There are some good ideas here for fantasy authors (though many other fiction authors create worlds of sorts).
I fell in love with fantasy worlds in fifth grade. That year, one very influential teacher held a reading contest, and I won by immersing myself in Frank L. Baum’s Oz books, the chronicles of Narnia, Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, all of the Mary Poppins books, and just about everything else I could get my hands on from the tiny elementary school library.
My prize: a boxed set of Tolkien’s works–The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings–which, I am sure, stamped, sealed and certified my enduring love of fantasy.
Decades later, I still think it’s all about the worlds. Even then, I knew the revitalizing power of escaping. I understood there was a real chance of finding my lost self when I delved into a good book.
Who doesn’t love immersing themselves in someplace new? Taking a break from reality? Isn’t that…
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Thanks for this, Chris. I think you’re right – it’s not just fantasy & sci-fi writers who create worlds. Many of us more ‘real world’ writers make-up locations, institutions etc and they all have to be believable.
One thing I love about reading fiction is the opportunity to visit a different world, whether it’s fantasy, sci-fi, or even suspense. 🙂