The lure of the unknown, paranormal and supernatural has always fascinated man since time immemorial finding its way into our everyday lives. Faeries, Vampires, Wizards and now Tantrikas step into our mundane world every time someone, somewhere pens a fantasy story of yet another parallel universe transporting us into the land of extreme imagination.
What is fantasy writing? In the earliest written documents known, mythic and other elements would eventually come to define fantasy and its various subgenres. They are a part of some of the grandest and most celebrated works of literature like The Odyssey to Beowulf, from the Mahabharata to The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, from the Ramayana to the Arthurian legend. Fantastical adventures featuring brave heroes and heroines, deadly monsters, and secret arcane realms have inspired many audiences—both storytellers and readers. In this sense, the history of fantasy and the history of literature are inextricably intertwined.
Fantasy writing has evolved over the years with Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Rice Burroughs along with Abraham Merritt, who established what was known as the ‘lost world’ sub-genre, which was the most popular form of fantasy in the early decades of the 20th century, although several classic children’s fantasies, such as Peter Pan and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, were also published around this time.
Juvenile fantasy was considered more acceptable than fantasy intended for adults, and so writers who wished to write fantasy had to fit their work in a work for children. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote many early works verging on fantasy, but in A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys, intended for children, she wrote actual fantasy. For many years, this and successes such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), even the later The Lord of the Rings, were classified as children’s literature. Today, the perception that fantasy literature is meant only for children no longer exists.
What sets fantasy writing apart? The identifying traits of fantasy writing are the inclusion of fantastic elements in a setting, where inspiration from mythology and folklore are predominant. The masterful creation of parallel worlds inhabited by unusual beings and creatures born of light and darkness, angels and demons that live by magic and the occult as they battle one another are created to facilitate multidimensional messages. Over the years, this fascination with fantasy has grown by leaps and bounds even in the ...
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