Kate Forsyth shares a quick list of tips for crafting solid fantasy fiction. Here's a peek at the first two, which focus on characterisation.
- Characters in a fantasy novel must be vividly drawn so the reader can build a strong sense of connection with them. A strong fantasy novel has: - A sympathetic, likeable protagonist with fears and failings just like any other human - an intriguing villain that has the potential to surprise the reader - a cast of interesting, funny and tragic minor characters that add humour, romance & pathos.
- A fantasy writer should aim to create Archetypes, not Stereotypes – in other words, characters that connect with the collective unconscious by using mythic structures, but still maintain a sense of individuality.
It might be worth a quick reality check if you are writing a fantasy novel: flick through the list and assure yourself that you are either doing this (or have constructed a rationale for ignoring her advice).
The full list for your perusal is here: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/blog/ten-top-ingredients-for-fabulous-fantasy-1500.aspx