A guest post by Andy Peloquin
The Best Inspiration To Write A Fantasy Novel Comes From…
The inspiration for everything comes from life around you. That fantasy character that you love, he/she came from someone or someones that the author knew. Characters tend to be an amalgamation of all the people that an author knows or has met in their lives, or a collection of the traits that authors consider to be appropriate for the character in mind.
But where does this collection of traits come from? Real life, of course!
The reason I started writing fantasy is simple: it frees us from the limitations imposed upon us by the world of today.
Think about what you realistically can and can’t do in your life. There are certain rules, strictures, and regulations that you have to follow. If you step out of line, there are always things to slap you back in place–you end up getting fired, divorced, dumped, or arrested.
But in the world of fantasy, there are few of the limitations that exist in the world today. If you want to turn every character of your book into purple fairies, by the Seelie you turn them purple! If every character in your book is going to have their sexual organs reversed so that the men have female parts and vice versa, you can go ahead and write it!
That doesn’t mean that fantasy works can exist without a structure or some semblance of real life threaded throughout. Books that are so alien as to be nearly unrecognizable tend to flop in terms of sales and readership, as it’s the humanity in a book that helps a reader to connect to the book. Without that touch of humanity, it would be as abstract as an academic textbook.
And yet that blend of humanity with the fantastic is what makes fantasy the genre that continues to draw me back in time and again. No matter how many times I try to read something else, I’m always yanked back to fantasy simply because it’s a combination of the mundane and the supernatural that I can’t help but love.
Why did I choose to write fantasy? Simple: it frees me from the limitations that other genres impose upon my writing.
Were I to choose to write, say, a mystery novel set in Los Angeles, I would be bound by the laws of Los Angeles–traffic, time between destinations, locations, restaurants, etc. But by writing in fantasy, I can create my own laws, my own world.
World building is something that is complex and yet so simple at the same time. The world you build has to resemble real life, but you–as the author–have the freedom to thumb your nose at reality and say, “I want to make everyone an Orc that rides green-tailed lizards.” Those orcs will still suffer the same crap that we humans tend to suffer, but in a very Orc-like manner. The differences will intrigue readers, but the similarities will allow them to identify with a character that is so much like them.
If you can dream of it, you can write it in a fantasy (or sci-fi) setting. Your mind is free to roam the boundaries of your imagination, and you can go as totally crazy or as sane as you want.
Fantasy ranges from the nearly mundane (books with almost no fantasy elements, save for the fact that they’re set in a different world) to the completely fantastical (with magic, sorcery, gods, faeries, monsters, and all the rest). The only limitation is your imagination!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Andy! I believe the other fantasy writers could relate to your thoughts.
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