The Fantasy Novel Writing Formula

People love fantasy fiction. So naturally fantasy writers have risen to the challenge and have started to crank out fantasy fiction by the cartload. They also seem to be using tried and true elements that have been shown to be popular in past books, this would both guarantee a sell and cut down on writing time. It has gotten to the point that we are (half) jokingly talking about a formula for fantasy novels. All a writer has to do is follow said formula and bam! , fantasy book.

This is my attempt at unlocking this mysterious fantasy novel writing formula.


  • H – The hero.
  • V – The villain (preferably an immortal/invincible monstrosity)
  • m – The minions (You don’t expect the villain to actually fight do you? No, you have to keep the suspense and only show glimpses of the villain till the last moment)
  • W – Wizard (Exists to give history lessons and coax the hero out of his village)
  • Li – Love interest (Preferably elven or royal)
  • C – Companions (Always choose more than one)
  • A – Artifact (How else is a farm boy going to defeat a thousand year old immortal/ invincible villain?)
  • B – Battle (You need one of these. Use medieval style armies so you only have to write about two battle lines charging at each other and fighting until one routs)
  • Q – Quest (Otherwise known as the plot)

How did this come about?

First off you have the hero fighting the villain.

H – V

But since this villain is an immortal/invincible monstrosity, the hero will inevitability loose. So lets even the odds with the artifact.

HA – V

Better, but the villain still has a card to play. The minions. And there are a lot of them.

HA – (V + m*10^26)

Now the hero is well and truly outnumbered. Lets balance his side of the equation with some companions.

(HA + 4C) – (V + m*10^26)

But the hero is also handicapped by the love interest. Yup, he takes time out from saving the world for relationship drama.

(HA/Li + 4C) – (V + m*10^26)

Of course the hero and co. have to be motivated/coaxed to fight the villain by the wizard.

W(HA/Li + 4C) – (V + m*10^26)

And fantasy novels should always end with a battle. This serves the dual purpose of making the story epic and cutting down the number of characters you have to show in the epilogue. (As you can see below, the survivors numbers depend entirely on the size of the battle, so make it EPIC)

[W(HA/Li + 4C) – (V + m*10^26)]^1/b

And of course you need to divide this into three parts and make it a trilogy.

{[W(HA/Li + 4C) – (V + m*10^26)]^1/b}/3

When you put everything together you get this,


There you have it. You too can write an epic fantasy by following this simple formula.




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