A Short Review of Writing Fantasy Heroes

“…when for all others, all hope is gone and despair and defeat are inevitable, for a hero, there is always something that can be done.”  ~James Barclay

When learning to write it’s best to get tips from many experts since not all advice works for everyone. In Writing Fantasy Heroes, seventeen bestselling authors provide helpful hints for creating the best hero (fantasy or otherwise) possible. The topics range from creating realistic fight scenes (Brandon Sanderson) to making your hero be a responsible adult (Alex Bledsoe).

I could go on, but luckily for us, our own Jim Middleton has written a review of this writing resource. He has read this book more than once, so he is the perfect person to give his opinion as to usefullness.

Writing Fantasy Heroes, Edited by Jason Waltz

Review by Jim Middleton

When you start swimming in the Sea of Stories as Glen Cook calls it, you have access to more stories, thoughts, and characters than can ever be written about. Granted, you limit yourself as soon as you type the first word or even the first letter but that just means that you can only write about a fraction of the infinite. I think that is enough.

Certainly, as stories evolve they take on a life of their own, certain things have to be told, certain actions carried out. Central to all of this is the hero or heroine.

As Orson Scott Card says, they can be disguised or displaced but inevitably they will appear. You can have heroes who seek to be heroic or ones who run from it. The ones who fall into it from circumstance, birth, or time and place. How do you write well about the reluctant hero, who is acting to save the community at large? How does the reluctant come to embrace it? How do you balance reluctance and willingness? What will the hero give up in exchange for achieving their goal?

Bandon Sanderson takes you through how to create great fight scenes. From the mechanics of words, sentences and paragraphs to blocking out scenes and creating clarity to most importantly “put a reader directly into the character’s head, give the reader direct thoughts, motivations, and emotions.”

Above, I gave you a few of the words, thoughts, and phrases that a couple of the authors used. There are more authors, more in-depth articles and most importantly more ideas that you can chew on to make your writing better and more engaging for readers and yourself.

I believe much of the work pertains to more than just writing fantasy and even if you just enjoy good writing, you can find this book a worthwhile investment.


About jmvandenberg

I'm a writer, blogger, podcaster, book lover, runner, world traveler, Disney expert, Marvel fan, science enthusiast, scrapbooker, and dreamer
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