Neil Mach

Author – Fantasy Realism

As a fantasy author you’ll want to deliver your readers lots of amusement & satisfaction. But what makes a book a pleasure to read? What makes a story pleasurable?

Add a few of these ingredients and you are sure to delight your audience:

“Get the reader to make emotional connections with your characters…”

Encourage reader participation by asking questions or setting challenges within the narrative

Get readers to explore (tantalising) possibilities about themselves by introducing commonplace perspectives they will be able to identify with

Help readers gain knowledge (perhaps esoteric secrets, for instance)

Provide deeper insights and thoughts on life, individuality, and “selfhood” i.e. allow the reader the space and freedom to be reflective

Transport the reader to another world and ensure total immersion (uses many sights, sounds, tastes, tactile sensations and smells)

Take readers on a mind-expanding journey to an unknown place

Make the story relatable: get the reader to make emotional connections with your characters

Satisfy the reader’s hunger for knowledge by bringing new and exciting facts (but the idea here is to add snippets of information, don’t overload!)

Provide a sense of accomplishment: did you ask the reader to learn something new? Reward success by telling a secret. Has the reader been through hell and back? Reward with peace and calm

Bring thought-provoking arguments by giving the characters a voice, and letting them speak their minds freely

Create space inside your pages, so your readers find time to be alone with thoughts

Enable vicarious adventuring: take your readers on escapades, getaways, galavants, and white-water roller-coaster rides!

Allow your readers the opportunity to succumb to voyeurism: let them look, touch, smell, taste and snoop-in on the most private episodes and the most intimate moments!

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have more tips? Tweet @neilmach

Words: @neilmach June 2021 ©

Neil Mach is the author of “So You Want to Write Fantasy?” and host of the Myth & Magic fantasy writer’s podcast

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