By rlds, 10 June, 2020
Tower of a madman

Creative writing in the fantasy genre

Fantasy genre itself is an art of creation. How could we decipher the best examples of works that allow us to judge certain aspects of it? The Gulliver's Travels was a good book of its time - it allowed us to traverse whole continents in search of different races and creatures. Going through the physical transformation of our main hero, was another masterful way of challenging the reader. The Wizard of Oz introduced us to a new environment and the popular wizardry. All those titles went through the cinema, enriching the colours and fueling the interest of the readers.  From the Neverending Story to the Game of Thrones - all those series are connected to the writer's creativity in the first place.

Is fantasy genre the most creative?

The genre - isn't, but the environment is. There is no 'the most creative genre', but there are the most creative ways. The most challenging stories of Sherlock Holmes had intricate details and engaging cases, though we didn't care of the environment much. We knew it was in London of the XIXth century and that was it. Of course, the environs come with time, in certain aspects to a historical period: transportation, utensils, clothing and manners. Most of it is even harder to convey in a fantasy book, where we don't know what period we are even pertinent to. There is no human history traces that trail us to a certain fantasy period. We would never recreate the proper manners of a certain fantasy era, because most of them were the depictions of an author, intermingled with his understanding of the alternative past. If the book was written by an English author of the XXth century, it would probably have certain aspects of that time, transfigured in the fantasy environment.

The cultural aspects, laws of science, weapons, Medieval references, architecture, runes, dragons, etc - in wrong hands only mix the things up. Creative writer would always stay on guard with the plot and the characters, if it is impossible to manipulate the history.

If we develop a fantasy environment, then it should be the environment of its own, without being referenced to the worlds or the works of other people. It is not professional to base a story, e.g. on the Lord of the Rings regalia, areas, races or even plots (!). Not taking into account the legal aspects of plagiarism.


The characters

These 'units' must be real and must be believable. If the dialogue sequence doesn't pace well, if it doesn't chirp out and catch up the air, in a way Shakespearean dramas did, then it's a slow pacing drudge. A well-balanced following of the story most likely will lead to an imaginative environment. How? You don't have to describe much - reader's imagination is probably stronger than yours. Paradox?

You would say, only you know the world you're creating...? meh...

You could recall many occasions reading a short book, where you were the only one who regretted that it was too short, not the author. So, make it curt and neat.

The chasm was open, the trolls were getting in...

Creative writing would always get up to the point of the unfolding, where genuine characters reveal their inner self. Most of the fantasy books nowadays are plain sword-brandishing abominations, filled with the vomits of the aforementioned Lord of the Rings outcasts, etc. If it's all about beating up the baddies, then we are pass. In fact, there is nothing wrong with the premise, most of the fantasy 'gems' including the LOR, have the most cliched plots. And to a surprise of our intellectual bemusement, they do become franchises. It's like saying, Coca-Cola is not really the best drink, why is it so popular, when we have plenty of natural juices or better soda? The image wins, the title prevails.

The Nike-Darth Vader syndrome - that's how we call the today's marketing niche of the fantasy genre. And we understand the striving alcove of independent book marketing, that has recently turned into the link exchange campaign, rather than an actual book promo. We can't blame the authors for the ever-changing technology and decline in the traditional book sales. Even the big names today opt out with the online retailers. But the quality of writing shouldn't aggravate alongside with the sales or demand, lest there would be no sense in such a craft as creative writing. In fact, we have discussed the growing trend of the AI content writers, that could easily substitute most of the journeymen writers, who have no business in creating rich and original environment.

tavern fight

The boisterous spirit

What is the most appealing character in most works of creative writing? A daredevil explorer, a soul-searching warrior, an exuberant wizard girl with freckles, a slimy niggling bookworm, or just a real life character. Fantasy genre from all over the world has revealed many sides of protagonists, some of the darkest secrets of their antagonists, letting us to explore further the canvas of fantasy. The Globiuz, e.g. does not concentrate on a sole premise only, and the series of it do not include the same plot of ongoing wars against the evil - we are not affixed on the same plot throughout the series. The mature character development, that was well exposed in the series of Wheel of Time and Harry Potter, is present in Globiuz.

Most people forget, that even in such rich environment as fantasy, it is still the characters and the creatures who make it all move. There would never have been any appeal to the school of Hogwarts without the believable trio, to the roving fields of Norwin without the friends of Globiuz. Lovable characters, that mostly pertain to our youth, as becoming a part of it.

The characters that open our sensitive past, tingle our rowdy present and shed the light on the obscure future.

Readers' demands

Most of the ongoing demands of fantasy readers form a good target for creative writing. People like following characters from series to series, and they don't like long developments, buildups that don't hold to the final premise. They like satisfying endings that make a reading experience worthy to spend time with.

The most underrated fantasy books on Goodreads are mostly the ones with the odd titles and covers, simply proving the esthetical value of your creative writing. The notion is simple - if you're creative, then your book should look accordingly. A lot of work should be done in the actual book promotion, rather than in writing itself, because your creative writing is not creative if it's not visible.

Book promotion

There are many services and people, who claim to be knowing how to promote you to the 'top', yet they are themselves breathe at the bottoms. Some of them are true dealers.

There are services on the other hand, that specialize in online marketing, but these are mostly the tech guys. They know their surveys and the search engine optimization, they know the marketing from a virtual product standpoint. There are also charitable people from the celebrity list, who could answer your tweet, like we have once been commented by Lena Headey on Twitter in 2016. Elajiah Wood on Facebook in 2018. Spontaneous luck sometimes falls upon the shoulders of idiots like us, but the hype does not guarantee you the longevity of your promo. And that is where the talent kicks in. The quality work promotes itself, and once you have lit your titles on the summit of attention, they will be your final judges - the readers!