Why I Write Fantasy: A Guest Post by Michael Pryor

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Best-selling Fantasy author Michael Pryor tells us why he writes fantasy...

I write Fantasy because I’m an incurable and unabashed, romantic. I want a world where good can triumph, where virtue can be rewarded, nobility and self-sacrifice are lauded, not scorned. I want a world where honesty, loyalty and friendship are prized possessions, not causes for embarrassment. I want a world where the extraordinary is a challenge, where might is not right, where brave deeds are honoured. I want a world where horizons are unlimited, where something grand could lie on the other side of that mountain range, where adventures are waiting.

I write Fantasy because I love using my imagination. I love going beyond the here and now, leaving the constraints of the mundane world behind. I love the challenge of creating whole new worlds, while also taking care of characterisation, plotting and prose. I love the sense of working with a canvas as large as I want.

I write Fantasy because it lets me explore questions that are big, not small. Writing Fantasy lets me ponder questions that are universal and eternal, questions that have been with us forever, questions that make us think about things beyond the here and now. Writing Fantasy gives me permission to grapple with profundities.
I write Fantasy because I love reading Fantasy, and I always have. From my early days reading of lions, witches and wardrobes and wondering about round doors in hobbit holes through to today’s reading about lost kings and doomed female warriors, I’ve been a Fantasy reader.

I write Fantasy because it’s the closest I’ll ever come to doing magic. When I write Fantasy, I create whole new worlds from nothing. I invent names for things and thereby make them real. I bring characters together who would never, ever meet if it were not for me. I conjure an experience for a reader and help them step into the world of their own imagination.

I write Fantasy because Fantasy is the home of Story. In some types of writing, the lure of narrative is seen as old fashioned or lame, but in Fantasy (and other genres such as Crime, Romance and Horror) we can re-engage with our fundamental need for a Story, our desire to find out what happens next, our excitement to turn the page and keep turning to make sure that our favourite character will survive, or triumph, or find what they are desperately looking for.

I write Fantasy because I love it, and because it’s important.


Best-selling author of the ‘Laws of Magic’ series, Michael Pryor was born in Swan Hill, Victoria, and currently lives in Melbourne. He has worked as a drainer’s labourer, a truck driver, a bathroom accessories salesperson, an Internet consultant, a software developer, a textbook publisher, in a scrap metal yard and as a secondary school teacher.
Michael has published over twenty popular and critically acclaimed novels and more than forty short stories, and has over one million words in print. Along the way his work has been six times shortlisted for the Aurealis Award, shortlisted for the WAYBR award, Longlisted for an Inky award, and been four times listed as Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Books.
For more information, see his website http://www.michaelpryor.com.au/

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