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Does fantasy need action?


Hero Breaker
That's tough. I can only think of so many situations that would successfully work in a fantasy setting. One would be mystery and the other would be a trial. These wouldn't require action scenes, but they may elude to them (ie a killing).


Article Team
^^ I write a lot of stories, but as an example, one of them involves a damned soul who escapes from Hell on the eve of a demonic invasion of Earth, and how her rekindled romance with the man she was once married to gives her the courage to strike back against the demon that tormented her. It's got a certain degree of action (hell, one character kills a demon with a kitchen knife!), but it's generally over with quickly, and most of the story is just people talking to each other.

There's nothing wrong with a story with people just talking. Like people have mentioned above tension and conflict is what's important. Something like a fist fight might be exciting in concept but can be the worst type of boring if there's no emotional content behind it. Ever watch Transformers 2 or 3? Cool effects, but boring "action" when it comes to story telling.

A conversation can be every bit as stimulating and exciting as a good fist fight if written well. It's how you frame it around the emotional content of the story that makes things interesting.


Well, I've read a lot of Regency novels (the Georgette Heyer kind, if anyone remembers). You could well translate then to a fantasy setting and there isn't a fight in them, only intrigue and romance. Same goes for the Jean Plaidy historical novels. Full of medieval doings, but a lot of emotions and betrayal. There may have been murders and assassinations, but I don't remember any vivid action scenes. And regional novels, over here we got heaps of those.

And Fantasy may equal Escapism, but Escapism doesn't equal Violent Action.


Even Twilight has action in it in a few places, however.

I can't think of many (any?) fantasy novels that don't have at least some action.
Does Goethe's Faust count as fantasy? It has one duel in the whole book, that's about all with action.