9 Common Pitfalls All Fantasy Writers Should Avoid

Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Writing fantasy can be a fantastic way to express creativity, but it’s not always easy. Some writers may feel overwhelmed by the countless pitfalls they could potentially fall into while writing their stories. But fear not! This article will discuss nine common pitfalls all fantasy writers should avoid so they can have an easier time crafting their masterpieces.

1. Not Establishing A Clear World

Fantasy writers have the challenge of creating a world that is both convincing and captivating. It’s easy to become so immersed in your own writing that you forget to establish clear boundaries for your readers – but this can be disastrous! Without a solid foundation, it’s difficult to keep readers engaged and interested in what follows.

One way fantasy authors can avoid pitfalls is by constructing an immersive world with distinct rules and laws that are consistent throughout their stories. If a character violates these set parameters, they should have consequences. This helps the reader understand the limits of the characters’ actions and keeps them invested in the plot as they try to predict how each situation will play out. Doing so allows your audience to experience a unique level of realism within your fantasy world while also providing scenes full of suspense and intrigue.

2. Making Unforgivable Plot Holes

Plot holes are one of the most common pitfalls that fantasy writers must avoid. It can be easy to get lost in world-building and forget to make sure all aspects of your story fit together seamlessly, but this is a major mistake. An unfinished plot line or inconsistency will cause readers to feel disconnected, which can ruin an otherwise great piece of writing.

It’s important to carefully consider each decision you make when crafting your narrative, from the small details like character motivations to larger arcs such as overarching conflicts. Make sure there’s always a logical explanation for why something happens; if it doesn’t add up then don’t leave it unexplained – provide answers for any questions readers may have! This way, your story won’t suffer from any unnecessary plot holes that could potentially damage its credibility.

Creating believable stories with no loose ends requires thoughtfulness and attention to detail – two key elements of successful writing. As long as you take your time and think through every move you make, you’ll end up with a solid structure and memorable characters that keep readers engaged throughout the entire journey.

3. Not Creating Memorable Characters

“Creating memorable characters is an essential part of a successful fantasy story – after all, your readers will only stick around if they have an emotional attachment to the characters. Ironically, it’s easy for writers to forget that these are fictional people and instead create flat stereotypes or uninteresting protagonists. The key here is to give each character something unique; quirks, flaws, motivations, and desires should be explored in order to bring them alive on the page.

Take time to really understand who your characters are before you start writing. Spend some time developing their backstories and getting into their heads – this way when they go through tough times during the course of your plot, your reader will feel invested in how things turn out. TIP: If you’re struggling with giving your characters depth, try thinking about what kind of music they would listen to or what their favorite food would be. These small details can help make a character more real and relatable.

4. Not Resolving Storylines

Tying up loose ends is essential for any story to be a success. Without resolving each storyline, it’s like running through a marathon and suddenly stopping before the finish line–frustrating! It’s not enough to just set up plot points; writers need to wrap them all up in an engaging and satisfying way. As we weave our tales of fantasy, let us remember that every thread must eventually come together at the end.

Without a proper resolution, readers will feel cheated out of their investment in the characters and plot. Furthermore, leaving questions unanswered can create confusion instead of clarity when concluding a narrative. Letting plots drift away without closure doesn’t give readers that sense of satisfaction they crave after reading a compelling piece of fiction. So as authors, it’s important to keep this in mind while crafting stories: don’t leave your audiences hanging; provide clear conclusions so they don’t go away disappointed!

5. Relying Too Heavily On Magic

Relying too heavily on magic in a fantasy story is like eating the same dish every day. It gets old and can be off-putting for readers. While it’s important to use magical elements in your writing, overusing them can make your narrative predictable and unappealing.
Think outside of the box when considering how you introduce magic into your writing: try developing unique rules or limitations that will keep readers guessing and engaged throughout their journey with your characters. Make sure these rules are clear so as not to confuse or frustrate readers; having unclear rules of magic sets up an uncomfortable situation where they don’t know what’s real, which detracts from the overall experience.

6. Too Many Subplots

Writing too many subplots is like trying to fit a jigsaw puzzle into one box—it’s just not going to work out. Fantasy writers need to remember that every story needs focus, and having multiple storylines can easily lead to confusion for the reader. Here are three key points to keep in mind:

  • Keep your plotlines simple and focused on one main storyline
  • Avoid introducing characters only to have them disappear from the narrative shortly after
  • Do not present information about stories or events that never end up being significant

Subplots should be used sparingly but effectively to add depth and excitement without overwhelming readers. Subplots should support the main plot while still providing interest of their own; they should also offer satisfying conclusions when necessary. With these tips in mind, fantasy writers will be well-equipped with the tools needed to craft engaging stories with clear direction – leaving readers eager for more! Moving forward, it’s equally important for fantasy writers to avoid overly complicated narratives…

7. Overly Complicated Narrative

As a fantasy writer, it is easy to get carried away with the potential of your story. You may think that adding more layers and complexity will make your narrative more engaging, but this can backfire if you aren’t careful. Overly complicated narratives can leave readers confused and frustrated – not wanting to find out what happens next.

It’s important to have some sort of structure when crafting a fantasy novel so that your audience stays engaged in the story while they are being transported through imaginative worlds and storylines. If you try to do too much at once, then none of it will come together effectively. Your audience might become overwhelmed by all the twists and turns instead of captivated by them. Instead focus on creating depth within one or two aspects of your world and characters, leaving room for further exploration, later on, should you choose to continue writing about those areas. By doing this, you can create an immersive experience for your reader without overwhelming them with needless details or subplots.

8. Unsatisfying Endings

Unsatisfying endings are a huge bummer for readers. A great story can be ruined in an instant if the conclusion doesn’t live up to expectations. As a writer, it’s important to make sure your ending is satisfying and ties into the overall narrative arc of your fantasy novel. It should provide closure on the main plot points but also leave room for further exploration or sequels down the line.

A good way to ensure you don’t create a dissatisfying ending is by involving readers in the journey from early on – letting them know what comes next and how they’ll get there creates anticipation and excitement that will carry through until the end. This helps keep them engaged with your story right until its resolution, leading to more satisfaction when they reach that final page!

9. Too Much Exposition

Crafting a story can be an arduous journey, and one of the most important steps is to make sure your work avoids falling into common pitfalls. One such misstep that fantasy writers must carefully guard against is too much exposition.

In other words, filling in all the backstories or providing long-winded descriptions instead of letting readers use their imaginations can really drag out a narrative unnecessarily. Excessive explanation gives characters less room to develop as they encounter new situations and makes readers lose interest in what’s happening on the page. It’s better for authors to let readers come up with some interpretations themselves by sprinkling clues throughout the text rather than spoon-feeding them every detail. Doing this will help create an immersive atmosphere where readers feel like part of what’s going on.

It pays off to spend time figuring out how much information should go into each scene so that it flows naturally without being overly detailed or lacking any vital details. This delicate balance will keep viewers engaged while still leaving enough space for them to fill in some gaps through their own imaginations.


In conclusion, writing a successful fantasy story is no easy feat. It’s important to avoid the common pitfalls that plague many writers and keep them from achieving their desired level of success. By taking the time to create an engaging world with complex characters and storylines, avoiding plot holes, developing relatable arcs and endings, not relying too heavily on magic or exposition, and keeping the narrative straightforward but interesting, you can craft a memorable tale for your readers to enjoy.

Imagining yourself as one of those readers can help guide your creative process. Think about how you’d feel if you were experiencing this journey for the first time; what would excite me? What would surprise me? Where do I want my emotional investment in this story to take me? Utilizing these questions will allow us all to create captivating stories that our audiences won’t soon forget. No matter where we start—whether it be a new world waiting to be built or a well-developed character searching for redemption—the possibilities are endless when crafting beautiful fantasies.

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