Okay, for one, I am writing you from a PLANE!!! I am currently en route to Portland, OR for brew tour/grown up spring break. I’m not paying horrendous fees for the in-flight WiFi, but I am typing on a plane, which is a first.
Anyhoo, on Day 161, I finished my first ever fantasy novel!
I took the advice of the respondents to my first attempt at reading a fantasy book, and bought Neil Gaiman’s book, Neverwhere.
I can’t say that I loved it, mostly because I didn’t ever really engage with it. The whole “this is the world as we know it, and here’s a little story to show you how normal your world is and prep you for how fantastical this other world is” part was wonderful. I followed it perfectly. After launching into the “this is the new world full of awesomeness and terror and beauty and horror,” I just couldn’t keep tabs on the characters, the story line and the relationships.
I think this is partly due to the fact that I didn’t commit to reading the book for a long enough time to really get into the story before putting it down. The more I was able to read at one time, the more I got into it. If I only read one chapter, it was probably lost on me.
This helped me learn something about fantasy book readers. I’ve always known the fantasy-reading sort to be die-hard readers. Like, can sit down for hours and read, even in complete chaos, ever as absorbed in the first pages as in the middle pages. These kinds of readers are PERFECT for the fantasy genre because it does take a good amount of time and focus to really get a lot out of a fantasy book.
I fall into a different camp of readers. I read before bed, read when there’s nothing good on TV, read at Borders while having a coffee… sporadically, and in varying levels of commitment and distraction.
Another thing I learned had to do with the writers of fantasy book. I don’t blame them now for being so committed to trilogies and series. They come up with completely wild characters, worlds, rules that the worlds abide by, traits about people and places and animals, etc., that all must fit together and not contradict itself. Once they’ve created this world, it would almost be a shame to throw it all away on one book!
So those who end up reading fantasy books have learned about this particular world, have connected with its people and are committed readers, and the writers can continue to write in the world that these avid and committed readers love.
And while I can’t say I loooooved the book or anything, I am proud of myself for stepping out of my genre for a minute.
And now I’m on to The Light in August.
Go canon, go!