View Full Version : Tradition versus Creativity
June 5th, 2002, 07:07 PM
I am curious what my fellow board members think about new ideas tossed into the pit of fantasy writing. Are you for old stand byes like magicians, dragons, and mid-evil worlds, or are you up for the new breeds, like urban fantasy. Where elves dwell in worlds that are full of smog, factories, and skyscrapers.
Personaly, I prefer the old over the new. I would gladly reread LOTR instead of the latest Brooks novel. But, I am open to knew ideas, like Fred Saberhagens East Meets West leading up to the Swords series. This is my opinion and I would enjoy to hear yours.:)
June 5th, 2002, 07:51 PM
Personally I think that those old traditional elements are so widely used not just because they're traditions, but because things like wizards and dragons and the medieval world in general just hold a lot of appeal, and they always will. They provide a certain escapism that stories set in the real world usually can't provide.
That having been said, I think urban fantasy can be really enjoyable, but maybe it's harder for the writer to make it good. It has to break enough with reality. For example, a few nights ago I watched the movie The Crow (you know, with Brandon Lee). This movie is a good example of urban fantasy (I know it's a movie but it was a comic book first). It's set in a modern-day inner city, but involves elements that are definitely fantasy. I really love this movie and think that it's a powerful, emotional story.
So my point is, that in general I think the "old" stuff is more enjoyable or at least more reliable. But in certain cases the "new" stuff like urban fantasy can be equally good, if the writer has enough imagination to stitch together fantasy elements seamlessly with real life as we know it.
Does that make any sense?
June 5th, 2002, 07:57 PM
Sure it made lot's of sense, and I heartily concur. ;)
June 5th, 2002, 11:18 PM
I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
With traditional fantasy, you are using tried and true formulas, but then again, so are a lot of other writers, and unless you have a good twist or can do it better than them, tradition settings will just toss you into the "Been there, read better" pile. But there is certainly an audience for this style. I'm just pointing out that is a bit more difficult to get noticed.
Then you have the more contemporary fantasies, where originailty is the call of the day. I think these settings can relate to a much wider audience (because even readers who don't like fantasy will often read ones that are more rooted in modern settings), but on the flip side, a lot of hard-core fantasy fans prefer the psuedo medieval, LOTR kind of stuff.
Also, to an extent, urban fantasies usually need to be a little more grounded to "work." The create-a-world fantasies are more free in this sense. Unless, of course, you manage to blend the two, which has been done many times and worked very well.
I could go on, but I think you see my point. Either one you choose will have difficulties to overcome. So, in the end, you might as well write about the one that most interests you. Because regardless of your chosen style or setting, good writing, interesting characters, well strung plot and a good pace are what will make the story a great one. No matter what genre it's in, these elements will be the most important.
As for myself, I almost always write in urban settings . . . or write with characters from modern times. It's what most interests me.
June 6th, 2002, 11:18 PM
A good mix.
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