I found a kind of surprisingly detailed fake advertisement or something that I wrote for my own amusement when I was 14, around the time that I was finally growing sick of the whole "fantasy" genre (which is about all I voluntarily read since second grade up). I like this write up I did when I was 14(although it is rather patronizing... I think I was trying to be cheeky). I knew a whole lot more about the subject then than I do now. I'm not sure if nodeing things people wrote when they were 14 is well received here, but that's ok, I'll try it anyhow. So here it is:
*How to Write a Generic Fantasy Novel*
Do you have unfulfilled dreams of becoming a well to do instant hit writer? If this describes you, you can achieve your goal the easy way by writing a Generic Fantasy Novel. Books of this variety are entertaining, easy to read, and formulaic. All you need to do to become an overnight writer genius hit like J.K. Rowling is a computer, keyboard, and this guide!
The easiest type of fantasy novel to write is “The Average Joe Discovers Other World” type. Some well known children’s stories that fit this genre are “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Harry Potter,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Rag Witch,” “Abarat,” and “The Subtle Knife"(from the "Dark Materials" series). The main characters you will need to write this story are: Average Joe, Average Joe’s Sidekick or Significant Other, Average Joe’s Mentor/Protector, The Wise Sage, the Oppressive Nemesis, and the Oppressed Citizen.
Now, after you have headed your story with your name, the date, and once upon a time, begin your story with Average Joe’s unsatisfying life. If your protagonist is an adult, include details about an oppressive boss or significant other, and if they are adolescent, include a new and neglectful guardian such as an uncle or aunt, or simply make them an angsty loner who is adopted. After you have set the depressing scene, create a routine and break it with The Surprising Event. The Surprising Event is a precursor to Average Joe’s discovery of The Other World. An example could be the discovery of a telepathic doll that slowly takes over and destroys the protagonist’s sibling’s mind, like in the book “Ragwitch,” or the influx of letters in the first of the “Harry Potter” series.
After you have established the Surprising event, no less than one chapter later you must have your protagonist discover The Portal to the Other World. This portal can be an archway, a mirror, a dream, or anything else you can think up. A famous example would be the wardrobe in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and the rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland.”
Your protagonist must be very shocked and scared to be in this new world, and spend approximately one chapter wallowing around in self pity, fear, and disbelief. They must then get themselves into a small fix and be rescued by The Protector. This step is not absolutely required, but The Protector is. The protector (Think Gandalf or Aragorn from “The Lord of the Rings, Gwydion from “The Book of Three,” Aslan or Tumnus the fawn from “The Chronicles of Narnia”) does not have to be a likeable, personable character. In fact, they are usually the strong silent (male) types who dislike the protagonist for their naïveté until the end of the book(when the protagonist shows their true strength and worthiness.
The protagonist must then learn of the Oppressive Nemesis who either is trying to kill or enslave all of the poor farmers who just want to live in peace in The New World, or already has. The citizens of the new world must look to the Protagonist to save them because he or she is their only hope. This is because either the protagonist is actually their lost at birth rightful king or savior, or they just think he or she is. In any case, the protagonist must set out on a quest to rid the land of evil and then return to their homeland.
Of the citizens of the new world, a best friend or sidekick for the protagonist is chosen, maybe both, and usually of the opposite sex for diversity (Except for in “Lord of the Rings”). Your protagonist, the sidekick or friend and the Protector set out on the quest, immediately run into danger (such as minions of the Nemesis), barely escape by meeting people who are magical and who give them food or shelter. Another character is added to the quest. This is the lesser friend or sidekick who the protector immediately takes a liking to and who “knows the land.” Along the way during the quest a wise sage declares the protagonist either the next king of the land, or something vague about one of the character’s deaths.
Along the way also the protagonist must see signs of the Nemesis’s oppressive power and army of minions. Usually a crying oppressed person talks about how everyone he or she has ever known was eaten alive or decapitated or burned or possessed by the Nemesis’s evil minions. This is a very important part to the story, because it justifies killing the nemesis in the end.
The group must meet up with or create a small Evil Nemesis resistance group, and either meet the nemesis in battle and be almost defeated until the protagonist kills it against all odds, or the protagonist must sneak into the nemesis’s castle and kill it. The protagonist’s fellow characters on the quest must one by one be detained by this or that, either fighting minions, dying or preparing an escape. One companion must die in the end no matter what (If the protagonist has a significant other, it must be them). The protagonist always must meet the nemesis in single combat, no exceptions. The nemesis must have only one weakness that is its undoing. There must be an explosion or something else cataclysmic marking the nemesis’s death.
In the end, the protagonist must mourn their dead companion, then either stay in the New World to reign as king, or return home to their boring life. They are much stronger and less interesting now that they have defeated the nemesis.
After you have completed your story, write “and they lived happily ever after” and then rewrite the whole story until it is as dramatic as possible.
This emotionally draining and exciting process of writing a fantasy novel has probably changed your life forever, and even if it doesn’t get published, you will probably want to write a sequel. Don’t bother. All sequels suck. If you have found this instruction guide to complicated to follow, then write a memoir; autobiographies are popular these days.