Tonight I'm blogging from my hotel room, while away at a conference. My internet is a little dodgy, but I'll try and get around to everyone's blog as soon as I can.
My first Fantasy novel I read reluctantly, but then fell in love and had to read the whole series. That was Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials.
Then, for my first NaNoWriMo novel, I decided to try and write a fantasy novel, and now I'm editing The Costume Maker. One of the tools I'm using is the book Adventures in Fantasy:
I blogged about this helpful book in A is for Amazing Writing Books.
A key element of fantasy is magic. Here are some interesting things I learned about magic:
- Magic must have limits. You can't just whip out a wand to solve every problem. I like books that have a magic that first appears useless, but later its worth will save the day.
- There must be rules for magic. There must be costs. Many fantasy stories will show magic as physically draining to the user. In The Picture of Dorian Grey, the protagonist manages to stay young, while his portrait ages instead. But the young man gives up his soul for this magic. The price must be high, otherwise the protagonist would not question if it were necessary to use magic.
- Often magic will appear in the 'other world'. This is the magic's natural setting - an enchanted land. This is changing though. With Paranormal novels becoming so popular, often contemporary protagonists posses some magical gift withing our everyday urban setting.
- Magic is not good or bad, only the way it's employed will decide if it is white or black magic.
- Magic is old. Traditional 'other worlds' in fantasy are pre-industrialization. Meideval times host dragons, and Harry Potter, although contemporary, goes to a school in a historical building where old dusty bound books rule over technology.
For some more information (from people who know a lot more about fantasy than me) check out these sites:
The next fantasy novel I'll read is: