Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy Reads Writing Guide

Its been so long since I’ve shared a weekly book meme on the blog, so after seeing the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, its no surprise I had to participate! As always, Top 10 Tuesday has moved to ThatArtsyReaderGirl, but was originally created by The Broke And The Bookish

Cozy, especially when it comes to books can be different depending on who you ask! For today’s prompt I thought I’d share 5 Writing Elements that makes a book cozy for me, specifically when it comes to building a Cozy Fantasy story (which I’ve actually been planning during NaNoWrimo). What makes a fantasy become “Cozy Fantasy” for you? Let’s discuss in the comments below πŸƒβœ¨

1. Concept

It all starts with the idea! To me a book is “cozy fantasy” based on the premise alone gives that healing, comforting quality before you turn that first page. There needs to be that charm to the summary that makes it clear the book’s gonna be evoking all the coziness. It depends on the book of course, but a cozy fantasy to me means there’s not too much brutal or tense action, a lot of time spent engaging with the characters or getting to know them on a more personal level and lots of page-time spent on the world or setting.

2. Atmosphere

Similar to that of the setting, these books need to have that ambience that is comfortable, but also intimately gets you familiar with the world at a slower pace yet never sacrifices those moments to venture into those peculiar details that make it special.

3. Slower, Well-Balanced Pace

This may depend on the story, but for me its not a Cozy Fantasy if the story feels too rushed or even moves at a snail pace to tell. The pacing should have that balance that hits the in-between, not afraid to spend those moments building the world, the characters’ lives or the magic & fantastical elements the author explores.

4. Slice-Of-Life

Before the term “Cozy Fantasy” caught on, for years I’d always described these kinds of stories as “Slice Of Life Fantasy,” which I still think is a great description. Something at the heart of these books which become instant favorites, is that element of slice-of-life, or engaging with the plot through the main casts daily lives. Tying into the world-building, this always works well when you get a personal look into the main character’s daily routine or typical way they spend their day, to me that coziness comes from making the mundane almost feel “magical.”

5. Full of Joy & Hope

At its heart, these stories should have that defined thread of joy, hope, and comfort throughout in some way! I think because these books can be different for everyone, its hard to make an exact definition but ultimately, for the reader there should be that happiness during the reading experience. Though if were talking specifically crafting an absolute “calming and healing” Cozy Fantasy, to me this means there’s never a moment where the characters are in serious peril and there’s lighthearted, hopeful conclusions to any conflict.

If your new to Cozy Fantasy Books, the perfect recommendation to familiarize yourself with these books is The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill. I originally read this sweet graphic novel as a webcomic when the author was releasing it via newsletter, which later was published in print. Greta, a blacksmith’s daughter becomes immersed in the world of Tea Dragons and her journey in making new friends at a serene pace, evokes everything that I love about cozy fantasy stories. The world is at the center and the personal character arcs are at the center of the book, it also has charming artwork bringing everything to life!

Summary: From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their livesβ€”and eventually her own.

These are the elements that for me build the best kinds of Slice-Of-Life fantasy stories. Hope you enjoyed reading this little writing guide I put together!! πŸ“šπŸ“πŸŒ·

What elements do you feel make a Cozy Fantasy story or novel? Do you see any here on this list that you agree with? Are there any super specific pieces that make a fantasy “Cozy” that you haven’t seen here? πŸŒ·πŸƒβœ¨


9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy Reads Writing Guide

  1. I am new to cosy fantasy but all those points are what I imagine from these stories… Definitely the slice of life focusing on mundane activities infused with magic. It sounds so perfect, delicate and intricate. Typically no violence as well. Happy moments get to steal the show!! 😍
    The Tea Dragon Society looks so cute!!


  2. I love how you’ve tackled the topic on cosy reads! I agree with you on all these points. The Tea Dragon is a great example of it and I don’t know if you’ve read it yet but Legends & Lattes is also a perfect example of a cosy fantasy. It does the slice-of-life, cosy, comforting and heartwarming thing brilliantly! 😍


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