Believe it or not, I was once too good for fantasy. I thought the idea was silly, after all, who could take all that magic and monsters seriously, hmm? Not me, that was for sure. But as I have said before, it seems to be my lot in life to end up adoring/obsessed with things I once disliked. Eight years ago, I discovered fantasy literature and now there’s no going back.
As a reader, fantasy adds a level of excitement and, for lack of a better word, awesome to stories that I just can’t find anywhere else. As a writer, fantasy opens up creative opportunities in a whole new way.
It’s far easier to get around a reader’s preformed ideas about a society or time period because I build my own and I don’t have to feel guilty about historical accuracy, though I often try. If, in a fit of idealistic fervor I decide I want to throw in a certain social issue (like I did in the Argetallam Saga with people’s black and white viewpoints on war) I can do it in a way I think offers better perspective, is more tactful…and less likely to incite confrontation.
In fantasy, can have our good old fashioned political intrigue and military tactics, but then we can have the added bonus of sorcery, monsters in literally every shape and size, and whatever else we want. Unlike science fiction, we don’t need to adhere to the laws of physics, because we can make our own. We can pick and choose which fragments of realism we want and scrap the ones we don’t. Furthermore, fantasy allows us free rein to use reverted morality systems based in chivalry and honor and I far prefer that over most modern paradigms. (I’ve said I was old fashioned before.)
Being a teen girl, I am also very fond of romance and in this genre there is more than rhapsodizing or attraction (though I’ve read and written plenty of both). Here we have the opportunity for love across lifetimes or worlds and stakes that can be an individual’s very soul. There’s the chance for mystical bonds and soulmates and…sigh.
With mages, dragons, knights, viragos, and every other form of the mythic and legendary, the potential of fantasy is limitless and its ability to transcend the boundaries of our world is unparalleled. Though I might read other genres and occasionally write something that isn’t swords and sorcery, epic fantasy is my one true literary love and I don’t see that changing any time soon.