Every now and then, I like to bring on a guest blogger. Please welcome, Zack lynch, Professional Fantasy Genre Writer, here to talk about his craft.
What does it mean to hire a professional fantasy genre writer to write and complete your fantasy genre story? That is a good question to ask, especially if you’re looking to hire a professional fantasy writer. First off, and this is a little obvious, it means you are hiring a professional writer. Someone who should understand how to form coherent sentences and paragraphs into larger scale pieces of written work. Optimally they know how to stay on topic, and allow the reader to follow them from subject to subject as needed.
When it comes to fantasy that brings a whole other number of criteria one looks for when hiring a professional fantasy writer. They should understand basic narrative structure. Have a strong grasp on what makes the genre of fantasy, fantasy. Because it isn’t just wizards and dragons. Although they are strong starting points, just having wizards and dragons doesn’t instantly make it fantasy.
Well, maybe by the most basic definition of the word “fantasy” it does.
But, in that case every book in the Fiction section of your local bookstore and library is fantasy. However, if you are looking for a professional fantasy writer for hire, that means you likely have a specific kind of story you want to tell. A kind of story that has specific imagery, plot points, archetypes, and characters. A story that is most recognizable in books and movies such as the Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien), the Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis), Willow (Howard, Lucas) and the massive role playing game Dungeons and Dragons (Arneson, Gygax).
Of course, like all things the genre of Fantasy has a broad spectrum in which a story can fall to be considered “fantasy”. That is why there are sub genres like Urban Fantasy, that are set in more modern cityscapes. Or High Fantasy, which is the typical Lord of the Ring’s kind of fantasy. And of course anything in between and beyond.
Which sometimes personally makes me think what really is Fantasy as a genre? And why wouldn’t having dragons and wizards in a story instantly make it a fantasy story? As I said above, there are certain things that make a story stand out as being within the genre of Fantasy. Although wizards are not necessary, magic almost always is. And I’m not talking about the magic of smoke and mirrors. I’m talking about full blown supernatural powers. People summoning fireballs, casting lighting from their fingertips, or even people having superhuman strength.
WHAT EXACTLY IS “FANTASY”?
In Fantasy “magic” is just a system in which the supernatural abilities and powers of the given story, is governed by. Because of this, there are varying degrees in which a Fantasy story’s magic represents itself. It can be the traditional Western concepts of wizards and spell casting as seen in Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter (Rowling). Or the near scientifically explained systems as seen in the Kingkiller Chronicles (Rothfuss), and Fullmetal Alchemist (Arakawa). The “magic” is only there to govern how the characters are able to produce their supernatural abilities. Abilities they typically use to slay some kind of dragon.
Yes, I know I said dragons aren’t needed for a story to be a Fantasy, and they aren’t! But aren’t they just the best image of a Monster around? They’re big, powerful, intimidating, and as my 12 year old self is yelling inside my head as I write this would say, they’re freaking cool! Although it doesn’t need to be a dragon, a Fantasy typically has some kind of supernatural monster the heroes battle.
The monster is there to give the hero an objective. A reason for them to quest, to journey from their regular world and into the world of adventure and growth. It can take the form of anything. The dragon, a tyrannical ruler, an unknown entity, or just the inner demons of the protagonist manifested outwardly. It is whatever the story needs it to be for the hero to learn what the hero needs to learn. Which leads us to the final major ingredient in what makes a story Fantasy. The hero.
A Professional Fantasy Genre Writer Describes “The Hero”
Nearly every single book on the shelf of a bookstore or library in the Fantasy, or more likely, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, section has a hero. Not just a protagonist, but a Hero. Someone who saves the day, defeats the supernatural monster and rises up to be a legend, a king, or even sometimes, a future tyrant. But alas, the Fantasy story is about the journey of a hero. The hero, like the magic system, or the monster can be a varying number of people. Sometimes they are a reluctant hero, who stumbled into the role and only saves the day out of their own self preservation. Or they could be a missguided one, who walks the line a little to close in the name of justice. Or the all star goody good who is prophesied to rise up out of an unknown farming community and defeat the dark lord.
Of course these three ingredients are just the most common and typical ones that make up a Fantasy story. There are of course outliers and exceptions to the rules, and I’m sure you are thinking of them as you are reading this. But, really, when you look at the vast majority of what is classified, marketed, and shelved as Fantasy, they almost all have the above mentioned ingredients. However, like a good dish, they each have their own individual spices, herbs, and secret ingredients that make them their own unique tale.
I could easily go into far too much detail of the minute, esoteric tropes, imagery, plot points, archetypes, and characters that goes into a well crafted Fantasy story, but that would be for an entirely different post. This is about you, looking for a professional fantasy writer for hire, and what it means for me to be that professional fantasy writer for hire.
First, it likely means you have some idea for a Fantasy story. You have either tried writing it, have written, or know you don’t have the time or ability to create the story you want, and need help turning it into reality. Which is why you’ve come to me. Whatever the reason you are looking to hire a professional fantasy writer, one of the main things that must be done is determining what format your story is going to be told in.
A touch Of Professionalism
As a professional writer, I do it all. Be it a short story, a novella, novel, screenplay, or whatever unique style you envision your story being told. Maybe you already know what you’re looking for, that’s great, that just means we can dive into the nitty gritty part of discovering the bones of your story. But, for those who just have a general idea for a story they want to see on paper, there can be a few different ways to actually tell that story.
Sometimes a story is better as a screenplay than a novel, or a short story. Sometimes it works best only as a book series to allow the deeper concepts and larger plot points to unfold. Other times it’s simply best to tell it as a short story, rather than a longer format. Whatever format your story needs, we’ll figure it out, and make it reality.
After we determine the style, and format of your story, the next step is a bit more monotonous compared to the rest of the project. However, it is the first time we really get to collaborate on the story itself together. It’s the step of dissecting, and getting to the bone, and core essence of the story. The reasoning behind the characters’ motivations, the major and minor plot points. This is the point where you as the author tell me the ghostwriter everything you want and need to be included in the story.
Although it can feel monotonous, it is important, and can actually be a rather enjoyable part of the project. As author, and ghostwriter this is when we spend the majority of our time speaking and collaborating together. This is where unfinished ideas can become fleshed out and shine brilliantly. Or an idea is found to just not work, even though we really want it to. Although I’ve spoken about this part of the project as if it is a single sit down session, it’s not. This part of the project can be as long, or short as you want it to be. I’ve had a client who gave me a complete outline of their story, and we simply brainstormed some unfinished ideas out to completion, and then he sent me on my way to write the story as we had discussed. Another client wanted to be deeply involved in the processes. They came up with ideas for the story all of the time, asking me to implement them into the story as I was already working on it. However this part of the project ends up working out for you and me, the next part is when I get to have fun!
After we’ve gotten to the bones and core essence of what your story is, as your hired professional fantasy writer, I finally get to write! It is time for me to work my magic, and accomplish the task you, as the official author, hired me, the professional fantasy writer for hire, to do. And for you, you get to sit back and either wait for the updates, or you can continue to do your own work on the story, and send me the ideas to incorporate into the story. This is probably the most straightforward part of the entire transaction. The whole reason I am even writing this blog post. So there really isn’t much to elaborate on.
After I’ve written the story, I’ll send it to you.
I’ll send a fully fleshed out manuscript of the story you’ve hired me to write. If we’ve been collaborating the entire time, hopefully I did my job and wrote your story and there are little to no major changes that need to happen. If you hold off on reviewing until the final finished piece, you’ll have to read it and advise on any revisions that I need to incorporate. When the manuscript is at the finished stage all will have been done. You’ll decide what to do with it from that point. You can keep for yourself, or try to publish it however you want. Whatever you decide to do with it I’ll have completed what you paid me to do. Be a professional fantasy writer for hire.
So, as a quick reminder of what it means to hire, and be a professional fantasy writer for hire, here’s a breakdown of what we talked about in this little article. I gave a rather simple and short explanation of what exactly a Fantasy story is. A narrative that follows a set of specific rules and has supernatural elements governed by a system called “magic”. With a hero who defeats a monster saving the day. I then went over the process of what it looks like having hired a professional fantasy writer for hire. From the decision of which narrative format that I will be using to the final polished manuscript I will be turning in. I hope this helped you understand what it means to hire a professional fantasy writer to ghostwrite your next fantasy story.