A Writing Journey

The Style of Fantasy

First, an apology for posting at an unusual time. I was so excited about work today that posting entirely slipped my mind. I’ll try not to let it happen again!

At the beginning of the summer, I wrote a whole series about breaking out of the box fantasy has been stuffed in. While I stand by everything I said, there is something else to consider. Every genre has a style. Do mystery writers worry about originality? Do romance writers try to avoid the cliches of the genre? Or do they stick with the style they know?*

Fantasy had a style too. It usually involves a quest or other things I identified as cliche in my previous series. The truth is, they are cliche for a reason. We as humans are drawn to the strange, but it can’t be too strange or else we don’t like it. That means we writers must walk a narrow path. We have to keep to the style of our genre while constantly trying to make our stories new and exciting.

Perhaps you think I am waffling on my stance. I’m not. Those things that I pointed out as overused are indeed overused. But there is reason behind it. Nothing is black and white. I can’t say that cliches are never okay, because, as I’ve mentioned before, there are good times to use them. Its a matter of knowing the style of your genre and using it to your advantage. It also means that we will be judged, over and over, either because we do not fit the mold or because we lack originality. Ignore the world. Write for you.

Take care, fellow travelers.

*As I do not write other genres, I can only infer that they don’t worry about originality based on the books I have read.

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Comments on: "The Style of Fantasy" (4)

  1. I’ve actually found that some more hardcore epic fantasy readers are disappointed when this style isn’t followed. They told me, “Once I stopped expecting it to be something that it’s not, I enjoyed it a lot more.”

    • Hmm, I had never thought of this! It makes sense though – readers of the romance genre expect certain events, so it makes sense that readers of other genres would too. While I don’t mind the style for fantasy, I find myself growing bored with it when, book after book, the same sort of things happen. I know my own writing isn’t always (or ever!) as original as I would like it to be (in regards to plot structure and other stylistic elements) but I am always looking for something new to read. Still, it’s good to know that there are other opinions!
      Take care,
      Emily

      • I’m sorry if I sound argumentative. That’s definitely not my intention. It surprised me to hear him say that. I personally get bored with the quest structure and had a hard time digesting that somehow I was disappointing them by not using it.

        • I didn’t think you sounded argumentative at all 🙂 I think sharing opinions is great, and I love to hear what styles other people like.

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