As you have probably gathered by now, I like to write . . . a lot! But why did I specifically choose fantasy of all genres? I would like to tell you about that. This blog post will explore why I feel writing fantasy is important and should be continued by writers of today.
Humor me for a minute, and close your eyes and turn on your imagination. (Yes, imagination is one of the key parts of writing, but it will also help me illustrate a point I’m trying to make.) Imagine that you are a child, and your mother has just scolded you. Let us hypothetically imagine that you hurt one of your friend’s feelings, and your mother is addressing you on it; she is trying to help you see why loyalty and kindness to your friends is important. Now step away from that picture in your mind and temporarily put yourself in a story. You are the heir to the throne in the country you are from, but your parents’ enemies are trying to kill you. You have one friend, one comrade, who sacrifices himself/herself (whichever you prefer) for you while pretending to be the heir to the throne in your place. Now, out of each of these two stories, which story endears you to your friend more? Which story causes you to feel a growing sense of loyalty and love for your friend? If you are anything like me, the fantasy story draws those emotions out of me far more effectively.
Why do you suppose that is? Now, there are admittedly some holes in this theory, but the point I’m trying to make is this: people often learn lessons better when they do not feel that they are being taught or instructed. With fantasy, a writer can work through the use of characters and plots to teach important lessons that people would not otherwise listen to unless it was sufficiently disguised in a story! The element of fiction in fantasy stories disguises these moral lessons even more-so. Yet, it is the “hiding” of these lessons that makes them more acceptable to your audience. Though not directly telling your readers “You need to . . .” you are still teaching them valuable lessons. So, one reason to write fantasy stories is that it is an excellent way to teach lessons for real life scenarios without scaring the reader away.
But who wants to read a story only full of life lessons? What about the other stuff? I’m glad you asked! Why else should we write fantasy? Well, for another reason, because it’s fun! Before I came to college, I would find my imagination alive and on fire with new story ideas in the middle of the night. Ideas such as new plot twists, discoveries, and characters to create. The awesome thing about fantasy is this: anything …literally ANYTHING can happen. No fantasy reader should be disgusted by the lack of reality in fantasy because it isn’t real at all! Yes, scenarios and characters have to be life-like (which I will cover in a blog in the near future), but you can create any creature you like – with any personality you like – from any place you like. Fantasy gives a writer the freedom of expression that he/she doesn’t have in reality writing. Seize that advantage! Use all the unique twists and turns you can and see where it takes you. You might even surprise yourself!
Finally, fantasy stories should be written because they are unique. In a world where reality television shows are prevalent, and social media is full of nothing but opinions and real-life discoveries, dare to be that writer that walks a different direction than everyone else. Use your imagination. Think. Take advantage of your individuality and uniqueness and write something that is atypical to life. Surprise your readers. Make them ask “What in the world will happen next?” Now, of course you must make the stories life-like enough to be identifiable and relatable to the readers, but use your creativity. Throw everyone off. Give your readers a surprise ending that they will never forget! With fantasy, you can do that. The sky is the limit . . . unless you’re a flying dragon, then who knows! Take your story places. Move your audience. Make a point; teach a lesson.