My Favorite Things About the Fantasy Genre

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I primarily write in the fantasy genre. It’s always been my comfort zone. It’s what got me into reading, and ultimately, into writing in the first place. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it’s the whole tea pot. So, I decided to list a few of my favorite things about the genre! I’ll limit it to three things lest I talk for the next three thousand years. (Note: these aren’t limited to the fantasy genre. If I say I like fantasy because it’s exciting, that doesn’t mean I think that mystery and sci-fi novels aren’t exciting.)

1. It’s imaginative
Writing is, obviously, one of my biggest creative outlets. When I was younger, I wrote for the sake of writing because it was fun. I think one of the biggest reasons fantasy stole my heart is because it’s such an imaginative genre. There are creatures of all kinds, new worlds, new species, new adventures, etc. Even the ideas that are more characteristic of a fantasy story, like dragons, elves, princesses, quests, etc., often have a fresh, fun spin with every book I read. 

I know there are rules to writing if you want to write well, but when I write fantasy, I feel like those rules are so much more bendable. It doesn’t have to be real. It has to act in a real way or else it won’t be believable, and so it does have to follow certain rules, but you can use your power of creativity in fresh and exciting ways. You can make bubble people and talking mosquitos and whatever your heart desires. It’s fun!

2. They can contain rich and deep themes
If there’s a point or theme you’re trying to make in your writing, fantasy allows you to make that point in a new and less obvious way. An obvious example is The Chronicles of Narnia. But also, think of those old fairy-tales that have become commonplace (if you’d sort fairy-tales into the fantasy genre like I tend to do. I mean, witches? Talking wolves?) And think of one of my personal favorites, Aesop’s Fables. They have morals and themes illustrated in a less obvious way by fantastical scenarios. 

3. It’s (usually) a fresh world
What’s more exciting than plunging into a brand new world? How many people do you know who would sell an arm and a leg to enter Middle Earth and explore the Shire? (What? The Shire’s boring? Well that’s the first place I’d go to.) I mean, there’s a reason why The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios is a thing. Fantasy gives us a chance to enter a new world, and I think that’s the coolest thing.

4. It’s ancient, but somehow it’s familiar
This is the hardest one for me to describe, but there’s something about these fantasy worlds that feel like home. There’s a nostalgia for the past, for places I’ve never been, and there’s such beauty in that. There’s just something about it that sparks excitement and love for me. Maybe that’s not true for everyone—I know fantasy can’t be everyone’s favorite genre, of course, but it’s true for me.

These are just a few reasons why I think that the fantasy genre is such a wonderful thing. It has some of my favorite stories, and it was a stepping stone that helped got me into writing. Do you guys have a favorite genre to write/read? Which is it and why?

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