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Friday, June 13, 2008

A Neglected Genre by Slawomir Rapala

Writing in a genre as unique as Fantasy is difficult because you don’t get a lot of credibility as a writer and as a result you must strive twice as hard to get your point across. Fantasy has always been a neglected genre, dismissed as frivolous at best and as down right offending at worst. The truth, however, is that the genre offers us, as writers, tools that our mainstream colleagues do not enjoy and which enable us to venture deeper both into the human psyche and the structure of the world around us. We enjoy worlds not constricted by the rules that govern everyday lives: neither the laws of physics and science, nor the social rules and norms that define cultures and societies around us.

Consequently, I feel, if used properly, Fantasy offers us an opportunity to create something unique and rein-free: a world and characters that are completely subjected to us, as creators. As writers, therefore, we can take what we observe around us and make a social commentary by superimposing these observations onto a world and characters unrestricted by rules. This, I believe, allows us to arrive at unique insights about the world and the people around us: sometimes scary, sometimes difficult to accept, but mostly, completely blunt and honest.

The beauty of Fantasy is that even when you take the social commentary away; in fact, even if it is not present at all in the work, it is still a thoroughly interesting and fascinating read, offering the common reader a form of escapism. Fantasy can be easy and fun to read, offering a glimpse of a world that’s borne out of the author’s imagination and even if the reader does not wish to involve himself in the social commentary that underlies most of Fantasy and would rather take the work solely at face value, he can still spend an enjoyable few hours that can be best described as carefree and pleasantly detached from the reality of everyday life.

Slawomir Rapala
Cambridge, June 1st

For more information about Slawomir and his new release, The Legend of Aezubah: The Crimson General, visit Bewildering Press.

1 comment:

Paul McDermott said...

Hi, Slawomir!

Your thoughts on Fantasy as a genre with its own set of difficulties which you say "come with the territory" are interesting. I guess I never thought of the fact that NOT having conventionally accepted 'norms' and "boundaries" - the latter just as much metaphysical as geographical - might make it difficult to write this type of yarn effectively.
Hands up, I've only tried ONE piece of writing which I would consider a "Fantasy" piece and I'm now at the stage of editing 13K words to see if I can tighten it up to 'short story' length, or if it deserves further work to bring it up to a WordCount which might make it marketable as a novella .....