Fantasy: A Living Hell

“A little boy holding a book with a surprised expression on his face” by Ben White on Unsplash

It’s a tired old cliché, we’ve all heard the stories. Our author lets it slip that she’s published and the first thing she hears is “Wow, that’s amazing, will you write me into your next book?”

Hair stands on end and the flutter-by in my stomach stretches its wings a few dozen times. How do you tell someone they completely misunderstand what you do?

The direct approach will offend. Ignoring it’s rude. Explainations are like talking color to Helen Keller. Theoretically possible, but damn pointless.

So what’s the big problem, it’s just a story, right?

Well, yes and no. “May you live in interesting times” is a curse.

Everyone and their brother’s sadistic gerbil loves either Star Wars, Harry Potter, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or Game of Thrones- often several at once.

Now tell me, would anyone really want to live in any of those worlds? Sure, Rivendell is nice, starships would be awesome, and magic school would be one hell of a year. Careful though- the package comes with marauding orcs, constant war, Deathstars, Voldemort and dementors.

“selective focus photography of brown hamster” by Ricky Kharawala on Unsplash

It’s like taking a big mug of hot chocolate with a side of colon cancer. I’ll pass. You probably would too.

I love my characters, but they’re a product of their world- wonders and horrors mixed together.

Some of my favorites are a psychotic spider goddess with access to every book ever written, a decrepit old man with a literal addiction to a wicked bitch, and an old biddy with PTSD and a secret that might just get her killed.

They’re mighty, flawed, and alive, but I don’t want to be any of them, and I certainly don’t want their life.

It’s been said by others in the past, and I touched on it in before but I’ll say it again. When someone dies- a world ends. Our thoughts and experiences are literally our entire world. It’s true for a lot of authors that asking them to rewrite is like coming to visit and suggesting they rearrange the furniture or repaint the kitchen.

Unless we trust you with a key, you simply don’t have the right.

So if you know a writer, don’t ask.

Or do, but don’t be surprised by razor sharp honesty or an unhappy end. Maybe you had it coming.

Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

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