Every writer has their favorite genre. We all have strengths and weaknesses in our craft. Those weaknesses are not to be ashamed of, because every author brings something new (and necessary) to the table.
So, why fantasy? I’ve been asking myself this question lately. Because I love other genres, as well, like historical fiction and sci-fi. But I almost always end up back at fantasy. Two of my three “finished” novels are speculative fiction (Promised Land is fantasy, and the other is portal fantasy).
I believe I have landed at a few conclusions.
First, let me ask you a question: Why are we, as humans, often drawn to fantasy? Why does our culture flock to movies Lord of the Rings and Star Wars?
Tolkien put it this way:
Blessed are the legend-makers with their rhyme
of things not found within recorded time. (Mythopoeia)
Fantasy bridges a gap between who we are and who we want to be. It is the magic that makes a child believe he can fly . . . or tame a dragon . . . or discover new worlds.
Fantasy is necessary for imagination. It is the evidence of our wildest dreams.
I write fantasy to learn about myself and the rest of the human race.
There is a beautiful objectivity in fantasy. It opens the door for us to explore issues we wouldn’t otherwise feel comfortable with. Fantasy often satisfies our innate need for a “hero”, even though, in the best fiction, the hero is realistically flawed (a.k.a relatable).
I write fantasy to bring awareness to things that I couldn’t draw attention to otherwise.
Again, because of objectivity. You might not even know the author is alluding to a modern-day conflict, and as a result, the exploration of that conflict within the pages of the story often does not provoke strife. Because it is fantasy. It’s very nature is one of wholeness and purity as it delves into the age-old battle of good and evil, light and darkness.
Fantasy unites us. We can come together to squeal over a swoon-worthy character, a broken hero, a long-awaited romance, a timeless storyline.
Fantasy satisfies our need to see the underdog recognized, the good guys win, and the bad guys lose. It might not come easy – it might take time and tragedy – but it will come.
I write fantasy to validate my own wildest dreams. To make them come alive, at least on the printed page – and in the minds and hearts of readers.
There is magic in fantasy that sweeps you into another land. There is beauty in the words that lift you out of your present circumstances.
And finally, I write fantasy to make the world a better place.
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.”J. K. Rowling
Tell me, what do you love about fantasy? What are some of your favorite fantasy books? Let’s chat!