Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm Not on a Quest

Once again, I'm wondering why I don't learn how to write fantasy. Everyone wants it. And why not?

It has high stakes. Death lurks around every corner.

Misuse of magic is a great way to get into trouble.

Who doesn't love a quest story?

Plus, dragons. Swords. Elves. Totally invented creatures and borrowed-from-Mythology creatures and conveniently ready-to-save-your-characters monsters*.

But I can't seem to get into it. I like to read a (very) little really well-done YA fantasy, but I'm not sure I love it enough to attempt to write some. I think I'm stuck firmly in the real world. To me, the real world is exciting enough (even with lower stakes) and dangerous enough (even for normal people in normal situations) and funny enough to make for good stories. Maybe not totally commercial stories that film companies fight for, but still, good stories that some people relate to. By which, I mean Me. Because really, who else has to care?

* Actually this bugs me: the introduction of a "dangerous animal" only to find that, hey! he can save my life now!


  1. Yeah, I was amazed at Storymakers by how many people were in the YA fantasy genre. It seems like that's all I met and I don't know if it's because they have such vivid imaginations or they're following the market. Some of both, I suspect. In some cases, I think those are just the tales they weave in their imaginations and the ones that are the msot fun to write.

    Even in my RWA chapter (which is huge), there seems to be more paranormal romances than anything else these days.

    I like realism too, but since I laregely read to escape, I like to gloss mine up a little and have heroines who are always in just the right shoes. But I hope they're still real enough to be interesting. It's going to take practice to get the balance right.

    I'm going to have to check out the title you mentioned. My husband would crack up if I could find a book about parking and line ju ju because they're cancellation effects have been a joke for us since we were dating. I'll be able to prove I'm not the only who thinks they exist...!

  2. I think fantasy is such a draw for so many writers (like myself) because those of us who grew up reading it always dreamed of creating our own worlds. The real world has so many rules that have to be followed, in fantasy, you can toss many of those to the wind.

    That said, for me the only fantasies worth reading are the ones that are believable. The ones that are so powerfully written that there is that willing suspensions of disbelief, and the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred.

    Which, alas, is why my attempts at writing the kind of fantasy I want to read have ultimately failed. I'm not that good. Yet.

    Thought-provoking post!

  3. *ducking my head while raising my hand* Um...I write fantasy. Am I banned?

    No seriously, I write adult fantasy (not adult, adult ) because it's my passion. It's where my heart is and I'm not as authentic when I hide from that part of me. Likewise, if you DON'T write fantasy, if you write YA/Chicklit/etc, and it's YOUR passion, you just need to trust that and then go and do. There's nothing wrong with embracing what comes organically to you. I've fought my inner-fantasy-writer for years and years, wondering how it would balance with my "spiritual side." I finally got my answer this last week and all I can say is: God gave you your talents & He doesn't make mistakes. Just trust it and then do it. =]

    And don't ban me...please?


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