Top five things that bring a character or a new fantasy world to life

35378068Today we are welcoming authors from the Fantasy Anthology “Braving the elements”, listing their top five things that bring a character or a new fantasy world to life.

Take a look, and if you agree, you might want to check out how they put their top five into action in the BRAVING THE ELEMENTS anthology.

by Claire Davon, Rebecca Hart, Terri Rochenski, Kelly Said, Michael Siciliano

Give Away below for a $50 Amazon gift card. Yay baby!


You can pick up BRAVING THE ELEMETS at these great bookish places!

Roane Publishing: Smashwords: Amazon: Barnes & Noble:


My top five are the believability of magic.

Gray lines between good and evil.

Supporting characters to add tension or comic relief.

Fulfilling all of the senses in showing scenes—taste, feel, smell, and sight. Show a movie through words, and the world you’ve created DOES come to life.

A character that draws empathy is a necessity, otherwise, readers don’t feel the need to flip pages.


My top five are pretty straightforward:





A secret.


35378068The hero should be just an average person (the “chosen one” idea isn’t my favorite)

They should have realistic flaws that make me identify with them and

Powers that don’t make things too easy for them, and a

Strong sense of self (or journey to find that sense of self) as well as

An important goal or quest


35378068The big one for characters is flaws. Nobody is perfect, including the protagonists.

Secondary characters are fully fleshed out and “real”

Strong World Building – I want to feel like I am there. Breathe the air, smell the smells.

Fantasy worlds need a solid history to pull from. Even if it isn’t in the book, you should know what it is as the writer.

As in all stories, an active voice. Don’t tell me how it feels, show me.


35378068A unique voice. Either the 1st  person narrator, or a 3rd person point of view character, with a strong voice

Vivid, but succinct, description. Fantasy is filled with purple prose. I used to like it, but I don’t now. It’s difficult to be both vivid and succinct, but that’s the goal.

An imaginative and relatively unique setting. I think, by now, we’re all a little sick of Lord of the Rings knock offs. We can do better. We should do better.

Snappy, biting dialog. Modern fantasy is getting away from flowery Middle English “thees” and “thous,” and that’s a good thing. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt.

Conflict creating danger and consequences. I want the characters to face a competent, dangerous villain or set of villains who adapt to situations just like the main characters do, and then I want there to be some sort of sacrifice. I want the main characters to win in the end, but there must be a heavy cost.


Awesome! And here’s a little more about their stories:

The Dragon, The Witch, and the Swordswoman

By Claire Davon

35378068As the person responsible for calling the bronze dragon that destroyed her village, Losha is tasked with killing it. Failure to do so means she will be outcast from everything she has ever known. Yet one she is on the road, two local women in tow, she finds that she is strangely reluctant to harm the beast that lurks in her mind.

After an encounter with an oddly familiar old woman and a knight in a small hamlet Losha is more confused than ever. On one hand, failure to slay the dragon means she cannot return to the promise of marriage from a local boy yet the more she learns about the dragon the less she wants to harm it.  It, like the bronze sword that is her only defense, speaks to her in a way nothing else has.

The stage is set for a final showdown between knight and beast when the knight’s true quest is revealed and Losha must choose between all she has ever known, or the companionship of an old woman…and a dragon.


Forging Mettle

By Michael Siciliano

35378068Xander, a teenaged street thief in the grimy slums of Low Town, discovers he has an innate magical talent on the same night his father is killed. Intent on getting revenge, he attempts a risky robbery which goes bad. Rather than face the hangman’s noose, Xander agrees to accompany a group of soldiers intent on finding a powerful magical artifact. But the Beggar’s Hand isn’t what the King’s sorcerer thinks. Deep in the mountains, Xander must make life and death decisions, not just for himself, but the Kingdom he calls home.


The Myth of Mt Agony

By Kelly Said

35378068Meadow’s mere presence ensures the Morningstar farm produces with preternatural abundance. A dirt-dusted foster-child, she hungers for harmony with Auric’s lands.

Valcone is the reclusive prince of Auric. Confined to his room—for the safety of his subjects—he craves control over his persuasive powers.

The prince and the farm girl’s powerful personalities will collide with epic force when a war erupts between Auric and a neighboring kingdom. With Auric’s fate on the line, Valcone tests the limits of his ability. He amplifies his steady push into a forceful shove against Meadow’s gentle Nature. The Earth-shaper finds herself between a rock and a hard place, literally, where the only choice to save her family may lie in surrendering to the destructive force of her ground-breaking ability.


Mist Weaver

By Terri Rochenski

35378068Dolan wants nothing more than to escape his village for the big city where his small stature and unpleasant features won’t make him the recipient of constant ridicule by the lord of the manor and his heir, Gilroy. The mist that dances to the sweet notes of Dolan’s flute is his only camaraderie and the only beauty in his life—except for Keavy.

When the kind milkmaid is faced with unwanted attentions, Dolan must defend her honor with a choice that will ultimately change his life.


Alice and the Egg

By Rebecca Hart

35378068Alice would do anything for her father, the only parent she’s ever known since her mother’s death in childbirth. When he falls ill, Alice doesn’t hesitate when the opportunity to barter her life for his is presented by Jayden, the prince and only heir to the Dragorean throne.

It doesn’t take long for Alice to realize the palace has secrets. Ones that relate to her own past more than she could ever have imagined. If she can find a way to play the game of secrets well enough, not only could she save her father, she just may manage to save herself as well.

Enter here for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!


You can pick up BRAVING THE ELEMETS at these great bookish places!

Roane Publishing: Smashwords: Amazon: Barnes & Noble:


4 responses to “Top five things that bring a character or a new fantasy world to life

  1. terrirochenski

    Thanks for your support, Jennifer!!! xoxoxoxo

  2. Jen! You’re wonderful, thanks for helping us share BtE with everyone! 😀 ❤

  3. Thank you so much for sharing! XOXOX