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ElizabethWatasin

'Tis Nyte! by Elizabeth Watasin

Gothic Steampunk, Noir Sci-Fi, Diesel Fantasy. Bringing You Uncanny Heroines in Adventuress Tales.

Currently reading

The Bombshell Manual of Style
Laren Stover, Ruben Toledo
The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
Gavin de Becker
Xenolinguistics: Psychedelics, Language, and the Evolution of Consciousness
Allyson Grey, Diana Reed Slattery
In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of The Phantom of the Opera
Sharon E. Cathcart

The art of writing fantasy

"What is fantasy? On one level, it is a game: a pure pretense with no ulterior motive whatsoever. It is one child saying to another child, 'Let's be dragons,' and then they're dragons for an hour or two. It is escapism of the most admirable kind--the game played for the game's sake.

"On another level, it is still a game, but a game played for very high stakes. Seen thus, as art, not as spontaneous play, its affinity is not with daydream, but with dream. It is a different approach to reality, an alternative technique for apprehending and coping with experience. It is not anti-rational, but para-rational; not realistic but surrealistic, superrealistic, a heightening of reality. In Freud's terminology, it employs primary, not secondary process thinking. It employs archetypes, which, as Jung warned us, are dangerous things. Dragons are more dangerous, and a good deal commoner, than bears. Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a real wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe. And their guides, the writers of fantasy, should take their responsibility seriously."

 

--Ursula Le Guin, "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie"



I'd just read this on Theodora Goss's facebook. It's that wilderness we aspire to, dangerous as it is, drawing us from safer places. And we're clueless, and we fear the price, and some of us will never understand it even as we try to write about it. This is what separates the common magic user from the wizards.