F is for Fantasy

If you’ve looked around this blog for any amount of time you may notice that my genre of choice is fantasy.  Specifically high fantasy, aka. epic fantasy.  Think elves, dwarves, strange worlds, magic, etc.

At my writers group meeting last night, one of our newer members confessed an unfamiliarity with the genre.  Specifically, he was asking about various aspects of world building a fantasy world vs. the “real” world.

My explanation to him was very off-the-cuff, so I’m open for suggestions and corrections.  Feel free to add your thoughts below.

My answer, specific to my world, is that technologically, economically, and politically it is similar to the medieval time period of earth.  The geography is unique, intelligent races are different than our world (elves, and whatnot), and woodland critters are a mix of “standard” and created, as are plants.

That was all I came up with last night.  What else would you suggest is unique to  fantasy worlds and what is the same as ours?

–j–

B is for Backstory

Let’s talk about back story, shall we?

What is back story?  Back story is all that amazing, wonderful stuff that you thought up that happens to your characters before the story your telling.  It’s your characters childhood.  It’s the trauma they suffered before the reader meets them.  It’s the relationship with their parents.  All the things that make them who they are when they walk on stage.

Here’s the catch:  Back story doesn’t belong in the story.  Not directly anyway.  This is probably the hardest part.  You spend all those hours dreaming up and recording all these details of their lives, and then you don’t get to put them in the story.

That’s how it needs to be though.  Back story does nothing but slow down the *real* story.  The story of now.  The story you’re really telling.

Besides.  There are ways to cheat.  Start a blog.  Post the stories on your blog as extra content.  I’ve got a bunch of it here for The Priestess, the Protector.  Feel free to browse, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

–j–

A is for Adventure

Adventure!  It’s what fantasy stories are all about, right?  Swinging the sword.  Battling the dragon.  Saving the maiden in distress.

I’m sure I’m not alone in using my writing as a vehicle to live the adventures that I want to.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.  Lindsay Buroker’s Emperor’s Edge series kept me up late because I couldn’t put it down. Continue reading A is for Adventure