Question about Fantasies

Posted on February 6, 2010. Filed under: Books, Fantasy | Tags: , , , , , |

This is going to be a rather short post as my grandparents are due here in less than fifteen minutes. My poor mother has been in her “panic mode,” which is normal for a day like today. Thus the reason I’ve been up since 9 a.m. but have not managed to do much beyond vacuuming. Not that I mind; I promised I’d help. I just didn’t realize my grandparents were coming over today.

With that said, let’s jump right into my tentative post for the day.

I was thinking last night as I wrote about how the fantasy genre has developed. And perhaps I’m a bit limited in my scope because I must point out that I’m no expert. My jaunt through the fantasy world has been rather underdeveloped, I must admit.

By the way, if anyone wants to offer opposing viewpoints on this post, I’d be happy to hear them because I’m genuinely curious.

Most of the fantasy books I’ve read have been a part of a series. In fact, I’d almost wager that all of the fantasies I’ve read have been in a series of some sort. This brings me to examining my own story that I’m writing. (Yes, I’m going to talk about it some more, so forgive me if it’s boring.)

The novel I’m writing is nearly completed in its initial rough draft form. I’m going to tentatively say that I’ll finish it this evening sometime because that was the original plan. However, the story is by no means “completed” in any way, shape, or form. It begs a sequel, possibly two.

So I’m wondering: is fantasy unique in the fact that it is quite possibly the only genre that nearly requires authors to think in terms of sequels, trilogies, and series?

Perhaps my limitations come from the fact that series fantasy is what I’ve been exposed to. And I’ll admit I hadn’t really considered sci-fi because a) fantasy and sci-fi can almost fit into the same niche, and b) I haven’t read much sci-fi (though what I have read is a series).

So here are the questions I want to leave you with:

1. Do you have any recommendations for fantasies that are stand-alone novels? I’d like to be introduced to some new authors and books that might be intriguing. If it’s “high fantasy,” I’d be even more interested as that’s mainly where my interest lies. (Though steampunk is something I haven’t read, I’d be willing to try it.)

2. If you can’t think of stand-alone fantasies, do you feel that the fantasy genre has developed into one that begs for sequels and series? Or do you simply think it’s something readers have begged for?

Okay, those are my questions. As it’s almost noon, I believe I need to end this post. We’ll have company soon. Feel free to comment and tell me your thoughts on the matter. I look forward to hearing them!

-Rae-

P.S. I’ll get around to commenting on pretty much everyone’s blogs who commented on any of mine, hopefully tonight after I’m done with the rest of my day, so don’t think I’m not paying attention! (And thanks for being patient with me! 😀 )

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4 Responses to “Question about Fantasies”

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Well I have my favorite ever stand-alone fantasy book. I WISH the author had written a sequel. It might be a bit juvenile for you. Personally I enjoy a book I can read and just enjoy without much thought.

It’s called ‘A Well-Times Enchantment’ by Vivian Vande Velde. And God this book. The Epic’ness of it knows no bounds.

I do think the Fantasy genre is something the fans BEG for more of. Probably because in most fantasy books, Good always wins. And that’s something that is severely lacking in life. I personally gravitate more towards the books with sequels because the characters grown and change from book to book but still the good always wins.

I’ll have to look that book up. I’ve never heard of it, so I can’t make any judgement calls on whether I’d like it or not. (And keep in mind: I did read the Twilight Saga. I can’t think of much else that would qualify as too juvenile for me based on that! LOL.)

You’re probably right about fantasy. Good always wins, and that’s what we want to see; that’s what we love to have happen. Unless you’re just in love with villains, you’re normally rooting for the “good guys” of a book to come out on top. And I have to agree with you. I love to see characters change over the course of a good fantasy series. (Take Harry Potter for instance – I loved getting to see the kids grow up.)

See in Harry Potter I liked the villains. Didn’t want them to win but I was hoping there’d be some sort of redemption at the end. I love loved Tom Riddle LOL!! I’m so horrible

Hmmm an interesting topic. I think that I have seen some stand-alone fantasy books, but I can’t remember any in adult fiction off the top of my head. And I would venture to say that in general, (although certainly not always) it will be less popular fantasy novels that do not have sequels, because they were not successful enough to generate one for publication. Fantasy, (and often sci-fi as well) more than any other genre involves the creation of a world that is at least somewhat unique, the author’s own in at least some sense, even if they borrow quite a bit from standard conventions. And one novel, no matter how long, cannot possibly fully explore a world. So by it’s very otherness it generates sequels, because any truly immersive story has the sense of things that have come before, and things that continue afterward. Stories set in the real world don’t need to explain the setting, history, etc. as much as a fantasy novel does.

In addition, standard fantasy tends to have a somewhat broader scope for the story than realistic fiction (to take the most opposite genre). It usually involves a quest, and questions that affect not only individuals in a small area, but the entire fantasy world, and so becomes something of an epic, spanning several titles in order to encompass the complete story.

That’s what I think anyway. ^^


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