jump to navigation

Fantasy Writing Resources

— under construction —

dragonFantasy Writing Resources

As I am working on a fantasy novel, I would like to share some links which may come in handy for other fantasy writers.

General Fantasy Writing Websites

Elfwood Tutorials: a site that provides useful articles to assist you with learning the craft of fantasy writing, from general writing techniques to creating characters and fantasy worlds.  Read my blog post about this site.

Fantasy Fiction Factor (the online magazine for fantasy writers) – has a lot of excellent resources dedicated to fantasy writing, including articles, a free fantasy name generator, a fantasy book store and information about fantasy writing courses.

SFF.net – a general Sci-Fi and Fantasy resources website that gets you in touch with other fantasy writers’ blogs, book recommendations, writing workshops, newsgroups etc.

WritingWorld.com: a collection of articles on various topics dedicated to Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Inspired Author: a fantastic website with dozens of articles about fantasy writing from published fantasy authors.  Really worth a look.

Limyaael’s Fantasy Rants – a fabulous journal where Limyaael rants about things that annoy him in fantasy novels.

NEW! How to Write a Fantasy Novel – somehow my blog was linked to this extremely useful, one stop shop for fantasy writers.  Check it out!

Fantasy World Building

Generalread my blog post on this topic

‘Creating a Realistic Fantasy World’ by Penny Ehrenkranz which explains things much better than I do.

Comprehensive Q&A from the SFWA on Fantasy Worldbuilding by Patricia C Wrede.

Article from SFWA on Building New Worlds by Stephen Baxter.

Magical World Builder by Stephanie Cottrell Bryant.

The world building page from the excellent Elfwood Tutorials by Michael James Liljenberg.

From the master herself, Creating the Fantasy World by Sara Douglass.

A couple of articles on fantasy world building from Fantasy Fiction Factor (the online magazine for fantasy writers) – World Building for Science Fiction and Fantasy by Tina Morgan and World Building 101 by Lee Masterston

A fabulous introductory article called How to Create Fantasy Worlds from One of Us creative writing website, including a special discussion forum on the topic.  Read my blog post about this.

Other links: Fantasy Worldbuilding Resources site (including recommended books); World Builder Resources, which has a ridiculous amount of links on building your world – definitely work a visit.

Creating Fantasy Mapsread my blog post on this topic

Fantasy Mapmaking 101 provides a crash course to fantasy cartography – for those who like to draw their maps by hand.

Peter’s Guide to Map Creation – Peter teaches how to create fantasy world maps by hand with computer enhancements.

AutoREALM is a free program which helps map drawing novices create professional-looking maps.  Check out the tutorials at the website to get the hang of it.

Keeping the Fantasy World realisticread my blog post on this topic

Starting point: Creating a Realistic Fantasy World by Penny Ehrenkranz and Suspending Disbelief by Dr Vicki Hinze

Horses: The Care and Feeding of Fictional Horses by Mary K Wilson and Using Horses in Fiction by Tina Morgan

Medieval demographics: Medieval Demographics Made Easy – Numbers for Fantasy Worlds

Battles/armies: The Numberless Hordes: Keeping Your Fantasy Armies a Little Less Fantastic by John Savage

Plumbing: theplumber.com

Magic: What is Magic Realism, Really? by Bruce Holland Rogers; What’s the Magic Word: Defining the Sources, Effects and Costs of Magic by Lital Talmor and Creating Believable Magic by Tina Morgan

Fantasy Names – see my blog post on this.


“What’s in a Name” by Moira Allen

Elinor Lipman entitled “The Writing Life”

Fantasy Name Generators

Fantasy Name Generator by Samuel Stoddard – a very advanced generator which gives you options of serious names, fun names and specialised names.

Behind the Name’s Random Name Generator – awesome website that can generate names from dozens of languages, including historical and biblical ones, as well as specialised names such as Witch and even Transformer!

The Everchanging Book of Names – a program you have to download (for free) and is extremely useful (I plan to use this to come up with better names myself), and can name not only characters but also things such as fabrics and horses.

Historical Name Generator: 16th Century Irish and Scottish Gaelic Names – for those that like old-sounding Gaelic names.

Chris Pound’s Language Machines – another fantastic name generator for not only characters but creatures and spells, and are specifically categorised.

Cult of Squid’s Random Name Generator – pick a template (cultural, geographical, and others) then use it to generate names of peole, places and ideas – very useful, especially if you want a good name for a geographical location that sounds cool.

Yafnag (Yet Another Fantasy Name Generator) – self-explanatory.  The good thing with this one is you can generate lots of names at once to pick from and you can pick the desired lengths of names.

Random Name Generator – this uses data from the US census to generate random names, and you can even pick the level of obscurity!  Good for those that want to come up with names that reflect the real world (though sometimes it makes you wonder…).

Seventh Sanctum – not just fantasy names, but a whole load of different types of generators – eg martial arts moves, weapons, swords, magic.  Really worth a visit.  I will be when fixing up my first draft.

The Elvish Name Generator – for those that like Elvish names.  Also has a separate Hobbit Name Generator.  Enter real names and it generates your Elvish or Hobbit name.

Fairy Name Generator – similar to the above one for Elvish and Hobbit names.

The Pagan Name Generator – for lovers of Pagan names.

Other resources

Behind the Name – the eptymology and history of first names – a website with loads of information about the source and meanings of names from dozens of cultures and in mythology.  For people who want to get a little more in-depth knowledge about the names they are choosing.

Baby Names – more of a general website but can be beneficial in coming up with more ordinary names and finding out which baby names are and have been popular.  The Baby Name Network is a similar site with similar features.

Celtic Name Meanings – thousands of Celtic names and what they mean.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online – a tool which helps you find geographic names around the world.

Medieval Names Archive – a website with tons of information about medieval names that will take a while to navigate, but could be worth it if your fantasy world is medieval in nature.

Fantasy Cliches – see my blog post on this subject.

The Grand List of Fantasy Cliches by Kathy Pulver and J. S. Burke

The Not So Grand List of Overused Fantasy Cliches by Amethyst Angel

See also Risus Fantasy Cliches

The Fantasy Cliche Meter – fill out the form and see just how cliched your fantasy character is.

Writing Action Sequences – see my blog post on this.

S B ‘Kinko’ Husley’s fabulous article entitled “Writing Action” – takes you through a step-by-step example of editing a sequence to boost the pace of the action.

“Description, Dialogue, and Action” by Jessica Barnes

“Writing action sequences” by Elsa Neal – a simple and general article with some pointers.

“Action sequences” from the blog Lorem Ipsum by Jed Hartman – in particular I found the first comment below the article to be of interest.

“How Do You Write Action Scenes?” from Ginny Wiehardt’s Fiction Writing Blog – some colourful suggestions for, especially for sci-fi/fantasy.


Absolute Write Water Cooler: a writers’ forum which has a special section dedicated to fantasy/sci-fi.  Read my blog post about this site.

One of Us creative writing  website’s Creating Fantasy Worlds Forum.

Other Sites/Articles

How to write fantasy that will absolutely slay the editors: a satirical article on exactly what not to do in writing a fantasy story/novel.

Getting Started in Fantasy Writing by Sandra C Durham – a newcomer’s guide.

Interview with Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials Trilogy – provides some interesting insights into how he created his worlds and his approach to writing.

Advice to aspiring writers from fantasy/science fiction writer Jeffrey A Carver which provides some handy tips for new fantasy/sci-fi writers.

— more to come —


1. Dream Tandem - January 29, 2009

So are you going to post any teasers?

I’m guessing there will be swords – lots of swords…

2. Pooja - July 29, 2009

I was wondering if you had any websites that give you a list of “fantasy-esque” clothing?

Like detailed descriptions of tunics, armor, cloaks, etc.

3. Duncan Long - August 23, 2009

I’m an illustrator — sometimes creating fantasy covers for self-publishing authors (my clients HarperCollins, PS Publishing, Pocket Books, Delirium Books, Ballistic Media, American Media, Fort Ross, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and others).

That said, I suspect you and your readers would find my gallery of cover illustrations — some as yet unpublished — of interest:

–Duncan Long

4. Elizabeth - December 11, 2009

Wow, I like one stop shopping sites. Thanks!!

5. Plumber - January 27, 2010

Thanks for the posts and for the links that you included they were really good. Thanks !

6. writers and maps « creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator) - February 17, 2010

[…] this also introduced me to another fantasy writer, so I kind of explored the whole blog. I like the Fantasy Writing Resource page and I’m wondering if we writers should all do something similar – a page of links […]

7. geda - July 22, 2010

how are youHave you heard of this place: mcsweeneys.net? two people have directed me to it, apparently its an independent publish house/creative writing magazine founded by Dave Eggers full of lots of funny, irreverant writing.

Speaking of writing, how’s the novel coming along? I know you have your exams and all but I was wondering if you had make any progress or if blogging still truncating it. I’ve written 20 more pages of mine though I haven’t written a single word in two weeks and blogging its (partly) to blame for that.

pacejmiller - July 28, 2010

hey, I think I have heard of McSweeneys, but having just checked it out, I can’t say I’ve been there before…thanks for the tip, it looks like a good one.

the novel…well, blogging is truncating it…but I don’t think blogging is at fault. it’s me being lazy and procrastinating! I want to do it but I’m afraid to do it. not sure if that even makes sense….

8. kevin - September 19, 2010

Iam searching google, and I find your blog again. Would you tell me about tips writing blog. As newbie Iam very like your blog.

thanks alot


9. Emily - August 31, 2011

Awesome! Bookmarked this page!

10. Colin Anderson Heating - September 1, 2011

Thx for a great post and links, lots to keep me busy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: