Know what’s the Most Fun Thing about writing Fantasy?
Really. There are too many things to choose from. Creating a world? Playing with magic, setting limits and then exploring what’s possible within them? The ability to throw nearly anything at your characters to screw up their plans? Planting familiar human struggles in a strange world?
Maybe. But one of the things I have the most fun with is creatures. Animals. Mythical beasts, both previously known and not. Setting them free in a world and seeing what happens.
You’d recognize many of mine. You like dragons? I’ve got ’em. Young and nasty ones, old and… well, they’re different. I was going to give you a snippet for WIPpet Wednesday of Aren explaining dragons, but it just doesn’t work as a snappy excerpt, and y’all have enough to read from me this week.
But yeah, we’ve got dragons here. They don’t play a huge role in the story, but they’re vitally important to the larger world that it’s set in, and they do make several appearances.
What else have we got? Gryphons (see above). A species (sub-species?) of winged humans known as the Aeyer. Flying horses, too. Merfolk. Cave fairies. Rumors of unicorns, unconfirmed by any of my characters as of right now. Sea monsters and water dragons. Humans, magical and not. And then there are the animals you’d be familiar with: cats, dogs, eagles, rabbits, geese, horses… well, you’d be familiar with a small number of the horses. The native ones are a little different.
Maybe that’s the Most Fun Thing about writing Fantasy. We get to take the everyday and stand it on its head, take it apart and re-build it into something better or more sinister or more challenging. If we want horses to be omnivorous beasts that are better suited to our world, we can do that. If we want dragons to be quick and nearly mammalian or slow and cold-blooded as any lizard from our world, who’s going to say we’re wrong?* As long as we’re consistent and work within the world and the rules we’ve set out**, we can do as we please. When we’re staring at the blank page at the beginning of a new project, there are no limits.
Huh. Maybe that’s why I don’t write anything set in our world. And why I find real life boring. And…
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*No offense to lizards. I like them a lot. I just think that being cold-blooded must be a pain sometimes.
**Which means no inventing new creatures or magical abilities just to get the hero out of a jam. Be consistent and at least foreshadow that stuff, dude.
April 2nd, 2014 at 8:11 am
I’m jealous of your ability to write fantasy. I’ve tried. It always sounds stuff and dry. But man, do I wish Dragons actually existed.
April 2nd, 2014 at 8:14 am
I still say we have them around here.
I just don’t say it out loud, because I’m actually trying to get OFF of the drugs. 🙂
April 2nd, 2014 at 8:23 am
I have to agree. Creating the monsters in my books is one of my favorite parts. I don’t even plan them any more. I just have ‘monster’ written in the outline and design the thing as I go. Makes for some bizarre critters. Now I’m tempted to do a week of monsters and make it a game somehow.
April 2nd, 2014 at 8:42 am
Your last point is the best. And, yeah, writing fantasy is great for those of us who find the ‘real’ world rather mundane.
April 2nd, 2014 at 8:43 am
It’s just SO DULL.
April 2nd, 2014 at 9:58 am
That is a great part of fantasy!!! And I’m glad you’re writing fantasy. 🙂
April 2nd, 2014 at 10:04 am
I’m having a lot of fun coming up with a history/back-story for my werewolves, too. It’s dovetailing so nicely with actual Newfoundland history. 🙂
April 2nd, 2014 at 10:36 am
In Sword in the Stone (Disney), Mad Madam Mim breaks the rules and turns into a purple dragon. No purple dragons allowed. I love that you say you can’t just invent a”purple dragon” to save a characte, that rule made my morning.
April 2nd, 2014 at 10:58 am
I’ve never written fantasy before, but this makes me want to start RIGHT NOW!
April 2nd, 2014 at 11:37 am
It’s an insane amount of fun. A little overwhelming sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I should try something set in the real world some day. Maybe.
(Well, technically I’m working on a series set in our world, but I think the presence of supernatural beings means I haven’t quite let go of Fantasy yet.)
Thanks for stopping by!
April 2nd, 2014 at 11:46 am
I love dragons! And, real life is boring.
Heather M. Gardner
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Co-Host
April 2nd, 2014 at 12:50 pm
I’m with you on the creating beasts and monsters – having a ton of fun coming up with a plethora of creatures for Camp…
By the way, have you seen this post over on Brain Picking – that books sounds like it would be right up your street, all pretty illustrations of mythical monsters!
April 2nd, 2014 at 1:29 pm
Love those illustrations!
April 3rd, 2014 at 3:46 pm
Great post and I love your bio. I can completely relate.
April 7th, 2014 at 12:13 pm
Of course once you’ve decided that minotaurs, werewolves, and fairies all exist in your world, you have to figure out why they’re there and how they interact with everything else in the world. That’s the big thing I learned from outlining a novel over the past 2 months. Everything is freakin’ connected, and if you want to add something, you’ll need a good reason for it to exist
Don’t you just love writing fantasy? 🙂
April 7th, 2014 at 6:59 pm
I really do! I love figuring that stuff out. One of my little irritations with some books is how every species just acknowledges humans as dominant. I really doubt that would ever happen in mine! I’m lucky I can even get the cave fairies to help the merfolk out from time to time.
PS- minotaurs are so cool. 🙂