Time periods are important to many readers, so I will just try to explain it succinctly.
A time period is the amount of time that a story takes in a sequence. It is important to note here that most of the time periods in Fantasy is comprised of multiple episodes of a story that overlap. Time periods include story arcs, events, characters, and themes.
The following table is taken from the Storybook of Fantasy by C.S. Forrester, which outlines the most major time periods of a fantasy story.
Time Period Episodes The Story BEGINNING The Story CONTINUES The Story EPIC (1000-1200 Episodes) The Story EPIC (1100-1200 Episodes) The Story CASTLE The Story TALES The Story SCENES The Story ENDING (1000-1200 Episodes) The Story ENDING The Story
A Time Period is like a Story – you have a start and an end. We will look at them more closely in the next section on Character and Theme.
Character and Theme
Fantasy is a storytelling genre and it is very important to know the difference between characterization and theme. Most of the time, people who are reading a fantasy will understand what is going on, and most of the time they will be able to tell you, “It’s a good thing or a bad thing.” A story does not need to make a big deal out of everything. So many stories can be a good or a bad thing depending on the theme and character. In a lot of Fantasy stories, the theme is the main character.
For example, in The Wheel of Time it is the world that is the most evil character. On the other hand, in some tales we have characters that represent the virtues of a world—an elf who saves the kingdom, a soldier who works, an orc who is brave and courageous.
In both cases, it is important to remember the distinction between character and theme.
A character is a point of view, character. A character is a way of thinking about the world and you see through the eyes of this character, whereas in the Fantasy world, a theme is the character.
A theme is where characters live, while a character is where their feelings and thoughts and actions flow.
In general, a story revolves around a certain character. However, as I learned early on in Fantasy, the characters can be multiple, or even multitudes at times.
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