What will the world look like? How different is it from our own? What new and interesting creatures will inhabit it? What will the people be like?
Under On Writing Posted by T. So you might well ask: With all the magic of the natural world around me, why do I create new worlds when I pick up my pen?
Why am I drawn to the imaginary realms of fantasy? Some of the reasons I write fantasy are probably the same reasons why so many people read it.
Another reason I write fantasy is it can help us better understand ourselves and our place in the world. From the mystical settings, to the profound quests that their characters must undertake, fantasy stories often filter our experiences into new perspectives—like the light refracted by a prism in the sunshine.
Fantasy allows both writers and readers to focus on certain elements of plot and character that might be harder to portray in a story taking place in the real world.
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For fantasy to succeed, it must feel true! We need to believe in the story and the people, places, and creatures it describes. The world must be a place we want to enter and stay in for a while. The characters must have habits, dreams, challenges, losses, and triumphs that echo our own, that make us care about them.
On top of that, the logic of the story must feel true. That logic can be wildly different from what we know in our everyday world—time can move backward, characters can speak the language of other species, and wizards can reshape the world.
But that new logic should have its own clear rules that all of us can understand. Fantasy is, in this way, like viewing our world through a bent mirror. When we look into that mirror, we see certain qualities emphasized and other qualities diminished. This gives fantasy special power to describe problems or situations that deserve extra attention.
By bending the mirror, we are bending the rules of reality. Those worlds include great suffering, but also great beauty, moments of wonder, and genuine hope for peace.
These are ongoing quests in our world, too. Maybe they can inspire us to think about how to renew and heal our own world. For more on the craft of writing fantasy, feel free to check out two essays I wrote recently:Watch video · The year-old Jefferson may have been a shy, awkward public speaker in Congressional debates, but he used his skills as a writer and .
Hi Joanna – just listened to your video on writing fiction. In addition to your reasons and a few mentioned in other comments, I would add that I write fiction to express my thoughts and ideas about various topics through what my characters say and do.
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Why characters are the heart of your novel - & how you can write them effectively by Roz Morris In her fourth article for Writers & Artists, Roz Morris discuss the importance of character development in your novel - and how you can make sure your characters are the kind readers connect with and remember long after they've turned the final page.