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Why do you read/write fantasy?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Firefly, Apr 11, 2019.

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  1. MJScribes

    MJScribes New Member

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    I read (watch, listen to) fantasy works, because it's the only way to visit the worlds captured in those stories. For me works of fantasy (and sci-fi too, especially those in more far-fetched genres) are the chance to experience unique places, ideas, cultures and people that I couldn't get to know any other way than via books, movies or TV shows.

    Also, fantasy has amazing ability to make experiences and events far removed from our normal life understandable, engaging and relatable - and that's a really powerful tool. It can make people see things in ways they would never consider in real life (i.e. I'm from a country that's super homogenous so especially as a child/teen I wasn't quite aware of racism/discrimination based on nationality and fantasy literature helped me understand those concepts and prompted me to learn and examine them in real life - to the point when I realized there were TONS of racism/national discriminations in my country but the groups affected by it were too small to raise much awareness of it and it just went unchallenged and therefore invisible for the most part).

    And since experiencing things unattainable by any other means and opening myself to ideas and experiences outside of my common frame of reference is the essence of fiction for me, then obviously I fell in love with fantasy :) Both as a reader and a writer.
     
  2. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    I want to write fantasy because the niche that I really want to read about seems to have been completely abandoned for decades. There are some old classics, but you've quickly read through all of them, and the rest isn't really that great to read.

    I want to do my part to show that it can still be fun and worth writing new material for, and that the antiquated elements of the old classics only seem offputting to some because they are old stories, not because they are integral to the style.
     
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  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    What's the niche, Yora? I think you may have said, but maybe say it again?

    Come to think of it, it's probably worth asking not so much why does someone write fantasy as why they write the particular kind of fantasy they are writing.
     
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  4. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    Classic oldschoool Sword & Sorcery of the more cerebral kind, like Kull, Hyberborea, Elric, and Kane, instead of the brain dead muscles and boobs junk that followed.

    And the Why is because the age of myths is a great setting and making hellish beings strange and alien is awesome. And modern fantasy really can use more adventure and action and less brooding in castles and taverns.
     
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  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Adventure! I absolutely agree there's a place for this. Conan didn't need modern angst; indeed, Howard's stories were in part a rebellion from that. So were many that Burroughs wrote.

    I also think there's room for nature. Few readers come into much contact with the natural world; most of us live in cities. Simply being in a forest at night is for many of us close to being transported to another realm. I think there's room for stories that can evoke that.
     
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  6. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    Sounds good to me. I enjoy adventure.
     
  7. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I agree with this. I like to read and write about settings in nature.
     
  8. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    I'm a professional gardener and now study horticulture, but I also once used to study ancient and tribal religions as part of a previous abandoned career path. I find the relationship between people and the environment very fascinating and realized that most of western society doesn't actually know what nature is. Except for remote parts of Scandinavia and North America, there are no natural environments in our world left. When we go out of the cities and into nature, the environments we are entering are agricultural land and tree plantations, that have been constantly worked and managed for centuries. In most of Europe it has been for over a thousand years, and we exterminated all dangerous predators long ago. And there are roads everywhere, which can take us to the next food store or hospital in under an hour
    I think this is creating the impression that nature is beautiful, peaceful, and healthy. But that's a really distorted picture. We think outside of the cities is nature, but most of Europe is one big, safe, cultivated park. It's a beautiful fantasy that certainly has its place, but I also think there is huge potential for fantasy fiction that explores what wilderness would have been like for people for 99% of human existence. I very rarely see that, and it's the other main thing that makes me want to write something.
     
  9. Firefly

    Firefly Troubadour

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    Hmm, maybe I'll have to start another thread for that.
     
  10. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Always wrote it, even if it didn't always hit the page, heh heh. A bit like Malik, I write what I can't find elsewhere, but no matter what I'd be writing. I like what I like how I like it written, and very few writers achieve that. I spent years figuring out what I don't like about other writers, and eliminated that from my writing, heh heh. I was probably 8 when I officially decided I wanted to be a writer... I just lost my way experiencing life in between then and now.

    I like heavy realism and heavy magic, and that blend is something few writers seem to achieve to my satisfaction... no idea why. So, I try to read a lot of fantasy, but either the writing or the story itself typically loses me. More often than not, I'll find myself rereading my own stuff looking for improvements rather than reading somebody else. I'm obsessed with my story, and I'm finding that at least some people out in the world are as well, LOL.
     
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  11. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    I like history. Fantasy is fictional history. The end.

    Well, I also enjoy worldbuilding, which includes exploring the worlds other had built.
     
  12. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    History with dragons. Mustn't forget the dragons. ;)
     
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  13. Chronodendron

    Chronodendron New Member

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    Because stories and characters based in reality tend to be boring and limited by said reality. The only limitation in fantasy is your imagination.
     
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  14. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. blondie.k

    blondie.k Minstrel

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    When I read/write fantasy, I get a chance to escape reality and explore what's possible in a world that I've never been to. It's a place to be myself or someone else; someone I wish I could be.
     
  16. phantommuseums

    phantommuseums Scribe

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    I just never grew out of it. It just matured and developed, and I think I will always enjoy escapism.
     
  17. Yora

    Yora Maester

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    Fantasy is not something you grow out of. Almost all fantasy writers are grown ups or old people, and the vast majority of readers too.
     
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  18. blondie.k

    blondie.k Minstrel

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    Agreed.
     
  19. phantommuseums

    phantommuseums Scribe

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    I also agree! But goodness, it was so special to me as a kid. Really saved me. I’m so glad it still gives me the same feeling.
     
  20. blondie.k

    blondie.k Minstrel

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    Right? Otherwise, I would have been dead inside like the rest of my senior class!
     
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