Harry Potter. Twilight. His Dark Materials. Eragon. Percy Jackson. These books have become very successful, and all it took to make them was a few well-organized words. So what are you waiting for? Write your own fantasy novel!
We've come up with a few tips and tactics to help get you on your way. Follow these rules and you will become a bestselling author overnight. (Then you can sell out and turn your books into lackluster films and TV shows!)
Start your book with a quote. Pick any quote you'd like, even if it doesn't make sense. The fact that you begin the book this way makes you seem smart and makes the story appear more interesting than it actually is. For added impact, pick a quote from Albert Einstein, Shakespeare, the Bible, or Bob Dylan. But stay away from The Black Eyed Peas, because the following quote only works if your story is about beats and how these beats are rocked.
I be rockin' them beats, yup, yup
I be rockin' them beats, y-y-yup, yup
—Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow"
The title should be mysterious, but not too mysterious. "Harriet and the Phantom" is a good title, but "Harriet Does All Kinds of Stuff" is a bit too vague.
The main character MUST be an orphan (or, at the very least, come from a broken home). How many Disney movies can you name in which the main character has two biological parents on screen? How many dollars does Disney have? See where we're going with this?
The main character should be the last/only one of something. No good story ever began with, "Simon was the guardian of the North Crystal, along with several other people."
The main character should be the chosen one. No good story ever began with, "Simon, the chosen one's best friend, was not destined for greatness."
At the beginning of the story, the main character should be very weak and unfamiliar with adventure. No good story ever began with, "Simon, the mighty teenager who once wrestled a polar bear to death and knew kung-fu, was about to set forth on an exciting adventure…again."
Prophecies are fun. Even if you don't know what the prophecy is, throw the word into your book every 90 pages or so. Later, while you're writing the ninth book in the series and you can't figure out how to tie up all the loose ends, just write, "And the prophecy came true." Your readers will think you're some sort of genius for thinking so far ahead.
Include a funny character. A talking animal or fat friend will work wonders for spicing up the boring sections of your book. If you're having trouble creating the character, think of the most annoying person you know, and then imagine if he had Eddie Murphy's voice.
Flip the roles. If your main character is Lucy the Time Traveling Poet, and she's a bit of a nerdy, plain-looking girl at the beginning of the story, by the end of the story, she should be a gorgeous and self-assured warrior. And in the last book she should marry Gordy the sweaty fife player who, by story's end, has become Gordon the Mighty Archer with a Nice Head of Hair.
The villain needs to be related to the hero. The main character must share a past with the book's baddie either through blood relation, marriage, or the way your Aunt Susie isn't really related to you but you still call her aunt.
The villain needs to be part of an ancient evil. Brand new evil, like cyber terrorism and rising health care costs, are no match for devils, dragons, and Germany in the late 1930s.
Include these phrases as much as possible:
"But time is running out."
"Soon it will be too late."
"The chosen one had not eaten in days, yet he still pushed on."
"The dark power grew stronger as the hero approached the castle."
Do not include these phrases:
"But they had plenty of time."
"Soon everything will be nice and happy."
"The chosen one ate too many pancakes, and napped heroically."
"As the hero approached the evil castle, the dark power got scared and cried."
"Let's take our time! There's no rush!"
Kill someone (in the story). To show that you mean business, have one of the supporting characters tragically killed. Then your readers will fear you, and worry that you will have the main character killed as well. You then tell your loyal readers that the only way you'll let the main character live is if they continue to buy multiple copies of your book.