Tag Archives: epic fantasy

Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Dan Croutch

Posted by March 10th, 2014

dan-croutchThis morning we welcome Book Country writer and wrimo Dan Croutch to the member spotlight! An IT admin, father, golfer, and gamer, Dan is also hard at work on his debut epic fantasy novel, THE KINGS OF CARNIN. He *just* uploaded a new version of the WIP for all of you to read and enjoy! 

NG: You joined the site during NaNoWriMo. Tell us about your experience on Book Country so far? What’s your favorite part?

DC: The experience so far on Book Country has been nothing short of great.  I found the site while doing research into the publishing industry after finishing NaNo.  It mentioned how Penguin had a site that provides tools for people to self-publish electronically.  Since this is an avenue I was interested in, I was naturally drawn to the site.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the community involvement around NaNo and the great feedback from other site members on my query and manuscript alike. There are a lot of resources for both people looking to workshop their work and also fully self-publish; it’s not just for “either—or.”

NG: How has your NaNo novel progressed, three months after NaNoWriMo is over?

DC: It hasn’t!  I’ve actually put it on hold in favor of revisions to last year’s NaNo, which also happens to be the first book in the series.  Once those changes are made and the new draft posted to Book Country, I’ll start back up.  Hopefully it’ll be finished before the next NaNoWriMo comes around.

Continue reading

Share Button

David Anthony Durham on His Landmark Epic Fantasy Trilogy

Posted by January 9th, 2014

acaica trilogy

I am so thrilled to have author David Anthony Durham on the blog today. His ACACIA series made me fall in love with the epic fantasy genre: The trilogy’s breathtaking, multi-layered story, innovative take on magic, and daring vision of human frailty meant we had to add it as an epic fantasy Landmark Title on our genre map — next to titles by George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss. 

Here David answers questions about craft and genre in the ACACIA series.

***

NG: In the first ACACIA book we encounter a dynasty that ruled the known world for 22 generations. We’re talking about a large canvas: a complex geography, a slew of different cultures, and quite a bit of history to invent and deploy. It’s a truly “epic” fantasy. How did you manage to keep track of all this information as you were writing? Where do you start when you have such a huge task on your hands?

DAD: I start in several places at once. At the core of it all is the Akaran family, the father and his four children and the reality of the dynasty he’s leaving to them – and the guilt and unease he has about the horrible legacy that their wealth is built on. I knew from the start he was sitting on some major secrets, and what could be worse for a father that loves his children than knowing that his empire sells children – other people’s – into slavery? Once I had that idea I had to figure out who they traded with, and why those people would want an unending supply a child slaves. So, one thing – family dynamics – quickly expanded into larger and larger issues.

Map from the first Acacia book.

The map featured in the first Acacia book.

Also, there was the map. Wouldn’t be an “epic” fantasy without one, right? Doodling it out was another way the world took shape. Filling in the continents and the climates and features all gave me clues to the types of societies and races that would live there. The more I doodled the larger the map got. I tried to circle the continent with oceans, but then I got to wondering what was beyond those oceans. And so I got the ships out – big ones – and went sailing.

Continue reading

Share Button

How to Write an Effective Battle Scene by Epic Fantasy Author Anthony Ryan

Posted by January 8th, 2014

blood_song_anthony_ryanBattle scenes in fiction are a serious affair. They require a lot of research but also careful craftsmanship. The author needs to relay vivid sensory detail and paint a picture of the battle’s development, then filter all that through the perspective of the book’s key character(s) in an engrossing way. A good battle scene is like a beautifully choreographed dance–equally pleasing to military history acolytes and laymen. 

Today we’re excited to welcome author Anthony Ryan, who’s written the much touted epic fantasy BLOOD SONG–he knows a thing or two about writing gripping battle sequences.

***

A battle scene is a depiction of armed conflict between multiple participants. Or, more simply, a bunch of people fighting, usually in a field if we’re talking about epic fantasy. But, of course, there is no one type of battle scene, as there is no one type of book. There are land battles, sea battles and space battles. There are sieges, ambushes and skirmishes. Then we have shoot-outs, sword-fights, dog-fights and an endless inter-mingling of just about every form of combat real or imagined. My point is that the battle scene is not limited to one genre or period of history. However, for a battle scene to work, a savvy writer would be wise to include, or at least address, certain key elements.

Continue reading

Share Button

Is My Book Historical, Traditional or Epic Fantasy?

Posted by January 7th, 2014

fantasy_what_is_epic_fantasyThe fantasy genre has a complex and diverse landscape–and incorporates the kind of assortment of tropes, conventions, and magical creatures that can make you head spin. The challenge of writing fantasy comes from having a good overview of the genre, knowing to nod to what’s come before, and build upon it. In fact, one of the SF/F editors I talked to recently said that the two most common mistakes writers make in submissions are that they either try to reinvent the wheel and, unbeknownst to them, write a story that has a plot similar to one of the all-time SF/F classics or they rely on genre paradigms that were the rage decades ago and are no longer popular. If you want to be published today, you have to be familiar with what’s published today as well as know your ABCs when it comes to fantasy: J. R. R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, George R.R. Martin, Philip Pullman and so on. You have to be fluent in fantasy.

That’s why we wanted to spend some time on the epic fantasy genre–a pretty “hot” genre of late, and demystify the small but significant ways in which is differs from other fantasy subgenres such as historical and traditional fantasy.

Continue reading

Share Button

Member Spotlight: Meet Fantasy Writer JRVogt

Posted by October 21st, 2013

josh_vogtWriter JRVogt is one of the site’s pioneers. I distinctly remember landing on the Book Country site for the very first time two years ago, looking at the Top Books carousel, and checking out Josh’s book RAETHE (now renamed to BLOODSHADES). I thought to myself, “This is cool! Now someone explain to me what traditional fantasy is…” Josh writes different types of fantasy–from traditional to urban to epic–and I recognize his writing for the complex worldbuilding, wry humor, and snappy dialogue. Today we chat about his urban fantasy THE UNFAMILIARS and his overall approach to writing fantasy.

Continue reading

Share Button