‘How to Write a Fantasy Novel’ (2010)

Paperback Bell Mountain Book

This was one of the very first posts to appear on this blog. Originally published in Chalcedon’s print magazine, Faith for All of Life, “How to Write a Fantasy Novel” is meant to shed some light on what we call–without devoting much thought to what we call it–“Christian fiction.”


After I read Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in high school, the only thing I ever wanted to do, as my work in life, was to write fantasy novels. It took me some fifty years to accomplish that.

Anyway, I’ve picked up knowledge along the way, and if you’re interested in trying your hand at writing fantasy, what I’ve learned through experience is encapsulated for you here. (I don’t believe I’ve had the opportunity to use the world “encapsulated” in any of my books. But you may want to.)

My Newswithviews Column, March 17 (‘My “Bell Mountain” Books’)

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) - Kindle edition by Duigon, Lee. Religion  & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

I just finished The Witch Box a few days ago, and my editor has told me the double climax I created really works. That’s a relief.

I thought it might be nice to take a break from unrelievedly bad nooze and try to drum up some interest in my books. Hence this column.

My ‘Bell Mountain’ Books

Don’t be too quick to brush off fantasy. Do you think the big shots of this world deal in anything but fantasy?

The difference is, mine won’t kill you.

My Newswithviews Column, July 28 (‘My New Book “The Wind from Heaven” Is Out’)

I have been blessed with the mission to write my “Bell Mountain” series of fantasy-adventure novels for young readers. Probably most of my readers are adults, but that’s all right: they can pass the books on to their children and grandchildren.

No. 13 in the series, “The Wind from Heaven,” has just been published.

My New Book “The Wind From Heaven” Is Out

There aren’t that many fantasies written from a Biblical worldview; but mine are. And I’ve tried to purge all the most annoying fantasy cliches from my books. No crusty but benign old wizards, thieves with hearts of gold, gorgeous beautiful girls who know kung-fu–to all that stuff, “Away wi’ ye!” I just can’t stand those jumpin’, spinnin’ kicks.

You can find out about all the books in the series by going to the home page and clicking “Books.” In fact, you don’t even have to exit this blog to order them.

Let the Games Begin!

14 Freelance Writing Specialties for Writers

Okay! I’ve written the first few pages of my new book, as yet untitled–although I do have a chapter title: “The Blow Will Fall on Durmurot,” the most indefensible city in all Obann.

I do need a book title, but that, I pray, will come. I worked outside until it got too hot: indoors, we get too many nuisance robo-calls. I will soon know how many times I can say “Bite me” to a robot. Not much point to that, although I do need to vent from time to time.

Poor Durmurot. All they want to do is produce enough copies of the Scriptures to distribute all throughout Obann–and across the mountains, too, if possible. General Born refuses to send any more military aid to Durmurot, and he may be acting wisely. We shall see.

But what’s going on in Lintum Forest might be an even bigger danger. Wish I knew exactly what it was! But that’ll come, too.

Meanwhile, Chalcedon’s crack editorial staff has begun work on Book No. 14, Behold!, and No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, is being printed and will go on sale any day now.

How many books will there be in the series?

As many as God gives me. That’s all I know about it.

My Newswithviews Column, June 4 (‘My New Book is Out’)

See the source image

So now it’s out in all its glory, my newest book, His Mercy Endureth Forever.

My New Book is Out

Has there ever been a time when we were more in need of God’s mercy? Would our fallen world live through another day without it?

This is Book No. 12 in my Bell Mountain series. No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, is being edited and will, I hope, be published next year.

Would you rather read a cracking good fantasy/adventure novel, or watch the nooze?

Guranteed 100% free of current politics!

‘Bell Mountain’: 10th Anniversary

Has it really been ten years since Bell Mountain was first published? (“I’m afraid it has, kid…”) Winner of a bronze medal in the Global E-Book competition; but of course it’s in hardcover, too. I wish I knew how many people have read it.

What to say? It started with a dream I had, of a boy standing on a grassy riverbank and looking up at the mountains; and one of the mountains was singing to him. Ten sequels in print so far, with another due to be published any day now: I would’ve been surprised, ten years ago, had anyone told me I’d still be writing sequels ten years later.

I wanted to write a fantasy/adventure novel grounded on a Biblical worldview. There aren’t many books like that. It turned out to be the beginning of a history, which is why it had to keep going. I hope to start writing another one as soon as the weather warms up. But I rely on the Lord to give me the story, and I can’t start work until He does.

I decided early on that my fantasy would not include hocus-pocus: spells, flying broomsticks, great and terrible wizards, super-powers (I hate super-powers)–it had to be more imaginative than that. So I would allow nothing that couldn’t be found in the Bible. This still left me with a lot of scope. Good and evil. Miracles. Wars, treasons, heroism, villainy, prophesy, exotic animals, exotic peoples, hair-raising adventures.

If I started listing my favorite characters in the series, I’d be doing it all day. Suffice it to say that the main characters in Bell Mountain are still around, twelve books later (No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, is not yet in production): Jack and Ellayne, the children who must climb the mountain and ring the bell placed there in ancient times by King Ozias; their protector, Wytt, a squirrel-sized, manlike creature; the assassin, Martis; the hermit, Obst; and Helki, the wild man of Lintum Forest.

Now, if you’d like to read these books, they’re very easy to obtain. Just click “Books.” You can order them right here from amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher, Storehouse Press.

You can also get it in Portuguese.



Coming Soon: ‘The Throne’


We’re now doing the final edit for The Throne–the text that will actually appear in print. It’s Book No. 9 in the Bell Mountain series, and I hope the gorgeous cover by Kirk DouPonce makes you want to read it.

I had hopes of getting this book in print in time for Christmas, but I’m sorry to say it doesn’t look like that can be done. Oh, well. It’ll make a nice post-Christmas gift.

Meanwhile, it looks like one more chapter, just one, will do it for Book No. 10, The Silver Trumpet. And then I’ll feel like I’ve raised a child and sent him out to seek his fortune in the world: sort of an empty-nest feeling. But the good news is that the story demands another book after this one. When you’re writing history, even the history of an imaginary world, that has a tendency to happen–because history just never stops.

As long as the Lord keeps giving me these stories, I’ll keep writing them.

I’ve Got My Books!

It’s always a big day for me when I get my author’s copies of my book. Today I got my copies of The Temple. That cover looks good! My wife is already hunkered down to read it.

You may have noticed that I’m blogging more, of late. That’s because I’m between books, and that always makes me antsy. But I know I’ll have to wait months before the Lord starts me on the next story that He wants me to tell. He knows I need that time to rest and renew my resources.

The Temple is Book No. 8 in my Bell Mountain series, and the themes remain the same throughout: God’s sovereignty over all Creation; His power to intervene in history–without abrogating our free will; how He draws individuals and nations to Himself; and how the characters learn to know and love God through obedience, through sacrifice, hard work, enduring hardship, taking risks, and loving one another.

In all of this, whether I’m writing or not writing, my one indispensable tool is God’s own word, the Bible. I want my stories to be steeped in the Bible: it’s the only way to make them valid.

If you’re new to this blog, welcome. And if all of this is new to you, a lot more information is available just by clicking “Books” at the top of this page.