EelKat Wendy C Allen - Dark Fantasy Author

The Princess Bride predicting Covid-19?


Please be aware that nearly every page on this website contains spoilers to something. I talk about a lot of fandoms, and go into great detail analyzing them when I do. If I am talking about The Witcher series, InuYasha, Disney Ducks, the Quaraun series, or any other fandom, you WILL encounter spoilers about it. 

How would you explain your Fantasy world to a stranger?

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How would you explain your Fantasy world to a stranger?

I am answering random questions today about world building, over on Reddit and decided to take my answers from there and expand upon them even further over here. So that's what this page is. Me rambling on about various aspects of world building techniques I use when writing the Quaraun series. The questions I am answering are embedded here. Clicking the link in the embedded question will take you to the original Reddit page where you can see the original answer along with other people's answers. If you wish to comment, you can do so on the Reddit page where a place to do so is provided.

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I remember reading once (don't know who said it):

"Do everything in 7s. 7 Words per sentence. 7 sentences per paragraph. 7 paragraphs per scene. 7 scenes per chapter. And you'll write in a way that gives the read enough information, without talking to much and boring them to tears."

He said something about how by doing this it prevents you from going off on long wordy over descriptions, or info dumps, that sort of thing.

At first I thought it was crazy advice, but I tried doing it with a few stories and it really helped to tighten up my writing and it did put an end to info dumps in the narratives and forced me to look for ways to put descriptions in the dialogue without the character monologue.

I remember, he went of to explain, that if you couldn't describe what your story was about in 7 words or less, then you didn't yourself have a clear grasp on what your story was.

Basically, what he was getting at was that if you are in a conversation with a person and they say: "So you're an author, what do you write?" That person expects you to say something like: "I write Fantasy Romance about an Elf wizard and his Faerie lover." Then move on to the next topic.

So this:

STRANGER: "So you're an author, what do you write?"

YOU: "I write Fantasy Romance about an Elf wizard and his Faerie lover."

STRANGER: "Cool! How long you been writing?"

YOU: "Started as a teen, but picked it up again the past few months."

STRANGER: "That's great. Hey, here comes the bus. See ya!"

YOU: "Yeah. Nice meeting you."

STRANGER: "Same here. Hey maybe I'll see you tomorrow and we can talk some more."

Instead of this:

STRANGER: "So you're an author, what do you write?"

YOU: "Oh, well, let's see, it's kind of Fantasy, but not really. Almost Romance, but too bloody. It's about this Elf who becomes a wizard, but then he accident kills someone and so now every one is scared of him and they think he's a monster, so now he's on the run, and he meets this Faerie who is also a wizard, but he really is evil and because they are both on the run they start travelling together and end up falling in love and.... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... and then there's this dragon living under the mountain that turned out to be a volcano and ... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... and but the kid is sick and the Elf is the only one who knows how to save them, so now they are forced to ask foe his help after they tried to execute him... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... but then it turns out that Elf is sick now and he might die and the Faerie can't save him so... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah..."

STRANGER: Looks at watch. Is desperately hoping this deranged creep will shut up soon.

YOU: "And then there's this 3rd wizard see, now he's a demon and... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... and next thing you know they are all in Persia riding on the backs of elephants which at first doesn't make any sense until you realize that... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... but then there's this crazy chef who's kind of like Gordon Ramsey, you know with the hot temper and all, but thing is, he's a wizard too and all his food in magic and... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... "

STRANGER: "Hey, bus is here, gotta go." Hurriedly runs from you as quickly as possible.

YOU: Still talking about your book ad has not yet noticed he left.

I don't think he meant to use EXACTLY 7 words, so much as he was saying:keep it short and simple, so you don't lose your reader's attention.

I'm the type of author, who, you ask me what I write, I'll monologue for 2 hours and then wonder: "Hey, where'd they go?"


But I think, for like what you are asking, I think it's best to try to come up with a description of your story that fits into just one single short sentence. Perhaps work on it for a while, and then memorize it and say it whenever someone asks about your book?

So, for me, what I do is, reduce it to:

  • genre
  • main character
  • primary plot point


Thus: "I write Fantasy Romance about an Elf wizard and his Faerie lover."

This tells the person, what the genre is (Fantasy & Romance), who the main character is (an Elf wizard), and what the story is about (his love life with a Faerie).

That would be if spoken to a stranger in person.

If written, think of it like the blurb on the back cover of the book. You probably have only 400 words at most to say anything about your story. So, take that sentence and turn it into a paragraph or two.

Go back to our list and expand it:

  • genre
  • main character
  • secondary character
  • primary plot point
  • secondary plot point
  • plot complication
  • end with a teaser question

THIS: "I write Fantasy Romance about an Elf wizard and his Faerie lover."

BECOMES THIS: "(BOOK TITLE) is the romantic Fantasy story of (NAME OF MAIN CHARACTER), a young Elf wizard's who accidentally killed a rival wizard and is now on the run accused of murder. (MC NAME) soon meets (LOVER'S NAME), a renegade Faerie turned Necromancer wanted for the murders of several Elves. Knowing that he himself is falsely accused, (MC NAME), mistakenly believes (LOVER NAME) is innocent as well. They join forces, soon becoming lovers, and by the time (MC NAME) realizes that (LOVER) really is the serial killer he's accused of being, (MC NAME) finds himself too much in love to turn him in. Problems really get started when a time travelling demon drops out of a portal in their path and disrupts the fabric of time. Can two outlaw wizards save the world before it's too late?"

You would use that template and change it to your book title, your character names, details about your plot, etc. In my case it becomes this: