This may not have been deserving of a whole blog post, but I wanted to mention it because I thought it would be a lovely discussion point.
I wasn’t always a fan of fantasy. As a teenager I read every bit of historical fiction I could get my hands on. I loved the classics, but I took that further to include anything that was written awhile ago, even if it wasn’t strictly historical. I devoured the likes of L.M. Montgomery, Agatha Christie and Rafael Sabatini.
I fell in love with fantasy very, very slowly. And actually, it was the epic fantasy manuscript of a close friend that turned my head, not a published book or series. As I started to read it, I realized the “rules” of the genre were perfect for me. I could combine everything I craved; the action and adventure of Sabatini, the creepiness of Christie, and the sweet, ethereal description of Montgomery. It could all live in one world if I wanted it to.
But it was again my first love–history–that made me truly stick with it into this series. I always thought creating one’s own history was a cop-out… until I started reading the masters of fantasy. Now I think it’s beautiful. I love creating my own timeline. I love turning my backstory into something hundreds of years in the making, with politics and cultures drawn from Earth’s history, yet as fresh and unusual as I want them to be. And I love being able to incorporate just about anything into that history.
So here’s what I’m wondering: what made you love fantasy? And what made you want to write it? Now that you do write it, what do you enjoy most about writing in the genre? What is the biggest reason you keep coming back to it?
The excitement of building your own world from scratch? The permission to include and create anything supernatural or mythical? The creatures and the things that distinguish them from those we have on our planet? One particular story or author that you fell in love with? The allegorical power that comes with writing something this high concept?
In addition to the comments thread, I’ll be hanging out on the @ThereDraftAgain twitter handle for a little while today if you want to do some chatting about it. I’d love to hear why YOU write fantasy!