Believable Worlds

My sons have been listening to a fantasy novel read by the teacher as a part of their school studies. Younger son, KitKat, is enjoying the novel – finds it interesting. Two good reasons for that; “You know he’s imaginary. And I like it when the teacher reads to us.”

Katfish was not so enthusiastic. “I’m not really into fantasy. They’re silly. You can have shoes that are suddenly flying, and it’s not believable.”

There was a pause, then he qualified, “Some fantasy books are good. When they build the world and explain how things work in the fantasy world, that’s really interesting. It actually sounds real – and believable.”

Hmmm… Build your imaginary world, and be consistent within that world. Don’t throw impossible things around believing you have license because it is fantasy.

Sounds a bit like something I’ve heard at writing seminars. But it’s much more effective hearing it from a child. And it’s just one more time when one or other of my boys have amazed me by their perception.

It also explains why I don’t write fantasy. Building whole new worlds… I’m overwhelmed already!

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7 comments

  1. Wow Kat that is quite a wall paper you found there – and would fuel anyones imagination! I want a unicorn like that!!!

    Oh the wisdom of a child – that they see plot flaws when the authors don’t…it always amazes me too – the perception that because its fantasy you can put any-old thing in there – and it doesn’t have to be plausible…I think those days of that style of writing is dying.

    Good writers these days do build their worlds – you don’t need to look further than Paul Collins, Michael Pryer and Kate Forsyth to see Australian fantasy writers doing it right!

    Ok – off my soap box – I love reading good fantasy stories so I guess I’m with your sons here. Good whole new world = good story!

    Bye 4 now
    Tina

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  2. There definitely has to be a logical strucutre to the fantasy world. Some people will still think it is silly but for the rest of us, it can transport us to a whole new world. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  3. Thanks for visiting, Tina and Cassandra. I’m in awe of skilled fantasy writers.

    On the one hand, it’s a worry when kids identify structural flaws – within any genre. (As in – it’s a worry that the flaws are there.) But it’s exciting to see them being discerning readers!

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  4. Great piece, Kat – and so very true. Like you, I rarely write fantasy (apart from occasional humorous fantasy) because I don’t have the confidence in my abilities to creat a whole world. Bravo to those who can and do.

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  5. I’m in the process of building a new fantasy world and I’ll tell you I’ve never wished so many times that I’d chosen a different genre! I’ll stick with it to the bitter end and hope that something good comes out of it. Making the unbeliveable function seamlessly is incredibly difficult.

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