There is a danger with writing too much fantasy. Fantasy is my most treasured genera. During a time when I had been writing, I discovered a flaw in my stories. It wasn’t the plots or characters that grabbed my attention, rather it was the lack of ‘realness’ to the work. A lack of human interest, or relatability, which turned my fantasy works into such an alienated state that very few readers would be interested.
It wasn’t that it was completely devoid of these characteristics, but there was such a lacking that I needed to do a major overhaul on my writing.
For instance, in most of my stories, there was an unnecessary amount of destruction. Along with that, there too was little to no repercussions for the characters’ actions. Let’s say an overlord destroys a planet. And we never hear of the planet again, nor are there any consequences for his actions. Characters should be shaped by what he did. Maybe the sight mentally scars one of them. Perhaps there is a survivor who seeks revenge. Perhaps an armada from a neighboring star system goes after the overlord? Sure, he’s the big bad guy, but, there has to be some retaliation, some repercussions.
What if your protagonist battles someone throughout a city. They destroy buildings, and causes an earthquake? Might have killed a person or two. So, instead of having everyone have a good laugh in the end amongst the wreckage and dead babies, make some consequences. Perhaps it depresses them? Maybe the military goes after them because they think the hero was too violent. Or maybe they think she was the villain? You can even go the route of the hero being unaffected and that bothers other people leading to an eventual betrayal.
Beyond consequence there are also subplots! They are key to strengthening your world’s history, and lore as well as making the story more realistic, upping the chance of the reader identifying with characters, and fleshing out an environment which affects all of the people within your story. Subplots can be connected to a larger plot as well, and can give snippets of vital information which might move the plot forward, while also fleshing out your characters more. On the note of characters affecting one another, there may be a character who might be disconnected from the rest of the world. Perhaps even though she is the main protagonist, and is incredibly useful to others, she feels socially alienated.
Moreover there is romance. While romance is not everything, and I have grown to detest it due to the saturation it has in most media I know. Beyond personal opinion, it is incredibly useful, so long as you don’t drench your work to the point of sopping mush. Unless that’s your style, or interest, then, by all means, please do that. Art isn’t able to be confined to ridged boundaries. Sometimes even, breaking the norms of storytelling is the proper thing to do. Love is an incredible tool to give characters social, emotional and psychological dynamics. It can even move the entire plot forward. Love is a powerful tool, and the lack of it can be just as influential. The character might want love and cannot find it, or she has people falling in love with her, but she doesn’t care for love whatsoever.
Real-world is also important for a fantasy writer. The mundane when put next to the supernatural gives the fantasy edge of your world some flare and weight. Real-world doesn’t always work well in fantasy. Sometimes, high fantasy with no mundane aspects is what the writer is going for. Sometimes, jobs, affairs, political, and social aspects are incredibly important to highlight the supernatural. Sometimes, using our commonsense as the groundwork for the predominant population’s mentality is key to introducing magic.
It can cause conflict. Make populations panic, start wars, murders, end relationships, end worlds. There can be mental adjustment conflicts. Perhaps a scientist discovers magic, and loses his friends and job because of it. Becomes recognized as an idiot and causes him to plunge into the magical aspect deeper and deeper. Sometimes though, the world is aware of the fantasy aspect, sometimes that aspect is just part of their world. In such a case, a weaving of the magical and the mundane can be done. Really though, there’s no set rules. These are just my observations; opinions.
I’m sure I’ve missed many areas. There is an incredible amount of stuff to talk about. So much could be expanded upon. Still I hope you find what I mentioned useful.
Anyhow, I hope you have a splendid day!