How would the average character in a fantasy novel live? Most of these novels are set in worlds that have no electricity, no running water, none of what we would consider modern amenities. They have magic to compensate for those. Right?
Except not all the average every-day characters have access to all that magic. They’re not the heroes. So how do they live? Probably a lot like our ancestors lived. They prepped. They prepped for winter. They prepped for coming inclement weather. They prepped for shortages. They prepped for long treks and voyages. They prepped for possible wars (likely wars in most fantasy books).
We can’t really realistically live that part of fantasy life. Right? Unless we become one of those crazy, hoarding preppers. Right?
Rebekah is a published author with a life-long love of fantasy stories. She became a certified Story Grid editor in 2019 to take a deeper look at how stories are constructed. She is a mother of 3 daughters, the wife of a former Marine, and plays with arts and crafts on the side. She knits, crochets, plays piano, knows how to sew, and preserves the produce her hubby brings in from the garden via his green thumb. All of these skills can be used in a fantasy story.
Rebekah is on a mission to break down the basics. What do you need to stash away for the winter before the war between the wizards destroys the roads and cuts off the food supply chain? You can’t know that unless you know what basics you actually need to use, let alone how much to stash away. What are those basics? Not boxed foods we pick up in grocery stores. Fantasy characters cooked from scratch if they didn’t have access to magic that could conjure up the food from thin air. If they don’t have a wand, how would they start a fire to cook that food and keep warm? If they don’t have a magic needle, how would they put together their cloaks and warm, winter clothing?
As Rebekah researches and explores this topic, she’ll share what she learns on this site. You can follow along and join in, doing your own research that fits your own story. On the way, let’s see if we can find some shortcuts to simplify what some would consider a complex topic. That way we can pretend that magic was involved after all. Instead of trying to bring stories to life, how about we try brining our life to stories.