Why I Love Fantasy
Hey guys! Today I’m going to be talking about my favorite genre and why I love it so much, from both a reader’s and a writer’s perspective. Because, in case you guys didn’t know, I am a writer—an unpublished one at this point, but a writer nonetheless.
At this point, you have probably figured out that I love fantasy. Most of the book I talk about in my TBRs, wrap-ups, and pretty much every other post fall into the fantasy category. Here are some reasons why I love it.
1. It’s an escape.
I know that this is something that is true for most books—they are something fun that helps us take our minds off the real world and all the stress that comes with it. Fantasy in particular, though, is often an escape from even a fictionalized version of the real world. It can be set in a completely different universe that has little to no resemblance to our world, and that’s what I love about it.
2. Anything could happen.
Most genres have some prerequisites a book needs to meet in order to be considered that genre. Horror needs to be scary, or at least disturbing in some way. Contemporary needs to be set in the real world today. Historical fiction needs to be set in the past, usually around some real event in the past. With fantasy, though, you can literally do anything. It can be set in the real world or not, it can be in the past or the present or the future. Technically, a fantasy story doesn’t even have to have magic, and it could still count—though, personally, I prefer writing (and reading) ones that do.
That is what makes fantasy so great—it can be whatever you, as the author, want it to be. For readers, too, there is so much to choose from. I’m a firm believer that there is something for everyone in this genre because it can cover so many different things.
3. It fosters imagination.
Obviously, things like magic and magical creatures like unicorns and dragons don’t actually exist, but it’s incredible to think that humans came up with them, and now almost universally, if I mention the word unicorn, people will know what I am talking about. The human capacity for creation is so vast, and the fantasy stories that we have now only brush the surface of what we could come up with. To me, that’s not only exciting, it’s inspiring. It makes me want to go dream of fantastical worlds. It makes me want to write.
Fantasy stories inspire us to open our minds and think about what could be. That kind of thinking lends itself not only to storytelling, but also to the real world. All of the technological advancements we have made came from someone who was willing to think outside the box, to bend the rules and ask questions, and that is exactly what fantasy does.
I know I said earlier that fantasy stories don’t have to have magic to be considered fantasy, but I also said that I like it when they do. That’s because magic is just so cool. The ability to fly or control the elements or swallow some metal and become ultra-strong. No other genre can have magic, because every other genre has to have some level of realism. With fantasy, that goes out the window, and you can have magic. As with everything else in fantasy, that can mean a lot of different things. It can be like Harry Potter, where there are witches and wizards with inborn powers and spoken spells. It can be like Mistborn, where the magic has very specific rules and the practitioners don’t have any powers unless they have some metals they can burn. It can be anything in between.
5. It can reflect and comment on real life in an indirect way.
Often, in a fantasy novel, there will be magical creatures like elves and dragons and the like, but there are also usually humans, or human-like beings, and those humans have a lot of the same prejudices and issues that real humans do, just expressed in a different, less familiar (and therefore less contentious) way. This distance allows fantasy authors to kind of analyze human nature and make points about some problems going on in the real world in a way that doesn’t risk alienation from those that disagree, because after all, it’s fantasy. It’s a clever way to sneak in some social commentary, and show how people are still people, even if they are from a completely different world from ours.
Of course, maybe that is just the English major in me talking, and the authors don’t actually intend to do anything other than write a fun story with magic and adventure. Who knows?
I could probably go on and on about my love of fantasy for a long time, but I don’t want this to get too boring, and 5 seems like a good number, so I’m going to stop here.
Let me know down in the comments what your favorite genre is, and why you like it. What are your favorite books from that genre, too? I’m always looking for new book recommendations.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you on Friday!
I loved this post! Totally agree with you. I love fantasy too. Specifically, I love how it puts a different spin on reality in a way that makes you look at your own surroundings differently. It needs to connect with you in order to make an impact, and it can’t do that if it’s JUST escapism. It’s better when it gives you some perspective. But the escapism bit does make it more fun to read. Those two elements make fantasy one of my favorite genres!