D. M. Andrews on the Real Power of Fantasy Writing

D. M. Andrews, author and self-publication promoter, discusses the importance, not only of through world building (as we have highlighted before here on FairyRoom), but of pulling mythic and symbolic memory from this world, to enhance the realism of the fantasy world.

· Excerpt ·

Fantasy can be a potent form of writing if you understand how to use symbolism and maintain the inner consistency of reality.

J.R.R. Tolkien, perhaps the greatest of all fantasy writers, observed that “the realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things…” (“On Fairy- Stories”, Tree and Leaf, p. 9).

Fantasy literature is purposely imaginative. The author of fantasy has the ability to engage the reader’s imagination more powerfully than the author of another genre – if it is done correctly. High fantasy has a very clear purpose in doing this: it is to take the reader on a journey to reaffirm certain principles of good and evil, of morals, of the spiritual and unseen. Fantasy breaks free of any attachment to political correctness or populist thought. It is liberating and yet, at the same time, a solid reaffirmation of age-old realities. It is the child growing to adulthood, engaging in the struggle between the powers of good and evil and fulfilling their part in life. Fantasy is an optimistic view and a moral accomplishment of what otherwise would destroy us.

There are some important things to consider here if you would master the craft of writing effective fantasy. First, let’s look at symbolism.

Fantasy is replete with symbols. This is perhaps the main reason why fantasy can engage our mind more than any other genre. Symbols are a powerful way of getting something into a reader’s heart, mind and soul. Fantasy uses symbols that have been around for a long, long time. Many of these symbols go back to deep ancestral beliefs; they go back into history, into legend, into mythology and into the very scripture of the Bible itself.

This should be a key point to keep in mind when you are writing your own novel. Be aware of these symbols. Look at the way successful authors use familiar symbols and concepts in their writing. Let’s look at two examples from two of the most popular fantasy authors of our time.

· End of Excerpt ·

 This is just a little taste of Andrews’ full essay, which we encourage you to read in its entirety at MythicScribes.com. Or take a look at the summary of Andrews’ book, The Serpent in the Glass:

  • On his eleventh birthday Thomas Farrell is informed that the deceased father he never knew has provided for his education at Darkledun Manor, a school for gifted children. Thomas, however, feels he’s just an ordinary boy, but Darkledun Manor proves to be anything but an ordinary school…

    In this work of fiction the reader is transported into a world of myth as the young protagonist, Thomas Farrell, seeks to understand who his mysterious father was, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent. As the story progresses, Thomas and his friends become increasing caught up in a world they never knew existed – a world beyond the standing stones.
  • Enjoy an excerpt of The Serpent in the Glass on Tor.com.
  • To order The Serpent in the Glass, use any of these handy icons:

D.M. Andrews has been drawing maps, writing stories, and coming up with weird ideas since the age of twelve. Although fantasy features in most of the author’s writing, he also has a keen passion for history (especially for his native land of England), genealogy, mythology and even political philosophy.

Andrews is an author of fiction who writes for children and adults aged between nine and ninety-nine. His stories tend toward variations of the fantasy genre and are suitable for all the family. Find out more at his website.