Of all the genres in all the world to write about, why Fantasy? Why do I write Fantasy instead of say Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, or Horror? Namely because the Fantasy genre is freeing. You can write anything, make up entire worlds based in magic, new races of people and animals. Anything you want can happen in Fantasy. Science Fiction is a close second but even that can be a little limiting do to the “science” aspect of the genre.
I love Fantasy and the people and monsters that populate those worlds. It inspires a sense of wonder in me even if the world has no magic. It stokes my imagination like no other genre could. I still enjoy Science Fiction and I won’t say no to a good Romance or Horror story every now and again but it doesn’t create that perfect storm within me that Fantasy does.
In Fantasy, I can create the world I wish was real. I can create fantastic characters doing awesome things that isn’t possible in the real world or even any other genre of fiction. The people become deliciously complex. They deal with very real, very human emotions that get even more complicated when you push their fantasy element on top of them. Going deep into the limitations that may inflict on the main character and those that surround them makes for a rich story. Writing those scenarios is fun for me, even if it torments the people I create (I’m pretty sure the main character in The Monster of Selkirk hates me for what I put her through).
The biggest problem I run into is putting too many real world restrictions on my Fantasy. It’s easy to base worlds or people on real things and places. Too easy. And there are a lot of amazing places in the world so why not use them as the basis? There is nothing wrong with that. The trick is to not let it limit yourself. Basing your world on a real place then having a great idea and wanting to add it in but stopping yourself because “this wouldn’t have existed at the time” is bad. I do it sometimes and it’s wrong. Fantasy is the genre of no limitations. So always err on the side of awesome.
That’s why I love reading and writing Fantasy. I have some interesting ideas for a Horror story that I may write somewhere down the line but Fantasy is such a rich world to live in, I don’t think I’ll leave it anytime soon.