmmm…I wonder if I’m the first person to use the Organ System as an analogy for a human’s role in the world.

Because you Meet People. I think most people have contemplated the idea of how every other person on Earth has had a life as intricate as their own. Traveling, or just even stepping out into the world, allows you to meet these people and learn about them and learn from them. You don’t have to make all your own mistakes if you can learn from people who have made them for you.

 

Because you don’t risk putting off until tomorrow what should be done today. There is absolutely a chance that you will die tomorrow. There’s also almost a guarantee that you will die before you are ready. It’s irresponsible to live a life devoid of enjoyment when you don’t know when it could end because if you end up not having as much time as you accounted for, you will have spent your time on things that did not matter to you. Do yourself a favor revel in the fleeting time of today.

Until Next Time,

Morgan

 

Emerging Artist: Jack Broadnax

Jack Broadnax is a nineteen-year-old fashion designer and founder of Her Children Paris. Broadnax’s brand is heavily influenced by Parisian art and culture. Though the label is only 5 or 6 months old, it has already attracted the attention of celebrities and gained Broadnax entrance to several exclusive events. Jack Broadnax is making a name for himself in high fashion, and it’s happening quickly. Don’t blink or you might miss it– here’s some more about Her Children and Broadnax from the designer himself.

Describe your vision for Her Children Paris. How do you want people to see your brand and who is your target audience?  “My vision definitely is to make it a high fashion brand: runway shows, magazines, billboards, like a general Parisian high fashion brand. I want [people] to see Her Children through high fashion influencers, like the 2 people I use now in my lookbook: Bloody Osiris and Sashadidntwakeup.”

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When and how did you get your idea to create Her Children? How has it evolved?  “I went to LA with my homie Parker Sharpe and we went to this trade show called Agenda and I saw all these up-and-coming streetwear brands and I thought I can do better. I flew back from LA to Charlotte and I made my brand that night. It’s evolved a lot actually, from just shooting random people to shooting people that style Kanye West. It has only been what? 5 or 6 months, so it’s still progressing. In another 6 months, it’s gonna be on a whole other level.”

Who has inspired you?  “Ya know, my brand is kinda different. I wanted to do something, and do it my own way, so I don’t really have anyone that ‘inspired’ me. I mean, I have brands I look up to like Midnight Studios, Off-White, Gosha, and Stone Island, but no one has inspired me really, just myself.”

Has this process unfolded in the way you thought it would, or has it surprised you?  “It has been exactly how I’ve wanted it to be, nothing has been wrong. I’ve had multiple people who have tried to help me obviously, and I’ve declined a lot of people who have been trying to help me because I want it to be my brand and my image. There’s a difference between fast money and real, hard-earned money.”

What city is your company currently based in? Do you plan on staying there or moving? Why?  “My company is currently based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, but I have some big plans to move it to a Parisian atmosphere, making everything cut and sewn in Paris. It’s definitely going to transform into a Parisian vibe very quickly, and I’m gonna be based out of Paris.”

So you told me earlier you’re going to New York pretty soon. Who are you seeing while you’re there?  “I’m going to New York to shoot one of my good friends, Lil Dallas. He models with Vogue and many other high fashion brands. I met him in Miami at Art Basel and I’m gonna be shooting him for my new collection. In my new collection, I have about ten pieces coming out that are high fashion and all polyester-based quality pieces.”

Do you have advice for people who are wanting to start a company? “My biggest advice is to just do it. I know that sounds cliche, but just be original and start a brand if you want to start a brand, and don’t be scared about what people think of it because it’s your brand and that’s all that matters. Even if you’re the only one that wears it, it’s still your brand.”

Is there any last thing you’d like to say?  “Follow me on Instagram @jackbroadnax and stay updated.”

Better get the pieces while you can still afford them! Luckily for me, Jack hooked me up with a free cozy sweatshirt (more travel savings for me!). I’m obsessed with it. Buy one at Her Children and we can trend set together.

Until next time,

Morgan

Instagram: @morganspangler_