Fantasy is by far one of my favorite genres, both to read and write in. Fantasy delves beyond reality into the magical and the supernatural, which makes it really fun to work with. Here are some reasons to write fantasy.
You Make the Rules
One of the best aspects of fantasy is that there are really no base rules. In worlds with magic, the basic rules and logic that exist on Earth don’t apply. That means you get to decide what rules your story abides by. However, it’s important to decide on these rules and keep them in mind; if a story departs from the foundational ideas it’s based on, it will seem poorly written and will be much less engaging.
So, what are “rules” in stories, anyway? Essentially, anything you decide to be a basic, universal concept in your world is a rule. They help keep your story believable. For example, let’s say magic exists in your world. You might decide (rightfully so) that limitations need to be placed on this magic so it isn’t too powerful. Maybe different levels of magic require different amounts of energy. Insanely powerful magic (i.e., destroying planets) would therefore be impossible, and this would keep your world in check. Now let’s say at the end of the story, one of the characters uses some sort of previously impossible magic with no good explanation for how they did so. This would break the rule you previously set up and make your story less engaging.
One thing to note, however, is what your character believes to be a rule in the world, and the actual world rules, can be different. For example, perhaps your character believes necromancy is impossible because they’ve been taught that by their society. This is a “ghost rule,” a rule that doesn’t actually exist. If your character discovers that necromancy is real later in the story, this doesn’t break any world rules. It’s important to keep track of what you know and what your characters know.
There’s a lot of potential for incredible, detailed world building within the genre of fantasy. Often, fantasy takes place on worlds beyond Earth, allowing the author to build nations, politics, cultures, cuisine, traditions, language, and religion from scratch. If that sounds daunting, though, don’t worry: there’s no world building “requirement” within fantasy. You can decide how much—or how little—world building you want to do. There are some important things to note, though. If you’re a person who prefers not to do much world building, make sure that it doesn’t create plot holes. If you’re a person who enjoys doing a lot of world building, make sure that it doesn’t become overwhelming in the story. Sometimes authors force their world building into the story with too much exposition, which can end up drowning the plots and the characters with information. The best world building is cleverly entwined within the story.
Fantasy has the potential for some of the most interesting and unique characters. One of my favorite things about fantasy is that a lot of the main characters aren’t human. It allows the author to invent a lot of characteristics, even entire species. Fantasy characters also have some of the best character arcs. From human-raised non-human characters’ identity crises to non-human-raised humans’ feelings of inadequacy, the possibilities for character development are endless.
Like every other genre, fantasy has some common tropes. However, I would argue that fantasy has significantly more flexibility to go beyond tropes than genres like horror. Part of this is due to the broader intention behind fantasy (to entertain and evoke a sense of wonder) which allows for more lenience. Whatever the reason, fantasy is a broad genre that allows you to find a niche in which to tell your unique, previously unexplored story.
If you haven’t tried to write a fantasy story before, I hope this article provides you with some reasons to do so! Now get out there and write!