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Fantasy vs. Fiction - You Decide!

Of course, fantasy writing is fiction, but with a number of subtle differences, and if it is your desire to writer fictional material it helps greatly to have a genre in mind. The modern generation has grown up with an ever increasing awareness of fantasy, supernatural and otherworldly themes - witness the success of World of Warcraft and other such games, the TV prominence of such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the latter day runaway success of the Twilight series of films - and for this reason fantasy is a very popular area of fiction, especially with the young.

Many will tell you that writing fantasy is easier than standard fiction as it involves detaching yourself from reality and indulging in the greater use of imagination; this may be so to an extent, but the danger with fantasy is in getting too far from reality, and allowing your writing to confuse the reader.

Fiction is about telling stories, after all, but the standard genres of contemporary fiction draw on the everyday, the mundane; look at any current best sellers list and you will find many books that also draw on personal experience, or the memoirs and experiences of others - this is not possible with fantasy, except up to a certain degree.

One aspect of fantasy that is important to understand is that it should not just be a free for all for the weird and wonderful; much fantasy has its roots in reality, and often draws on the innermost fears of ordinary people. Children believe a monster is under the bed - and it is, they find strange lands by stepping through mirrors, they engage with invisible friends and so on. All of these are common themes, but when it comes to outlandish fantasy there is much to be said for reading the masters.

Tolkien took the genre to new heights with the (recently filmed) Lord of the Rings series, a beautiful portrayal of a mysterious world, yet one that was inherently believable - as all fantasy should indeed be.

Accurate and interesting drawing of characters and places, all too real depictions of magical acts and more are all part and parcel of the success of fantasy fiction - and if that is where your path leads you then reading some well regarded work is a recommended path.

Join a writing club and you will undoubtedly find others who indulge in writing fantasy, go online and you will find many a forum dedicated to the subject; each is worth doing. Try some short scenes, read them to friends and family, and be ready to accept criticism, and you may find you are honing the art of writing fantasy.

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