Just a brief announcement before I give my blog over to Tara Tyler. Gina Stoneheart was the winner of Mary Waibel’s giveaway and won a copy of The Mystery Prince. Congrats, Gina! Oh, and I’m uber excited about Sharknado 2 tonight. Anyone else watching? Now to Tara…
Imagine a vast, lush, green field dotted with white blossoms, surrounded by thick trees on the right and a rambling river on the left. The sky is bright blue with whispers of white clouds, and in the distance are snow-capped mountains, beckoning climbers to venture up their treacherous slopes.
Okay, that took some major brain power! Can you see it? It’s what I picture if I was standing just north of Broken Branch Falls. Well, Mary has awesome inspirational photos for fantasy settings (and sci fi, too, but that’s another post!) Today, I’m talking about…
Fantasy - the activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.
Don’t you love that definition? You can make up anything and everything in fantasy – just like in cartoons, nothing is impossible! Traditional fantasy includes:
Creatures – dragons are my fave!
Setting – forests, mountains, meadows, lots of nature
Demographics – not a lot of technology or modern conveniences, castles and villages rule!
Magic – the explanation for the anything and everything! Yay for wizards and fairies!
But fantasy has branched out! It now includes:
Urban – magic in modern day cities or suburbs
Historical – magic altering recorded historical times and places
Space/Sci Fi – magic mixing with the future and technology
So many places magic can turn up! We can shrink down to bug size, expand up into giants, shapeshift into flying beasts, and cast spells for good, evil, or just some mischief!
Inspiration for fantasy isn’t far, for me. I imagine the world around me transformed into a magical setting and many times I will give characters an outer appearance to match their personality. (Remember Shallow Hal?)
The tough part of Fantasy is the world-building. We get to create all the magic, but we also have to make rules and limitations, weaknesses to balance strengths, antidotes and cures for spells and sickness. And we have to show the reader our complicated world without droning on with backstory! I think I’m getting the hang of that, now that I’ve had some practice.
What I still struggle with is setting. I tend to describe things mundanely – so I really enjoy coming across photos of magnificent scenes that inspire greatness and require a better description… like from Mary, here. She’s a pro at capturing beautiful settings from way out West (and out of this world!) And here are just a few of other bloggers whose photos inspire me.
Marcy Hatch - northeastern wonderlands
Hilary Melton-Butcher - English countrysides, coastlines, and castles
Rhonda Albom - fun from around the world
There are lots more, but I couldn’t remember them all. Help me out and name some in the comments!
Mary and I usually discuss sci fi, so today was a nice change!
Thanks, wayfaring woman!
NEW! Try this BEASTLY SURVEY and find out which beast you are!
(And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!)
BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy)
by Tara Tyler
Release Date: June 24, 2014 (NOW!)
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. But Gabe wants to break out of his nerdy stereotype and try other things. He has his eye on the new ogress at school. Though it’s against all beastly rules, there’s just something about her.
Gabe starts a fad of mingling with other species, forcing the High Council to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. With help from other outcast friends, Gabe sets out on a quest to save his town. They’ll show ‘em what different friends can do together!