I’ve never really been a fan of fantasy, despite my book, The Lerewood, being a dark fantasy. To be more specific, I’ve never really liked the subgenre ‘high fantasy’—stories such as Lord of the Rings, in which the fictional world is completely different to the one we know. Honestly, I have a difficult time remembering all of the details—down to the names of different species and continents. I even had difficulties while writing The Lerewood because it just so happened to fall slightly within this genre. I didn’t mean it to, not at first. Originally I planned to have The Lerewood as a kind of ‘origin’ story, like Genesis of The Bible, or a way to describe how and when humanity was ‘infected’ with evil. Originally The Lerewood was set in Scotland and during a true time of history. But when writing it, The Lerewood kind of evolved into its own fictional world, one slightly different than the one we know today or learned about in history books. I would often ask myself questions about this world that I didn’t have an answer to. I purposely left many of the mysteries of The Lerewood open for interpretation, so the reader can imagine what they like, and it goes along with the open-ended ending. But it bothers me, the author, not really knowing everything about this world I created. I suppose you could say that in my mind, it had gone unfinished, like a machine with missing parts—parts that are not essential for the machine to work, but parts that would have helped it run a bit smoother.
That’s why I like to read and write ‘low fantasy’, like the Harry Potter series, or X-Men, which occurs in the ‘real’ and rational world, but in which irrational things occurs, like magic. I find that I’m able to connect with characters in low fantasies more, and I can delve into the fantasy a little bit better because it’s more believable, I suppose. But no matter what kind of fantasy I read, no matter what kind of fiction I read, it always needs to make logical sense.
If there is no logic, there is no order. It’s only chaos. And in high fantasy especially, you need some kind of order, otherwise the reader won’t know what the heck is going on. Even high fantasy worlds need rules.
Writers of high fantasy—and this is one of the reasons why I don’t like this subgenre—tend to think that because their fictional world defies everything we know about reality, their character can do just about anything they want. And I’m not talking about the presence of magic or mutant abilities or powers. In this world, we have rules of gravity, rules of physics…things that serve as a foundation. If these ‘rules of the universe’ didn’t exist, we’d live in some kind of strange alternate dimension universe in which nothing makes sense. In fantasy, these rules can be different, but they still have to be there.
It’s difficult to explain or pinpoint exactly what I mean by saying I dislike it when things aren’t logical in literature. It’s usually not a ‘theme’, meaning that it’s usually a mistake unseen by the writer or editor, and it ultimately confuses me. Many of the writers who make this error have too much of a creative side and not enough of a structural side. They have so much creativity that they create this one of a kind world, but then their story is this free-flowing mess that the reader can’t grasp onto or identify. When it comes to writing, when you don’t ‘shape out’ your story, it’s nothing but a catastrophe with many holes in plot or logic. I absolutely hate reading something without structure, probably because I’m very organized…at least mentally. But again, usually those who do this are inexperienced writers who didn’t bother to look over their work enough or didn’t hire an editor, or just don’t believe in ‘confining’ their story idea to a single, uniform mold.
Well…I think that’s enough ranting for one day.
What are your pet peeves while reading or writing? What do you struggle with and why? And does anyone out there know what I’m talking about when I say I hate holes in logic?? Leave a comment below!
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