The fantasy genre is a popular genre of imaginative fiction particularly set in an alternate fictional universe, frequently inspired by real-world mythology and folklore. In its earliest forms, it was largely oral, with most fantasy tales passed down through generations. Over the centuries, however, this genre has experienced a change in format, developing into the sort of stories you may hear today: epic fantasies, Sandbox tales, fantasy rewriting, and the like. Its origins are usually in oral storytelling, which later became early dramatic writing and drama. Some of the classic works include The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R.Tolkien’s trilogy, and the Harry Potter series. These works have helped to establish the scope and depth of modern fantasy.

Imaginary worlds

Fantasy works that succeed largely owe their popularity to the ease with which the imaginary worlds are built and sustained. Unlike most works of realism, the fundamental idea of the fantasy genre is the absence of concrete reality. Realism relies on the observation of minute details to provide insight into the characters, situations, and motivations. Fantasy, by contrast, places more emphasis on the boldness of its themes and images, often using fantastical elements that give life to the characters and the plot. For example, while Harry Potter relies on elements of magic, the structure of his story relies on the outlandish adventures of its main characters.

Fantasy fiction

Fantasy fiction is one of the most popular genres, and it is growing in both popularity and sophistication. While some genres lend themselves to easy adaptation (books, movies, etc. ), others require more work. The fantasy genre is one of the few where this is possible.

fantasy books by C.S. Lewis

Magic and myth

The key elements that make up this kind of fiction are magic and myth. Magic comes in many forms. It is present in nature (as in the works of C.S. Lewis), in mythic traditions (such as those of Edgar Cayce), and even in stories that feature a modern-day magician (such as The DaVinci Code, which is found on many best-ever books to read lists). In many fantasy fiction genres, the power to do extraordinary things resides in the hero, usually someone with an overpowering personality or charisma.

Another essential ingredient for successful fantasy novels is the inclusion of mythical elements, which are often necessary to make believe the world is not simply a cardboard set. A popular form of mythical elements includes spells, animals, plants, and other objects that are believed to exist only in specific geographic areas or time periods. For example, a few writers may choose to place dragons in medieval Europe during the dark ages, or elvish rings in Middle-Age England. This helps to establish the credibility of the setting by giving readers an idea of how these objects would have been used in real life.

Magical setting

Another essential ingredient of fantasy fiction is the magical setting. A fantasy-genre work could easily fail for lack of a captivating and believable magical setting. A land like Middle Earth, filled with elves, hobbits, and powerful creatures, offers the basis for a variety of stories. In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s world takes place almost entirely in a vast invisible world where people rarely see the action, except for what is happening on the edges of their vision. The central character, Aragorn, is a personification of goodness and purity, while his followers include elves, hobbits, and a few special creatures. This focus on the internal struggle between good and evil is integral to the success of any fantasy genre work.

old books on top of each other

The protagonist in fantasy books

Fantasy works also need to contain a protagonist that resembles a modern person, except for the magic and other supernatural elements that make-believe the world is infused with. Most fantasy fiction titles feature a heroic person with superpowers and/or knowledge of mystical and magical practices. Often, this person is placed into a situation where he must fight against a foe he believes is much more powerful than he is. In order to succeed, the reader must be able to sympathize with the main character and identify with his goals and desires to overcome his challenges. Although this sounds like a recipe for soap opera drama, successful fantasy novels make-believe the world is possible, and often the central character is far more interesting than his nemesis.

Finally

When writing fantasy fiction, it is important to understand the differences between historical, fantasy, and science fiction. While all three genres share some common elements, they also differ in their own specializations. Fantasy fiction books often deal with time periods that are relatively short, such as the Age of exploration, or the reign of Queen Victoria, or the First World War, while fantasy books often deal with epic quests that take place in time spans ranging from hundreds of years to thousands of years, such as the legends of King Arthur, the White Mountains, and other such tales. These literary styles can greatly influence the structure of your book, so it is important to start with the basic outline and then build the plot structure to support the characters and their action.