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Mock
October 21st, 2006, 10:21 AM
I write two genres: fantasy and historical fiction. I'm just a kid, so almost everything that I write I show my parents. They basically say that they like my historical stories better, because it teaches about culture, etc., and it has a heart. I really want to write more fantasy because its so free, but I'm discouraged.

What I want to know is, what are the lessons/morals/themes of your speculative works? How do you try to make them special? And why do you write fantasy in general?

Thanks in advance for feedback. :)

Dazzlinkat
October 21st, 2006, 04:42 PM
I have always liked 'love is selfless'. A person discovering they love someone more than they love his/herself. Its what makes a father run into a burning building to save his child, a mother to throw herself between her child and a monster, a husband taking his own life so his enemies will stop hurting his family, make a bad guy turn good to save the woman he loves, a good person murders someone to save someone he/she loves. 'All' has a very open meaning, leaving alot to work with.

I love fantasy because it leaves you everything to play with. I can make a king, whose kindgom is besieged and all his people are on the brink of falling captive to some horrific invaders (cannibals, sadists, demon, etc) and begs the gods for a way to save them. Maybe he gives his soul to a dark god to become some great monster that saves his land and his people. Now, he still has this power, but not his soul. Does he stay a savior of his people without his soul or does he sink into darkness, becoming something worse than those he had defeated? (EX: The Scorpion King, Dracula).

Maybe by saying your historical stories have more heart, your parents really mean they could understand those characters actions better. Try giving every character/creature a motive for doing what they do in your fantasy writing. Why does your knight have to kill that dragon? Is he avenging the deaths of his family killed by the dragon? Why does that thief need to steal from the wizard's tower? Did the wizard kidnap her baby for some nefarious dark art? Motives can make anything you imagine plausible. Even in D&D modules, which I have the most experience at writing, motives can really bring an adventure alive to your players.

JamesL
October 22nd, 2006, 04:39 AM
I write fantasy because I'm thoroughly addicted to it and always have been. As a writer, there is just so much scope for imagination. You are not restrained by nearly as much as you would be if you were writing an historical piece. Fantasy is pure escapism, where you can completely lose yourself in another world.

Plus in terms of storytelling, it's one of the oldest genres. I mean, people have been sitting around campfires for thousands of years telling stories of heroes and battles that grew in the telling, later becoming myths and legends.

Mock
October 22nd, 2006, 10:15 AM
I think that's a perfect word, Dazzlinkat--"motives." They define characters. JamesL, I was surfing your blog and I realize that motives tie in a lot with what Goodkind arrogantly and hypocritically said--baddies should have motives.

JBI
October 22nd, 2006, 11:59 AM
I write fantasy because in fantasy,the writer is god. When writing historical fiction, or fiction set in normal times, one has to follow conventions set by other people. In fantasy however, like I said, I am god and cando whatever I want.

JamesL
October 22nd, 2006, 12:56 PM
I think that's a perfect word, Dazzlinkat--"motives." They define characters. JamesL, I was surfing your blog and I realize that motives tie in a lot with what Goodkind arrogantly and hypocritically said--baddies should have motives.

Yeah, it was one of the few things he said that had any merit at all. ;)

Elidhu
October 22nd, 2006, 03:20 PM
i love writing fantasy because of the freedom of it. also, fantasy books can have any mixture of the genre's... you can have a fantasy book with horror, love, mystery, adventure and even history. if i were you, i would make up another world... one similiar to our own, take an historical event and base the main event of your story loosely on it... basically mix your stories... historical fantasy... um... im sure there are other writers that have done that but im not sure of any... maybe someone else can give you an exmple and you can look it up?

JBI
October 22nd, 2006, 07:02 PM
i love writing fantasy because of the freedom of it. also, fantasy books can have any mixture of the genre's... you can have a fantasy book with horror, love, mystery, adventure and even history. if i were you, i would make up another world... one similiar to our own, take an historical event and base the main event of your story loosely on it... basically mix your stories... historical fantasy... um... im sure there are other writers that have done that but im not sure of any... maybe someone else can give you an exmple and you can look it up?

Guy Gavriel Kay did that for most of his books. Also, George R. R. Martin based his books (Perhaps only the first one) on the Wars of the Roses. There are tons more, Including Tamararie(sp?) based on Napoleon, and not to mention all the history Shakespeare and Homer used to write their stuff. :p

KatG
October 23rd, 2006, 11:19 AM
So you basically want us to give you ammunition to convince your parents that it's just as valuable for you to try writing fantasy as it is for you to write historical fiction? Welcome to the world of sff, where we regularly have to justify our existence, sometimes even to fans. :)

Here are some arguments you can make:

Fantasy has a long tradition in literature. Many classic works of fiction, from Homer's The Illiad and the Odyssey to Spenser's "Fairie Queen" to Twain's "A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," and so on, are works of fantasy. Authors who use fantasy have won major literary awards, such as Salman Rushdie, John Updike, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Fantasy has regularly been used to illuminate history and culture. Many works of fantasy are historical fantasy -- they take place in real world history. And like historical fiction and historical mysteries, they offer a view of that time period and culture. Many writers -- see Salman Rushdie again -- have used fantasy elements to explain aspects of non-Western cultures and world views. Since most fantasy is based on mythology and fable from different cultures, fantasy is cultural in its very essence.

You can argue that fantasy is nothing but heart in its subject matter. Regular themes in fantasy works concern the struggle between good and evil, the power of love, loyalty or faith, the importance of family and human connections, the hope for peace and freedom from enslavement, the need for forgiveness and atonement, and so on. Fantasy elements are basically allegorical and symbolic in nature. Fairy tales, fables and moral parables were all used to talk about important social issues and impart moral lessons, and modern fantasy continues this tradition, drawing from the same source material and using the same techniques. A fantasy story, therefore, is usually about much, much more than just a dragon or a ghost. (Just as a mystery story is about more than a mystery and a romance story is about more than just a romance, but sometimes people don't catch that.)

I'm sure that your parents appreciate your diverse interests and creative imagination. Write them a historical ghost story about a boy who learns an important lesson, and they may like that better. But in any case, you're writing two very interesting types of fiction and we wish you well with both.

Michael B
October 23rd, 2006, 12:18 PM
I write fantasy because that is the genre where my ideas work. I have written a few sci fi stories because the ideas in these cases worked best.....