On writing fantasy

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Before I was even old enough to know the term ‘fantasy’, I loved books about heroes, magic swords and dragons. Later, I discovered more nuanced takes on the genre: stories about anti-heroes, gender-fluid societies, and what happens to gods when no one believes in them anymore. 

What I love most about fantasy, is that every time you create a universe, you create a mirror for your soul. Every blade of grass, every dark hero, every odd societal norm comes from a place deep within, rather than from something you’ve seen around you. Which of course means that everything within that universe is a reflection of a want or need inside of you. You created it for a deeply personal reason.

Excitingly, this gives you endless possibilities for story. Any fantasy world you create is by default an allegory, a stage. Traditionally, the play set on that stage is about the epic battle between Good and Evil – but it can be about anything you want.
Personally, I like my sides to be a bit more nuanced, and my battles a bit more internal. Because that’s my true love, the subject that will never stop fascinating me: how to be human, and how to relate to other humans.

So you could say, I guess, that I write psychological fantasy. I use fantastical elements, but I try to experiment with them in new ways. I want a world and a plot that are exciting by themselves, but that are also – hopefully – an interesting reflection of the emotional challenges my characters face, and how they grow from them. And of course, by their very nature, these worlds also reflect my own personal growth.

 It really is quite ironic: I write most believably, and intimately, about human emotions, when I put my characters in a totally imaginary fantasy realm. The farther I allow myself to travel, the closer I get to home. 

It’s a kind of magic:).

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