Why I Like Fantasy

I’ve read fantasy for a long time. I’ve been known to take a break and read other genres but I always seem to come back to fantasy. I guess it’s the kid in me and the love of a good yarn that keeps me reading these stories. But there are other reasons the genre interests me as both a reader and a writer.

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Fantasy 2I got into a conversation after completing my interview the other night about speculative fiction and why it’s useful for story-telling. One of the main points noted about fantasy and science fiction is how flexible these genres can be. A writer can explore all kinds of topics through setting and situation. This is done in science fiction by using technology and in fantasy through magic systems.

As a reader, fantasy attracts me for several other reasons, one of which revolves around courage. So often, fantasy characters – main, secondary or otherwise – are faced with dire circumstances regardless of their magical assets (spells, weapons, etc.). It’s at this point that courage becomes the factor in the story with outcomes that can be either victorious or disastrous. I like to see how a character of any kind might react courageously in the face of these extreme situations.

For instance, in The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf refuses to budge in the presence of both the balrog and the Lord of the Nazgul. Likewise, Eowyn stands up to the Lord of the Nazgul just to defend King Theoden. That’s gripping as well as courageous.

Additionally, I like to read about characters who take on leadership and just do what’s necessary. In such stories, a character might make decisions because they have nothing to lose and nobody else is willing to make that call.

Morguefile.com free photo for Maintaining Wind in Your Writing Sails

Morguefile.com free photo for Maintaining Wind in Your Writing Sails

And then there’s the pure adventure of a fantasy tale. One recent book that captured adventure well was Michael J. Sullivan’s The Emerald Storm which is a tale that largely takes place on a sea voyage. It captures elements of Treasure Island in a fantasy setting. And who doesn’t like adventure on the high seas.

So for me, fantasy is a way of examining people in extraordinary circumstances all with in fantasy settings that add to the wonder and excitement of the story. Sure, I could watch Saving Private Ryan to see the defense of the bridge and the courage it takes – and love it. But put that in a fantasy setting and you can come up with some really good stories. I could read or view ocean voyages like Moby Dick or Master and Commander but add magic and some monstrous critters and it gets doubly interesting.

BOD FinalWhy do you read fantasy? What book or movie would you like to see converted into a gripping fantasy novel?

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, September’s FREE book, What Is Needed is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords & Amazon.

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7 comments

  1. With you all the way here PH! I’m a junkie for Tolkien so obviously the grandstanding stuff is a given but I also like the way he explores the more mundane aspects too. Best ME examples are friendships like Sam and Frodo’s and transition relationships like Gimli and Legolas (from embedded enmity to major bromance!).
    The master of fantasy issue metaphors though, for me, was Terry Pratchett who managed to run the gamut of human war, endeavour, racial hatred, capitalism and the intensely silly along with the magic on the impossible Discworld. My favourite is still an early one, Small Gods which explores the depths and heights of religious fundamentalism, embryonic democracy and slavery with insight, empathy and lots and lots of magnificent one-liners and comedy scenarios- the man was a genius! 🙂
    Magic just reflects and magnifies what goes on in real life and that’s why I’ll always love it best 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantasy was my first love in reading, although it has slipped a bit since all the greats like Tolstoy, David Eddings and the writers of the Dragonlance Series have passed. Then when –I forget her name, she recently died, Macgregor? wrote her talking dragon series, I was in Heaven. Today with genre writing dominating the writing world, I see so many stories, quickly forgotten because they are the same stories with name and place changes. I was enjoying urban fantasy but they, too, are now telling the same story. There is hope. I recently read a YA speculative fantasy which was enjoyable and we’ll written. I look forward to great fantasy with your book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Micki. Fantasy has certainly proliferated these last few decades. Anne McCaffrey wrote The Dragonriders of Pern series many years ago which I certainly enjoyed. She did pass away in 2011.

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