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Why did you choose to put your story in a fantasy setting?

 
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Vilya



Joined: 04 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:54 pm
Post subject: Why did you choose to put your story in a fantasy setting?
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I have been mulling around a book in my head for years now. I love the story and characters, but have been thinking about maybe putting them in a modern setting instead of a fantasy one. I was wondering why you put story in a fantasy setting and the pros and cons of it. Thanks
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TamAlthor
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Joined: 09 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:53 pm
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When i was initally writing i wasn't sure on time period or world type setting, I started with just a guy out at night and added more elements from there, I read more fantasy and the story seemed to suit those elements so a fantasy world seemed to fit, what I struggled with was weather or not to add a supernatural element ie magic and or monsters and what not.

I guess if there wasn't magic and monsters it would just be a mideval period rather than a fantasy. For me it was a matter of conflict; i don't know how to write polical issues and I wanted to have world wide conflict. I figured that people have a tendancy to be predudiced and secretive so I started making a world with people that became monsters and tried to think how that could all go down.

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LunaRaven



Joined: 30 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:36 pm
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It is possible to make a modern fantasy. Contemporary Fantasy is currently a very popular genre that features bestsellers like The Percy Jackson series,The Fablehaven series,The Harry Potter series,The Artemis Fowl series, the Alchemyst series, and the Twilight series to name a few. As far as i'm concerned, there are no cons to writing fantasy. Fantasy is the most flexible of genres. Anything can be called fantasy so long as it has fantastical elements(i.e. The Secret Garden, A Song of Fire and Ice series). You don't have to worry about being completely factual either.For example, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova may be considered a fantasy novel but it relies heavily on actual historical facts that took the author ten years to research. You don't have to spend lengthened amounts of time researching a fantasy novels(though many authors do, Tolkien being a prime example). You can draw from historical incidents without needing to be completely on key. You can be inspired by real world items without having to be completely faithful to the items description. You can bend the rules of the world to fit your vision. You can name people unusual and exotic names and no one will take issue. Filling plot holes are significantly easier. Making a plot itself tends to be easier if you are at liberty to make magical nemesi. The only possible downside to writing fantasy in my raveny opinion is BAD FANTASY WRITERS(i.e. people who want to be writers so they take the perceived easy way out and abuse fantasy to cover up cruddy writing).

Other than that there is no better route than fantasy in my raveny opinion. And raven opinions are worth atleast five people opinions, and ten snail opinions. Maybe two bear opinions.
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TamAlthor
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Joined: 09 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:17 am
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I totally agree with Luna on this one,

Inspirations for my fantasy world are roughly the vietnam war and the Nazi Germany. Nothing too derivative but they got me thinking

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The main thing is to be true to your story and characters, think about if the theme of the story would change if certain tech or magic existed,
Think of scenes that you want your chacters to play out and how differnt periods and genres could effect them


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Vilya



Joined: 04 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:23 am
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Thank you for your insight. To make myself a little more clear I know that it is a fantasy novel (or three) that is in my head, but what I was having problems deciding was whether or not to have it contemporary fantasy (fantastical races and people's but set in the real world) or fantasy which takes place in an entirely knew place. Truthfully I think that I have too many "weird" things going on to set my story in modern times.

I think that all of the well done contemporary fantasy that I have read limits itself to only one or two unnatural races. Does anyone think that it would be too hard to make something more complex set in modern times? Does anyone know of an example where someone did that right?
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TamAlthor
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:01 pm
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hmmm i think of peirs anthony adept series but i don't know that it would be applicable.

It would be neat to read about goblins and elves in space, intergalatic travel based on magic and not science...no ray gun could make for fun...
steampunk in space perhaps?

fantasy is only limited by the mind of those who write and read it.

if you have an idea do it!

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lonewriter



Joined: 04 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:55 pm
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I have been writing science fiction for a long time now but have wanted to write a fantasy since I read Lord of the Rings. I just love fantasy and I agree, it can be set on anything from another realm to a modern city or Hogwarts. Mine is set in in the land of Enaria.
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MrAlexander



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:36 pm
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Vilya wrote:


I think that all of the well done contemporary fantasy that I have read limits itself to only one or two unnatural races. Does anyone think that it would be too hard to make something more complex set in modern times? Does anyone know of an example where someone did that right?


Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series did it all kinds of right. Elves, dwarves, centaurs, sprites, goblins and more, all of which lived in what was basically a sci-fi setting (considerably more advanced than human society anyway). Much of this was accomplished through the union of magic and technology. The end result, is elves with atomic rayguns. And it is awesome.

For my part, the story I'm working on now it's kind of a mixed bag. Humans have no magic so they compensate with mechanical genius and the like.

When trying to mix fantastical elements into a more modern setting, I find Phil Foglio's corollary to Clarke's Third Law to be useful:

"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from SCIENCE!!!"
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LunaRaven



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:37 pm
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Vilya wrote:
Thank you for your insight. To make myself a little more clear I know that it is a fantasy novel (or three) that is in my head, but what I was having problems deciding was whether or not to have it contemporary fantasy (fantastical races and people's but set in the real world) or fantasy which takes place in an entirely knew place. Truthfully I think that I have too many "weird" things going on to set my story in modern times.

I think that all of the well done contemporary fantasy that I have read limits itself to only one or two unnatural races. Does anyone think that it would be too hard to make something more complex set in modern times? Does anyone know of an example where someone did that right?


Well, I'm not sure what contemporary fantasy you've read but I find that most usually boast a wide variety of races. Harry Potter, for example, has goblins,giants,hippogrifs,centaurs,pixies, and dragons just to name a few. Fablehaven, which is a really creative series for young adults by Brandon Mull, takes place on a magical creature preserve. So there's a lot of everything in that book. The Dresden Files include vampires,werewolves,spirits, and demons alike(there's probably more, but I've only read part of the series). The Alchemyst series by Michael Scott is a young adult series that includes mythical gods and creatures from all sorts of different cultures. Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series(another YA) involves the greek gods in a modern day setting as well as many creatures from greek mythology(like the Minotaur, Hellhounds,Cyclops etc..). Since I read mostly YA fantasy, most of my experience is in YA contemporary fantasy. However, I find that they usually boast a wide variety of mythical creatures.
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avwedhorn



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:46 pm
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I thought about this post for a while. When I first started A King's Quest, my published book, I originally wanted to go with a just straight fantasy world, but I wanted it to have my own take on it. I think that is why people like those type of worlds. I am currently working on something else that is a combination of the old west and a fantasy world here in the united states though. Both have their good and bad things. If you create your own things in your own world, you have to remember what ability or characteristic that you give everything there. When you are creating a realistic or real time fantasy, you have to combine both in a way that doesn't take away from the realness or fantasy aspect. I would suggest someone who does this well is Jim Butcher, for fantasy with his own take on creating two worlds, the first two riftwar books by Raymond Fiest
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bthrowsnaill



Joined: 18 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:00 am
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I think that the fantasy setting allows for an exploration of a reality that is different than our own. In this type of setting, most of the common sensibilities of our world can be thrown out the window and the reader will accept it. An author can present a mile high crystal tower and the reader will not struggle with questions about the sensibility of it such as "How was it built?", etc. Now the reader may be curious, but they will not reject almost any concept or scenario that the author presents provided that this new reality has some level of internal consistency. This provides great freedom for the author and a great escape for the imaginative reader.

Fantasy also gives the author the freedom to explore the development and exercise of power by unlikely people or processes. There are often magic items that may bestow power and influence on an individual that they wouldn't normally have. In our "mundane" world, the experience of most people is that power and influence are usually earned - typically over long periods of hard work. It's fun for the reader to fantasize about what they would do with that magic sword or ring. It's also fun to have this (for lack of a better word) fantastic sandbox to play with this newfound power in.

Finally, I think that fantasy often intersects myth in some ways and speaks to our tribal subconscious in ways that more realistically based tales typically don't.
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