Greetings Fellow BookNerds!
Some may think it’s easier to write fantasy than non-fiction, because you have to pull everything – or at least most things – directly from the imagination. In fantasy literature, nothing has to follow the logic of reality… and that’s what makes it so mentally demanding. Why? You’re basically working on a clean slate, upon which you have to inscribe an entirely new foundation for the world you’re going to build upon it. This is the downside of being given too much free reign; sure, you can design the world however you see fit, but you still have an obligation to your readers to create a world that follows a certain pattern of logic. There has to be rules and regulations, so that we as the readers can understand the true implications of the characters’ actions.
It’s challenging, but it’s the challenge I relish most, especially when it comes to writing. The mark of a really good writer is one who is capable of creating a story which can continue indefinitely, without breaking away from the foundation of logic the story was initially built upon.
All of that being said, even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until I made it through the ones I have… well, we all know how those kinds of new years resolutions usually end up, especially if you’re someone like me who tends to collect more of something than they actually need. I can put part of the blame on a friend of mine, who used her incredible powers of persuasion (aka, she put the book in my hands and told me it was a good read), and there was just no way for me to refuse. My willpower seems to go right out the window when it comes to books :) Since the damage has been done, here is this months book review.
“Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them” by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter was the series that had me falling head over heels into the fantasy genre. Rowling brought to life an entire world which co-exists with our own, complete with explanations that have many of us believing that there really could be wizards among us. She even created a series of books that cover the various dimensions of the wizarding world.
Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them is a genuinely good read. Although short in length, Rowling went surprisingly in depth when explaining how it is that, even though all of these creatures exist among us, we ‘muggles’ will most likely never set eyes upon them. My favourite part, of course, is the history created for each of these creatures, something I find quite challenging to do.
This is a creature I designed for one of my first fantasy book ideas. As you can see (hopefully), it’s a mix between a wolf, a sabre-toothed tiger, a unicorn, and several other little bits and pieces thrown in that at the times I thought looked cool. I can assure you, my drawings skills have improved since then, but the general idea is there. This is the part of creature design that I really enjoyed, because all I had to worry about at that point was what the creature looked like. When it comes to developing their story of origin, habitat and other minute details, I always find it very time consuming, and eventually I just decide to make it up in the actual story as I go along.
Rowling knows how to do it really well. She truly is a master of the quill. Of course, my favourite part of this book is the little comments written by Harry Potter himself, as though it had actually been in his possession. Even though her wizarding stories have come to an end, it makes me smile to see that the world continues to live on in other books of hers.
Now, my question for you guys…
Q: what do you find is the hardest part of writing a fantasy novel?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time, happy reading!