Over the past several weeks, I’ve been using this blog to tease out my own writerly motivations. I’ve tackled why I create, why I write, and why I blog. Today, I’m posing to myself the question that I feel rather than hear when people politely ask me, “So, what kinds of books do you write?” and I answer with some trepidation, “fantasy.”
[Cue the swords and the sorcery and the Third Book in the Seventh Ring Cycle of the Mystical Dragon-Lords of Sha-na-na.]
Half the time, people seem to think that’s cool. The other half of the time they say, “That’s cool,” and I can see them thinking, “OMG, for a second there, I thought you were a mature adult.”
So I spend a lot of time thinking about why, when I could be writing Serious Novels for Adult-Type Persons, I am instead obsessing over how magic would actually work or the biology of vampires or what dragons ought to look like. Here’s what I’ve got–my fantasy writer’s manifesto:
- I write fantasy because there is magic in this world. Call it faith, insight, true love, beauty, transcendence. Call it what you will. It is.
- I write fantasy not because it isn’t real, but because it is true.
- I write fantasy because I need to believe that there is more to our experience than what we can easily quantify, more than we can pin down with terminology and cage with names.
- I write fantasy because dragons exist, but sometimes it’s easier to recognize them if we put wings and scales on them and have them breathe fire.
- I write fantasy because we are all strangers in unknowably strange country. We are all the seventh sons of seventh sons. We are all liars and magicians, goose girls and thieves, and we all have our rings to bear, our swords to draw forth from stones, our destinies to chart by means both rational and otherwise.
- I write fantasy because it is my lingua franca, the language of my patchwork people who meet in classrooms and dorm rooms, pubs and holy places, forest glades and cyberspace, to reach beyond what we can see to what is possible.
And, of course,
- I write fantasy because all stories are lies, so we might as well have ALL THE FUN and put dragons in them.
Love to my patchwork people. ❤ What’s in your manifesto?