I feel like I’ve had this giant secret hiding in me for well years now that I’ve disclosed to a few close friends, but never really discussed in the open on the blog. I feel like being personal in public is wrong, I never know who I’m going to piss off with my opinion and I want to avoid stepping on toes, but I need to share my opinion right?
So here’s the truth: I don’t like epic fantasy.
Have I read it? Yes. I’ve read J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Rand Miller, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, Malinda Lo, Rae Carson, Jodi Meadows, R.A. Salvatore, Marion Zimmer Bradley and even a few chapters of Robert Jordan.
I’ve enjoyed parts of these books. The end of Wizard’s First Rule, most of The Mists of Avalon (though that borders on historical fiction), Arwen and Aragorn’s parts in Return of the King, the masquerade scene in Jodi Meadow’s Incarnate, etc. etc.
But I dislike the genre, and here are my reasons why:
1. The writing is often archaic. It’s either third person omniscent, or it’s too superfluous, grande, or using language that doesn’t flow properly.
2. The world building is weak.
3. The characters are carbon copies or type cast. There’s a thief, a wizard, a wise man, a jester, a hero, a heroine, a damsel in distress, etc. etc.
5. Destinies. I’m told what to expect in the first 5% of the book.
So why is this such a big bad secret for me?
I wrote an epic fantasy book.
And before I lose your interest here are five things I did that are like every other epic fantasy out there, and five things I didn’t do that are typical of most epic fantasy out there.
1. Flame of Surrender takes place on Avristar, a hidden island off the coast of Scotland. It’s a mythical island that’s nothing like Earth.
2. There are elders, they could be considered wise men and women, or wizards. (I don’t call them wizards though.)
3. The hero and heroine both have abilities and things they have to discover about themselves.
4. The heroine has a best friend that’s often there for comic relief. (sorry)
5. There’s a prophecy. (sorry)
1. I wrote it in third person limited. I skimped on descriptions, focusing on action and dialogue. I wrote kick ass dialogue (imho)
2. I gave Avristar its own culture. Marrying the Land, The Journey to the Great Oak, the Spirits of the Land, etc. etc.
3. I explain the universe as a whole. (ie: The Lands Across the Stars, The Lands of Men, Terra, Lands of Beasts, Lands of Immortals, Land of the Dead, etc.)
4. The hero and heroine are technically antagonists as well as protagonists.
5. I cross genres throughout the series. First 3 books are epic/historical Fantasy. Last 3 books are Urban/Contemporary Fantasy.
I always thought that as an author I should love the genres I write in. I find it abnormal that I dislike Epic Fantasy. That’s why I’ve kept this quiet. I’m not a book hater, I am completely in love with books, just not the epic fantasy ones.
Sometimes I wonder: Am I the only one out there that dislikes a genre?