Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Why Fantasy?


Why fantasy? To the non-writer and writer alike, this seems a current question. With the popularity of Twilight, everyone believes that if you write in this genre it’s because you are hoping to jump on the gravy train. As if writing fantasy or paranormal is as easy as riding a bike. Well, some people never learned to ride a bike…. Writing fantasy isn’t easy. Nothing in writing is easy.

I don’t write in this genre because it’s trendy or popular or whatever other hack reason people may think up. I write in this genre because I read in this genre. Always have. It’s what I like. I also like Science Fiction. These types of books are engaging and transporting. They take us from our living rooms and place us in other worlds. Worlds we could never have imagined. They allow us to see things we would never have seen otherwise. There is magic in fantasy.

I could sit down and write in another genre. I could write endless emails about random things, essays, etc. if I chose to. I choose YA fantasy.

It’s very difficult to distinguish yourself within this genre anymore. So many ideas (most) have been heard and done, and done again. Finding original or unique material is almost laughable. We try to take these ideas and spin them in a different way—take readers down a different path. Show them something they haven’t yet seen.

So why write Fantasy when it’s one of the most popular, and therefore, hardest genres to break into? Because we write what moves us, what drives us. We write what wakes us up and rattles us with ideas. The ideas that make us pound away at the keyboard or put pen to paper. The ideas that won’t let go.

Ten years from now, the hottest thing going could be books on space travel and distant galaxies. That doesn’t mean we shift gears and attempt to write about something just because it’s hot (well…you shouldn’t do that anyway).

We should stick to our guns and write what we have a passion for, what we love. I write fantasy because for me, there is no greater genre. For me it is magical.

What genre do you write in and why? Do you think everyone jumping on the YA bandwagon helps or hurts the writing industry? More titles = More selection OR not so much?

Love to hear your thoughts!


19 responses

  1. Amen to that!

    June 10, 2011 at 10:28 am

    • HaHa…glad you agree!!

      June 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm

  2. Pingback: Why fantasy, indeed! « Random Thoughts

  3. I get ‘moved’ on different levels. I write science fiction because it’s what I love, be it book or movie. But I write historical fiction because I was ‘moved’ by a need for heros of color. Science fiction will always be my greatest love.

    June 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    • This is a great point. You’re absolutely right. We don’t always write in the genre in which we read and love. Sometimes that genre may not provide the right foundation for the story we need to tell. And I believe we all have a story to tell. I have swayed slightly as well on a particular story in my WIP’s. Thanks for commenting:)

      June 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm

  4. I remember discovering Terry Pratchett and Anne McCaffrey when I was about fifteen or sixteen years old. Logically I write fantasy because I want to get right away from ‘real’ life. But it’s more than that. I’ve always wanted to be ‘special’ – I love the X-Men films, anything about people with abilities beyond those of ‘normal’ human beings. I can’t have those abilities, but my characters can and do. My heroes and heroines don’t have to be boring, normal human beings. They can do things no one else can, and I can live that thrill through them.

    June 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    • So true! It is that otherworldly quality that has always drawn me in to fantasy as well. The extraordinary quality of characters. And with so many different distinctions within fanatsy now–from urban fantasy to contemporary, the genre holds a farther reach. Thanks so much for sharing and stopping in:)

      June 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm

  5. I write fantasy also because I read fantasy, and sci fi, and love comic books and big-budget movies. I write fantasy because it brings me closer to things that are awesome but don’t actually exist. I can create anything I want, and it doesn’t even have to be “within reason”, it just has to make sense in the world in which I’m writing.

    Great post. I really enjoyed it. ^^

    June 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    • Exactly! We can get lost in fantasy. For me that is what reading is all about. I want to experience those other worlds, whether through my own writing or some one elses. Our imaginations hold the key.
      Thanks so much!

      June 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

  6. I find life has enough misery stored up for us without reading about it as well. I value the escape of fantasy and science fiction, and I love the world building that the best of our writers give us where we feel like we are there with the characters.

    I do find the stampede towards young adult frustrating though. There seems to be a pressure to make stories young adult when once upon a time the age of the MC wouldn’t have mattered so much. A fantasy would be a fantasy, whether the MC was a teen or an adult, and I was quite happy with that. I think being classified as YA puts some stories in a box which limits what happens in that book, in future books or in that world.

    June 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    • Couldn’t agree more. The news alone is reason to read fantasy. Or write it for that matter.

      And yes, Fantasy used to just be fantasy without classification. I’m a huge Anne Rice fan and although she gets classified in both Fantasy and Horror, I just think of her as a fantasy writer. Not an Adult Fantasy/Horror writer. I’m sure many ‘would be’ fans haven’t even read her books due the non-YA classification. I also agree that the age of the MC, if written correctly, should have little bearing on the overall feel of a book. Good writing is good writing. I think the line is drawn much more tightly around YA paranormal romance in regard to limiting content. I appreciate, and read, all the current classifications, whether they be YA, Adult or otherwise. Certainly Urban Fantasy has a much darker feel. Thanks commenting:)

      June 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm

  7. No denying we write what we enjoy which is inevitably what we read. I read and write crime. Sure occasionally I will move away from this, but guaranteed it is due to my choice of reading, and sometimes my viewing preferences at that time!

    Great post – if you do fantasy then write fantasy!

    June 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    • Very true Ellie. There is one other genre I write in, not because I neccassarily enjoy reading in it, but because I have a story that needs to be told within it. I certainly believe that our preferences can and do change and with that, new opportunities can emerge. As well, some stories beg to told out of nowhere. 🙂

      June 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm

  8. Pingback: Author Interview: Erin Jamison author of Better Than 8 Fantasy | Books in the News

  9. I am currently writing my first story, which is also a fantasy. As you say, it’s what I like, so that’s what I write. I enjoy escaping to a world that I, or someone else if I am reading something by someone else, have created instead of the hustle and bustle that I face every day, all day. I am trying to stay motivated and hope eventualy to get published. Even if I do not achieve my book being published, at least I will have this wonderful experience, and a story of my own. Thank you for sharing this!

    August 2, 2012 at 7:23 am

  10. Escape, for me, is what sets this genre apart from so many others. And that’s one reason I write it. Sounds like a lot of us have that same idea.
    At the end of the day, we write for ourselves, not for everybody else. 😉 Thanks for commenting today.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    • Thank you, Laney! I do appreciate your input and the encouragement. Thanks for the reply!

      August 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm

  11. You’re very welcome!

    August 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

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