IWSG monthly post
What do I love about the genre I write in most often - fantasy and historical fiction?
When it comes to fantasy, what I love most about it is the escape from mundane life. Reading and writing fantasy makes me feel free. I am in awe when I see how writers create their fantasy worlds. The creative capability of the human mind is unbelievable. Writers create whole, believable worlds with their own login, creatures and surroundings. At its best the reader's mind accepts the "reality" of these worlds and you can almost see them in your mind.
Speaking as a writer, I have to say writing fantasy has other benefits too than creating a believable fantasy world for others to enjoy. When I write fast and allow my mind to create freely, my subconscious learns to search for answers to everyday challenges as well. Writing fantasy teaches my mind it has permission to play with story ideas, and let those ideas surface freely. There's no need for those ideas to be perfect. When it is a question for example of brainstorming at a meeting at work, it's quite a handy skill to have.
And historical fiction... Well, I love history. And I love love love well written historical fiction, no matter which era it is about. Of course I have a soft spot for ancient Egypt, and place my stories there, or at least tie an Egyptian theme in the story, if at all possible. But the historical novels I read can happen at any era. Take 18th Century for example. I flipped through Diana Gabaldon's first Outlander book in a bookstore when I was searching for a good book to take on a vacation. (I get bored by the poolside in two minutes and have to have a historical novel to read) I was hooked, and visited the bookstore often to see if they got the other books in the series. Bought them all. Also David Penny's Thomas Berrington novels are excellent - set in Moorish Spain. And CH Sansom's Matthew Shardlake mysteries are sheer art happening in Tudor times. All these are writers whose skills I envy (in a good way).
It isn't the era itself, of course. It is all about the people, how the story shows the humanness we all share, despite when we happen to be born. A well written historical background gives colour and flavour to the story. And a well-researched history novel also teaches about the era it happens in. Could there be a more fun way to learn about history?
I admit I have tried to write "normal" historical fiction, but no such luck. Yet, at least. The fantasy element creeps in almost unnoticed. I love the surprise elements in stories - they should not be too predictable. And indeed sometimes I read the story my fingers are typing, not knowing what comes next. Or I think I know where I'll be taking the story, and then the story takes over and writes itself into something I never planned. My Nephilim Quest series certainly in a good example of this.
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