Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Foundational Fantasy

Fantasy stories can take you into other worlds where you can fight pirates, soar on the back of a dragon, or go on a quest. There could be magic, adventure, romance, daring deeds, and great beats. Over the course of four weeks, we'll go in-depth on how to build a compelling fantasy story including worldbuilding, magical systems, fantastical creatures, and captivating characters. 

What We’ll Cover:

  • The main elements of fantasy stories including creating dynamic characters, a compelling plot, and stand-out settings
  • Types of fantasy stories, common tropes, and archetypes 
  • Establishing rules for your world
  • The basic elements of worldbuilding
  • Creating magical systems
  • Magical and fantastical creatures 
  • Avoiding common pitfalls
  • How to layer elements and themes for multi-dimensional
  • Tips for a fantastic fantasy
  • We’ll also touch on related sub-genres such as urban fantasy, magical realism, and fairytale retellings
  • Toward the end of the class, students will have the opportunity (if they wish) to submit pages for private feedback from the instructor

Who Should Take This Course:

  • This class is suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers of kidlit, YA, and adult manuscripts
  • You could have the barest idea for a world or a written manuscript where the world needs some fleshing out—and everything in-between, including not quite knowing where your manuscript fits genre-wise
  • This is aimed at writers of Fantasy and related genres
  • If you've take my elements of Sci-Fi and Fantasy or Worldbuilding class, there will be some repeat information

Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: Common Elements and Themes in Fantasy

Lesson 2: Establishing the Rules of Your World

Lesson 3: Worldbuilding Basics

Lesson 4: Common Worldbuilding Elements

Lesson 5: Magic and Magical Systems

Lesson 6: Magical and Mythical Beings

Lesson 7: Stand Out Settings

Lesson 8: Integrating your World Into Your Story

Lesson 9: Creating Dynamic Characters

Lesson 10: Compelling Plots

Lesson 11: Superb Subplots

Lesson 12: Perfect Pacing

Lesson 13: Layering Elements and Themes

Lesson 14: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Lesson 15: Language and Dialogue

Lesson 16: Tips for a Fantastic Fantasy

Lesson 17: What Makes Your Story Different

Lesson 18: A Day in the Life

Lesson 19: Wrap up


Suzanne Lazear

Suzanne Lazear is the author of the young adult steampunk fairytale series THE AETHER CHRONICLES and the new adult elfpunk series THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS. An avid baker and crafter, she lives in Southern California with her daughter, husband, a cockatiel, and a small army of stuffed animals. Learn more about her at




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