Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Fantasy


What a great topic. Well, at first I thought, I don’t have anything to write. However, the topic has been simmering in my head for a couple days like my great aunt’s stew. How can I say I don’t like fantasy?

I lived in a house with a two hallways, second through fifth grade. One led to the other bedrooms of the house and the other to the main bathroom. But at night, the hallways were paths in the forest, The Fairy Tale Forest. Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and other fairy tale characters all resided there. I had great adventures with them.

Then there was the “witch” who lived down the street. The house loomed large compared to the new housing track further up the street. A little old woman and her St. Bernard inhabited the property, surrounded by a giant wrought iron fence. I stood at my window every night and peered out at the street. I wanted to know which houses she had cast a spell on.

Early beginnings of fantasy for me, don’t you think? I went through a period in middle school of writing ghost stories and alien stories, hmmm, more fantasy.

Today as an elementary librarian, I read a wide variety of books. I tell stories of “Nona, the Library Spider” to my students. I recommend fairy tale or folk tale books, the Harry Potter series, Charlie Bone series, and many of the dragon books. I have read them all. So how can I say I am not fond of fantasy? I can’t. I don’t anymore.
I have come to realize what makes a fantasy book a great read is the characters. If the characters are strong and vibrant, if you can make a connection with them, then the book will be one you cannot put down. And isn’t that like any great read?
I am thinking that perhaps I look at reading a book in a different way. It is not the genre label but whether the characters can transport you away to their world. So yes to fantasy, and to all stories that cause you to travel.
Go here to read more on Fantasy


Frances said...

You're right it's all about connections.
When I was little we lived in an apartment with a long hallway too.
Magical characters would march down ours at night - LOL
Have a terrific week.

desert rat said...

I love the idea of the hallways as paths through a fairytale forest. So true, that we are so open to imagination and fantastic ideas as children, but as adults people often move away from it, even look down on it.

Good characters always define a good book for me too. If the characters are well written I can follow them through pretty much any genre; but if I can't find someone to root for or relate to, I have a much harder time getting into a book.

Remiman said...

I thought I left a comment before but it must have been my imagination. ;-)
Anyway, I agree, it's all about good characters. When the author makes them believable, it's easy to follow them anywhere.

Becca said...

Reading a good book~whatever its genre~ is like returning to the imaginary worlds of our childhood.

Great post!

Regina Clare Jane said...

I always wanted to be the characters in the books I read- those were my fantasies growing up. I am so glad the kids of today have such wonderful books to encourage their imaginations!