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Friday, June 10, 2016

Building A World With Monsters by Sarah J. McNeal

 (Courtesy of Pinterest)

Those of us who write fantasy have probably already come to realize either through our own struggles or through efforts to learn about fantasy writing, that it is a complex stage in which to place our stories. From the first conjured idea of a fantasy story to the final page care must be taken to make the story believable.

What are the things that keep our real world from falling into chaos and confusion? Consequences. If there were no consequences we would have no need for rules of orderly conduct—or maybe we’d all be dead because no one would go to jail for murder, right? To make a world real, a writer has to establish a society with rules of conduct in order to exist in that society. To give the story purpose, there have to be opposing societies made up of those who believe the rules are too harsh or interfere with their happiness. Naturally, there are those who wish to change society to suit their own diabolical desires.
Heroes and heroines may have powers that don’t exist in our real world, but they must have some limitations to their power or a consequence in using that power that makes them selective in how they use their gift.

And what about villains who may not care about consequences in using power? Well, they too must have limitations, a certain weakness or flaw that will make them vulnerable. It’s up to the champions of the tale to find those vulnerabilities and have the courage to use them—usually for the good of all beings.

Going on a quest to rid the world of something evil cannot be made easy. Like villains, the more difficult a quest is, the more magnificent its accomplishment. No matter how invincible an evil being might be, all magic has limitations of some kind. The hero’s heart understands this and will persevere until he (or she) finds the flaw, the chink in the villain’s armor, the thing that will end the villain’s existence or keep them from accomplishing their evil intent. The writer will then have to give the character the means to locate the villain and neutralize their power.

And that, in a microchip is how to write a fantasy. Makes me want to break out in song.  Oh what fun it is to write a fantasy story.

My Fantasy Trilogy Legends of Winatuke is a 3 novel set (for only 99cents in digital) about the modern day family of McKnight who travel to the world of Winatuke, a place in another dimension where time has stopped in a somewhat Medieval era to fight against the evils of the Dark Isle. Winatuke is populated by humans, some of whom are Gypsies who travel from one realm to another, and the winged Nimway of Valmora who lead the fight against the abominations that inhabit the Dark Isle and Lake of Sorrows that surrounds the Isle. The Nimway have special abilities (limited, of course) and magic is real, both white and black. Winatuke is a dangerous place to be.
 a trilogy of paranormal/fantasy novels
The legend begins when love and evil collide.
The legend continues with a curse, a quest and undying love.
A quest for an enchanted light...a Gypsy’s love...and a warrior’s sacrifice to save Valmora

Pennytook, the Gypsy who assists the champions in their quests against evil gets his own story titled PENNYTOOK in the fall anthology, MYTHS, LEGENDS, AND MIDNIGHT KISSES.
Myths are supposed to be false…but some are terrifying and true.

Pennytook is a war weary Gypsy who longs for peace from the past and wants something meaningful in his life.
Esmeralda, a Gypsy trick rider, has harbored a deep affection for the chieftain, Pennytook, for many years. But her dark secret will never allow him into her life.
A mythological creature is about to unleash its horror and change the destinies of Esmeralda and Pennytook.
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Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media:



  1. Very true, otherwise it could be a dystopian mess.


    1. No, I definitely wouldn't want everything to be bad in my imagined world. The good guys have to have their day. And the dark things have to have their limitations just like those good guys. But, of course, darkness and evil cannot be totally eliminated or that would leave no challenges for the future--even in an imaginary world.
      Thank you so much for your comment, Denise.

  2. It's tough writing an old fashioned medieval world magic and monsters story and have the world make sense, isn't it?

    1. It's a good thing I'm a plotter because it takes a great deal of thought and planning to get it right. It may not be easy, but it's really interesting to fit it all together.
      Thank you for commenting, Gerald. I appreciate it.

  3. Sarah, you have given me new insight into what it takes to write a fantasy. This is a genre I seldom read and have never attempted to write. My feet are planted too firmly on the ground to soar on wings of fantasy but I admire anyone who has the imagination to do this and do it well, as you obviously do.

  4. Sarah, you have given me new insight into what it takes to write a fantasy. This is a genre I seldom read and have never attempted to write. My feet are planted too firmly on the ground to soar on wings of fantasy but I admire anyone who has the imagination to do this and do it well, as you obviously do.

    1. There was a time at the beginning of my writing career when I did not write romances and I focused on science fiction and fantasy. Then a creative writing instructor told me to include romance in my stories because she felt that's what the stories needed in order to sell. She was right. I began writing fantasy romance. So, Linda, even though I mostly write western romances now, every once in a while, I have to write a little somethin'-somethin' from my love of fantasy. Ya just need a break now and again to venture into the unknown.
      Thank you for your kind words and for coming by to comment, Linda. I really appreciate it.


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