Writing Tips

How to Write an Epic Novel like the Game of Thrones


When I first started watching Game of Thrones (and then read it too), I was fascinated at the balance of reality and fiction. 

In this story, princes aren’t always kind and gallant. Princesses get rescued by monsters. Good men die, and the villains prosper. 

We root for protagonists who turn into a villain. We hate characters (only to love them later). We meet promising heroes and heroines who’re smashed into pieces even before we see it coming.

So, every time I turn the pages of GOT books, I marvel at R.R Martin’s wisdom and creativity. I make a silent wish to write an epic novel like the Game of Thrones. I aspire to create three-dimensional, real and tangible characters like Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Arya Stark, and Tyrion Lannister. And I set my heart on weaving an unpredictable plot like GOT’s.

And with these aspirations in mind, I read the GOT series with more attention. I read it both as a reader and an aspiring writer and needless to say, I got so much to learn from it. 

So, if you’re an author and you aspire to write an epic novel like Game of Thrones, you’ll find these fantasy writing tips very useful:


Keep Your Story Relevant Through Real-World Theme

Novels like Game of Thrones conjures a world not bound by the scientific fact or reality. These stories with the imaginary universe have their own logic and physical laws. And yet, they feel real to the reader?

How do authors do this, you ask?

Well, they weave their plot in a way it stays relevant to the real-world problems and situation. They juxtapose fantastical elements with real-world settings, creatures, and character traits. 

“Your concerns about politics, culture, the environment, technology, violence, racism, misogyny — these issues can be explored in inventive, eye-opening ways while writing fantasy,” says Rebecca Faith Heyman, an editor who worked on Elise Kova’s The Alchemists of Loom. “In this way, we want to return to our own existences with new perspectives, new solutions to old problems, or new awareness of what’s at stake.”

Create Your Rules and Don’t Break Them 

Every fantasy story has some rules that set them apart from the normal world. So, for your epic novel, you too should come up with a set of distinct rules that might exist only in your world, and ideally, your characters should discover them the hard way. 

For instance, if you’re going to have magic in your world, it should have some internal logic or cause-and-effect behaviour that’s bound to a few ground rules.

To make your world feel real and functional, you also want to make sure that it’s grounded by rules — an internal rationale, so to speak.

Don’t use borrowed rules and backgrounds from your favourite novels. It’s important to create your own settings and characters, no matter how outlandish. 

Focus on Character Evolution 

If you want to write an epic novel like the Game of Thrones, make sure your story has nuanced, well-thought-out, round characters. Round characters are complex. They undergo development throughout the story and thus are sufficient to surprise the readers. All in all, these characters evolve as the story progresses. 

By contrast, flat characters are uncomplicated and one-dimensional. They do not change throughout the story and hence their purpose is perfunctory.  

Don’t Introduce all Your Characters at Once

Here’s one of the most important lessons to learn from Game of Thrones — never introduce too many characters at once. 

To readers, it’s overwhelming to meet a bunch of people at one time. Your readers are never going to remember the names of 50 supporting, walk-on or minor characters. 

So, take your time with new characters and space the introductions over multiple chapters. 

Furthermore, make sure that all the characters are vital to the story. They should serve enough of a purpose without muddling the plot. 


Have the Vision of a Cinematographer

Very often, authors get so caught up in their world that they write paragraphs after paragraphs, long-winded descriptions that overwhelm the readers. 

This is a mistake. Instead of telling your readers what your world appears to be, what rules it has, and what dangers lurk behind the ordinary, show them scenery by getting your characters to interact with their surroundings.

In short, have the mind of a cinematographer and carefully plan every scene to give readers a three-dimensional view of what’s happening to or around your characters.


That’s all folks. 

I’d end this article with a quote from R.R. Martin: 

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.”

(2) Comments

  1. Only wanna remark on few general things, The website layout is perfect, the written content is rattling good : D. Rafaela Rustin Luann

    1. Thank you so much Rafaela. 🙂

Comments are closed.