Sunday, 8 September 2013

Fantasy Inspiration

As I'm currently writing my own fantasy novel it made me think of all the fantasies I have read and how they may have influenced my writing. If you haven't read any of these books, I recommend you do because they are all brilliantly written and a joy to read.

I suppose the fantasy that it it going to be on nearly everybody's reading list is the one and only Harry Potter series. So, with no surprise it's on mine. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was one of the first books I remember reading and being enthralled by. I zipped through the first three books then had to wait impatiently for the next four. Once they were out I had to then wait for my sister to read them first - luckily she was a super speedy reader. What I love most about Harry Potter is the depth of the characters and how each one develops throughout the series. No matter how many times I have read them, or seen them, there is still so much to talk about. Snape is a particular favourite. Pottermore is also great as it allows you to read the back-story of the secondary characters that you just love, like Lupin and McGonagall.

Although I have only just read the books this year I was in love with Lord of the Rings from the moment I stepped out of the cinema after The Fellowship of the Ring way back in 2001. This is one case where the films don't ruin the books; Peter Jackson is a directing genius. I love the journey that takes place throughout the trilogy, and this has probably inspired my interest in designing maps and intricate landscapes for all my fantasy pieces. I adore the world Tolkien created and how well it transferred into film. The writing task I had to do in year 7, Escape from Kraznir, was a total rip-off of LOTR but I enjoyed it immensely. I like how all the fantastical creatures are included, yet feel very realistic and not cheesy, like cave trolls and Shelob the giant spider.

A massive change from LOTR now. Ella Enchanted was one of my favourite young adult fantasy books, loosely inspired by the fairytale Cinderella. It was like a modern day retelling of a fairytale and as an eleven year old this blew my mind. I didn't know we could retell stories, amazing! Unfortunately, the film missed the point entirely and was comedic disaster, though I do like Anne Hathaway.

I guess in a way my love of fantasy really stemmed from fairy tales. Disney was a big part of my childhood, and princesses and talking animals are some of the conventions of the fantasy world. In my younger years I did prefer more fluffy fantasies, like Goose Girl and Enna Burning by Shannon Hale. Though they did still include political intrigue it was more about a young girls adventure, with a little romance, and no brutal killings, or at least not as much as Game of Thrones...

A Song of Ice and Fire series is brilliant. They may look dauntingly big but they are incredibly easy to read and they're so interesting you never want to put them down. They're not as fantastical as LOTR, there aren't elves or goblins, but they do have dragons, which are awesome! It is more about kingdoms, politics, betrayal and treachery. All very adult stuff, that does sound complicated but it's simple once you start reading, though remains complicated when you try to explain it to someone who's never read it, or watched it. My fantasy novel is a lot like GOT in the fact that I want it to be serious and a little bit gory, and leaves you on the edge of your seat. Most of my other fantasy pieces have been more childish with a strong focus on romance, so this is quite the change.

And after adding these images, I've realised that most of the fantasies I like have been made into movies/tv shows. This is great as one of my dreams is to have one of my novels made into a film. I have a lot more reading to do around the fantasy genre, and I'm really excited about it (My sister has recommended dozens of books, so I'm going to be a very busy reader). However, I'm not excited about having to hold the massive books open while trying to read in bed. That is why Kindles are so great. 

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