IWSG: I Heart Fantasy

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Hard to believe it’s February already, but it is. That means today is IWSG Day and a week before Valentine’s Day, which makes it the perfect time for this optional question of the month.

February 7 question – What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

Okay, I may not write fantasy most often, but it’s the genre I love most, because I love creating new worlds. I love exploring new worlds when I read, too.

Every genre can and should have interesting characters. But in fantasy you get interesting worlds built on nightmares and dreams. Some of my favorite world-builders are authors like George R.R. Martin, Mercedes Lackey, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Octavia E. Butler. One of the things I love about these authors is that the world is a major plot point, like another character with motivations and secrets to uncover. At times, I find the world more interesting than the characters.

For example, in the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien uses the idea of the Undying Lands to navigate our fears and hopes about life and death. We hope those we love are in a “better place” maybe even the place they were always meant to be. At the same time, we want to think the are still with us. I love the tension between this place and wherever mortals actually go when they die. It’s just one of many ways he uses setting and world-building in a way that wouldn’t be possible in another genre.

I don’t write fantasy most often, because it’s hard. Creating a world is hard work. Salutations to all the writers who have gone before and pulled it off.

What about you? What’s your favorite genre to write and read? Is it also the one you write most often? Do you love fantasy too?

Happy IWSG Day and Happy February!