Posts Tagged ‘high fantasy’

Writers Never Miss a Chance to Procrastinate: Blog Hop

My friend and sometimes partner-in-crime KD Sarge tagged me to participate in this blog hop. Basic gist of the exercise is to answer the following questions about your work in progress and then tag five other writers.

1) What is the working title of your book?

It’s The Cry of the Trees. Originally, it was Phoenix Forever, but I had to change it after I rewrote books 1 and 2 and there were no longer any mentions of phoenixes in the trilogy.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is the third book in a trilogy. I originally started working on the Trilogy 15 years ago (holy landsquid) after I created two characters for a Star Trek RPG  that got canceled, because I didn’t want to lose the characters. I felt I put too much work into them. It’s kind of funny to look back now and think of their origin.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

High fantasy. Character-driven high fantasy. Woo!

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I…don’t honestly know? I’m not someone who tends to use real people as character inspiration, so I don’t tend to look at actors and think, “wow, that’s so-and-so.” It’s especially hard with this project since most of the characters aren’t human.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Kind of hard, since this is the third and final book. Probably something like: Will Malana and Danath be able to trust each other enough to do what is needed, when they’re not even sure that it’s the right thing?

Which is kind of crap, honestly, and unnecessarily vague, but I haven’t even written the book yet.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope to publish the Trilogy traditionally.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This is the first draft. Thus far, it’s been a week.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmmm. There hasn’t been a lot of high fantasy lately to compare it to. I guess Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris is similar in tone.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When I first set down the original plot for the Trilogy, it really was because I’d spent a lot of time working on the characters and their backstory and didn’t want to lose that work. Many, many years, a genre-change, multiple rewrites of the first two books, many iterations of naming, and a complete overhaul of that backstory anyway later, I like working on the Trilogy because it allows me to put my own twist on my favorite genre, and allows me to spend time with characters that I’ve gotten to know very well over the years.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Every character in the Trilogy has a very good reason for what they’re doing, good or bad. Everyone thinks they’re working towards the greater good–even the bad guys.

Let’s see…I shall tag: Ian, Anne, Drey, K.A. Levingston, and Sarah. And, of course, Squiders, you’re welcome to play as well. Just shoot me a link in the comments if you do.

Subgenre Study: High and Low Fantasy

Today we will be looking at High and Low Fantasy and the confusion surrounding the terminology.  It has nothing to do with how good the stories are (Eragon, for example, is high fantasy but most would argue not high quality) but, rather, which fantasy tropes they incorporate.

High Fantasy, sometimes called Epic Fantasy, generally encompasses “traditional” fantasy tropes.  It takes place on a made-up, entirely fictional world, and usually incorporates magic and monsters into the plot.  Low Fantasy, on the other hand, takes place in the real world and may be more subtle in its fantastical elements.

Lord of the Rings is the quintessential High Fantasy but, according to some people, so is Harry Potter.  See, High Fantasy breaks down into three subtypes: 1) the completely made-up world, like Middle Earth, 2) the travel from the real world to a fantasy world, like Narnia, and 3) a made-up world within the real world, like Harry Potter.  High Fantasy often involves a plot of epic scales — war, world domination, the end of the world, things like that.  The plot must be bigger than the characters.  Frodo must destroy the ring, or Sauron’s minions will take over the world.  Prince Caspian must defeat the Telmarines, or the native peoples of Narnia will perish.  Harry Potter must defeat Lord Voldemort, or the world will fall into ruin.  You see my point.  High Fantasy stories often include a classic hero who goes through the Hero’s Journey and focus on a fairly black and white Good vs. Evil.  Common plot elements include prophecies and old, mysterious mentors (who often die, at least temporarily, so the hero can come into their own).

Low Fantasy involves fantastical elements/happenings in the normal world.  What denotes it from something like Harry Potter is that, while Harry Potter takes place in the real world, almost all the story occurs in the made-up magical world.  To make Harry Potter Low Fantasy, Harry would have to live in a normal neighborhood and would probably go to a normal school and would have to hide his powers from the other students.  Low Fantasy focuses on normal lives that are disrupted by fantastical occurrences. The plot is usually more local to the characters, often only affecting them directly, but can involve more epic storylines.  Sadly, Low Fantasy is most usually described as not High Fantasy, so many definitions of this subgenre go along the lines of “If it’s not High Fantasy, it’s Low Fantasy.”  Stories as diverse as Pippi Longstocking and The Dark is Rising cycle are considered Low Fantasy.  A lot of children’s fantasy, which often involves children stumbling upon supernatural elements, perhaps that adults cannot see, is Low Fantasy.

We can go on forever.  High Fantasy tends to come in massive tomes; Low Fantasy can be any size.  High Fantasy tends to be based off Medieval Europe; Low Fantasy can be anything.  Etc, etc, et al.

What do you think, Squiders?  Does a massive High Fantasy series get your heart a-pumping?  Do you prefer the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) reality-changing ways of Low Fantasy?  Recommendations of books, movies, TV shows for either subgenre?