Fantasy Writing Category

The Writer’s Guide to Siege Engines

Besieging a castle or a city inherently has a great amount of built-in tension that a writer can use to fantastic effect. If you want to read besieging a castle, I recommend my last article, The Writer’s Guide to Besieging a Castle. Today, we are focusing on siege engines, a general term that includes catapults, […]

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The Writer’s Guide to Besieging a Castle

Even though castles could be easily avoided by an invading force, it was often a bad idea. Attacks could be launched from them, with the soldiers retreating to their safety. During much of medieval Europe, if you wanted to take territory you had to deal with the castle of its king or lord. This usually […]

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The Writer’s Guide to Castle Construction

If you’ve read my previous posts, The Writer’s Guide to Castles and The Writer’s Guide to Castle Defenses, you have probably realized that there were many types of castles throughout European history. As a result, the cost and time involved in castle construction varied widely. If you are planning to have a castle under construction […]

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The Writer’s Guide to Castle Defenses

Castles have been romanticized for centuries, to the point where we forget their use. First, they were a home. Second, they were a series of carefully designed kill zones. Today I will cover the features most seen in castles and their purpose. I will limit this article to medieval Europe since that is when and […]

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The Writer’s Guide to Castles

From the Red Keep to Cair Paravel to Skyhold, castles have loomed large in fantasy and are a familiar part of the landscape of movies, TV shows, video games, and books. They are a favorite among writers and often grab the imagination of readers and viewers. However, unless you live in Europe, most writers don’t […]

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The Writer’s Guide to Shields

Today I will be covering some of the most common misconceptions of shields that I see in movies, TV shows, and books. Again, my focus is on medieval Europe since that is where most of my expertise is. If you want a guide to types of medieval shields, please visit my previous post here. As […]

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The Writer’s Guide to Types of Shields

The shield is almost as iconic as the sword when it comes to fiction and legend. Just like the sword, since it is not a commonly encountered item, most modern writers are lacking in accurate information. There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation presented as fact. Today we will be looking at types of shields. […]

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The Writer’s Guide to 1820s Women’s Fashion

With the death of King George III of England in 1820 and the coronation of George IV, the Regency era was over. Bright saturated colors and patterns came into vogue. Rows of trim and tucks, fluttering ribbons and shimmering gauzes and bobbin lace were used with abandon. After years under the rule of an old […]

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The Writer’s Guide to 1550-1600 Men’s Fashion

Although the fashions of the second half of the 16th century were dominated by England’s Elizabeth I, the men of this period were not about to fade into the background. Middle- and upper-class men were peacocks in their own right and dressed to impress and show off their social status and wealth. Underwear Just as […]

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The Writer’s Guide to 1500-1550 Men’s Fashion

As I mentioned in my article on early 16th century women’s clothing, fashion of the first half of the period was dominated by male trend-setters including Henry VIII, Francis I and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Almost everyone can picture the famous portrait of Henry VIII wearing a slashed and embroidered doublet and a fur-lined […]

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