Fiction and Fantasy Stories in Every Day Lives of Writers
With dreary and wet fall days looming not to far ahead I have been taking advantage of the sunny summer-ish days here in the Pacific Northwest. On my walks and hikes I have been bringing along my digital camera. Taking pictures that inspire my creative mind to reflect on later when the days of rain and wind are upon us.
Natural World an Inspiration for Fiction and Fantasy Stories
Outside in the realm of the natural world I find endless inspiration in objects or settings for creating or visualizing creatures, worlds or landscapes for fiction or fantasy stories. Take for instance this weathered log with rocks twisted into is wood. There are many things it could be in the world of fantasy.
- A vengeful sea witch who was horribly drowned at sea with tethered with stones. Cursed and withered she is barely alive and can only be brought back if a pure soul removes the stones.
- The stone is a boy who was cursed because of a prophecy foretold at his birth. He can only take his human form when the tide touches the log and momentarily releases his curse. When the tide recedes he is turned back into stone.
- The stones are hard-shelled aquatic creatures who come to life at night creating havoc with fisherman’s nets and traps.
The list could go on and on. There is an endless array of ideas that anyone could create from this one picture. Doing this writer’s exercise got me thinking about fantasy and how it has been in our every day lives for centuries.
At dictionary.com Fantasy is defined as:
1. imagination, esp. when extravagant and unrestrained.
2. the forming of mental images, esp. wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.
3. a mental image, esp. when unreal or fantastic; vision: a nightmare fantasy.
4. Psychology . an imagined or conjured up sequence fulfilling a psychological need; daydream.
5. a hallucination.
6. a supposition based on no solid foundation; visionary idea; illusion: dreams of Utopias and similar fantasies.
7. caprice; whim.
8. an ingenious or fanciful thought, design, or invention.
9. Also, fantasia. Literature . an imaginative or fanciful work, esp. one dealing with supernatural or unnatural events or characters: The stories of Poe are fantasies of horror.
10. Music . fantasia ( def. 1 ) .
–verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
11. to form mental images; imagine; fantasize.
12. Rare . to write or play fantasias.
Fantasy Stories in Every Day Lives with Myths and Legends
The realm of fantasy with extravagant creatures, immortals, supernatural characters, hidden powers and unusual events (only to name a few) have been part of human culture for centuries. In today’s times many children are taught mythology in school. From the first day of class children are told these myths about a plethora of god and goddesses with the wonderous, fanciful even scary creatures that came to life are fantasy stories. But, at one time these myths and fantasy stories were believed to be real and existed as part of every day life in the real world. The storytellers of every story, myth, legend, or epic voyage undoubtedly had extravagant, unrestrained and conceptualizing imaginations. Their imaginations had a heighten connection to the world and could visualize the unlimited possibilities of what could exist above, below and within that world. They understood the elements of a story, how to captivate and teach. The longevity of their stories can be seen in modern times as many of them often include the fanciful creatures, story premises, events and/or a twist on a mythical character from ancient times.
Fiction and Fantasy Stories Brought to Life in Word and Film
In modern times our idea of the real world has become more concrete as we’ve colonized, expanded, moved and traveled to the ends of the earth and back. Norway does not seem that far away when you can check out a web cam on the internet or hop on a flight and arrive 7 hours later. And yet, we still crave fiction and fantasy worlds that are undefined with unexplainable events, people and elements. A prime example is the popularity of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and the The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Each story has or will be brought to life on the big screen. Visually we want to go to school in the magical world of Harry Potter, we want to feel Bella Swan’s affection for her paranormal love interest and we want to experience Frodo’s arduous journey through the fantastical world of Middle Earth.
Fiction and fantasy stories have developed into a significant part of our culture. Wether it is reading The Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky or watching “The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” on the big screen the unreal world has become quite real in our imaginations.