Let’s Talk About Fantasy Writing

The Heroes from "Quest for the Golden Dove"

The Heroes from “Quest for the Golden Dove”


This link will take you to my novels on Lulu.  Please have a look.

This is a link to my sword and sorcery story, “To be a Royal Ranger.”  Read it and tell me what you think.

Now what I’m talking about here is sword and sorcery fantasy.  I’m talking about knights, dragons, elves, and dwarves.  This is “Lord of the Rings” type stuff not the other type of fantasy.  I don’t seem to have the knack of writing romance novels or anything further in that direction.

The picture above are my heroes from my novel “Quest for the Golden Dove.”  It is a classic sword and sorcery party consisting of a knight, a barbarian, a dwarf warrior, elven twin sisters, a royal elven wizard,  a healing wizard, and a wizard of form and function.  The knight and the wizard of form and function are Belnoran.  That will be explained more later.

What is great about writing sword and sorcery is there are good guys and there are bad guys and they are generally easy to tell apart.  What is the challenge is to come up with your own mystical monsters and magic spells.  They are a lot of generic things that can be used but there are also a lot of things in stories that are proprietary.  The great J.R.R. Tolkien created the hobbit character.  When the Dungeons and Dragons game was created the authors wanted the hobbit in the game but Tolkien’s organization refused to grant permission.  The Dungeons and Dragons authors created the halfling instead.

I have written two sword and sorcery novels, “Quest for the Golden Dove”, and “Champions of Redland.”  I’m still sitting on these two novels.  Maybe this is the year that I get them out.  “Champions of Redland” might be called  dual genre.   One plot line takes place in the mythical kingdom of Adiam, my name spelled backwards clever huh, and the second plot line takes place in a fictional suburb of Chicago called Redland. In both stories I created my own organization of wizards and my own categories for wizards.

I use the same name for my honorable knight character is both novels.  The name is the same but they are  different characters, I do odd things like that sometimes.  In “Quest for the Golden Dove” you meet Sir Rosman of Belnora.  Belnorans are dark skinned people.  If they were on Earth, Belnora would have been in Africa.  This Sir Rosman is a leader and he is the moral compass of his group.  Sir Rosman of Pintark is in “Champions of Redland.”  He, and all of the members of his party, share life force with middle school children in Redland, Illinois. This Sir Rosman is a decisive leader in battle and he is secretly married to Queen Ophelia.

I have also written several sword and sorcery short stories.  Most of them take place in the Kingdom of Adiam, maybe it’s an ego thing.  The grittiest one is called “Jaco the Jackal”  Jaco is a cruel and heartless bandit.  He and his partner attack a peddler’s wagon and kill an old man and a young woman.  Jaco tries to have his way with the young woman before she dies.  At least they thought they were dead.  The man and woman were wizards, they reform and the woman puts a curse on Jaco.  Jaco’s short life becomes very unpleasant from that moment on.

It doesn’t matter what genre you write in, the characters still have to seem real.  They have to have emotion and they must make the reader react to them.  The evil characters I have created are as nasty as they come..  Lord Kolorat, in “Quest for the Golden Dove”, is looking for an escaped servant.  To find him, he kills the servant’s mother in order to use her blood for his magic detection device.  In “Champions of Redland, the evil Arvin Strex murders young Princess Ophelia’s entire family during a union day celebration.  He is helped by a special kind of wizard called a Temar.

Sword and sorcery makes for rousing adventure and great fun.  Kids love it and some of us never grow out of the wonder that those stories can bring.


Pete is a retired software developer, a writer, and a martial arts instructor. He lives in Maryland with his wife Cathy and they are enjoying their retirement. Pete is the author of four novels, "The Teacher", 500 Years from Home", and "The Long Journey Home" are available at Lulu.com; and "Pioneers" in available at the Kindle Book Store.

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One comment on “Let’s Talk About Fantasy Writing
  1. I do love that sense of wonder that fantasy brings, and sometimes making characters seem real in a world of clear heroes and villains can be a huge challenge. I think that’s part of the beauty of Tolkien’s work, and while I like fantasy that goes into the grey areas too, that’s become so common that sometimes it’s refreshing to have straight up good and evil.

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