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Today’s post comes to us from Christina. She discusses her initial reaction to her first adult science-fiction fantasy work, and how she was able to overcome her preliminary judgements through exploring other areas of the fantasy genre. For Christina it goes back to relatability. We wrote about this idea back when we discussed why people read fiction. One thing we always seem to go back to as readers is the idea of seeing ourselves reflected in the character on the page, or having a reason to love or hate them, human or not. But, if we can’t relate from the beginning, that can be difficult.
What Made this Fantasy Hater Change Her Mind
The story began something like, “Oxborg Four approached the valood and removed his cape.” This was my first taste of adult fantasy. I was sitting in a creative writing class in college with my mouth hung half open. A classmate had written the story, and it went on to tell about how the two creatures had “sex,” but not sex like you and I know it, rather some sort of fantasy oxborg sex. That was when I decided that I had no interest in the fantasy genre.
About eight years later, as I strolled the toothpaste aisle at Kroger, I saw it: the Twilight series in paperback. I thought back to that creative writing class, hesitated, but then snatched it up and scanned the first page, then the second. I saw no mention of oxborgs or valoods, only a girl moving from one city to another.
I was in love. And here’s why I was able to handle this particular type of fantasy fiction: it didn’t start in a fantasy world. I told my cousin about it. “It just starts in a normal world, right? And then the main character freaks out when she learns that there are vampires in the world. So it’s just like we would react if we discovered vampires, you know?”
In a nutshell, I found the character relatable. No, I can’t relate to giving birth to a vampire, so thankfully that scene didn’t take place on the first page like in the oxborg piece. But I can relate to feeling out of place in high school, and can relate to how I think I’d react if a hunky werewolf started flirting with me.
All this to say, if you enjoy writing the oxborg and valood type stories, go right ahead, because I know that guy from my creative writing class will read it. But if you want the average unadventurous reader (like me) to read your stories, throw in a few opening chapters in which everything is perfectly normal and nobody is wearing a cape.
So if you’re ready to publish your science-fiction fantasy, or your vampire romance fantasy Kbuuk is here to help! Sign up for your account today and find your audience. And if you have any thoughts or opinions on reading or writing fantasy of any denomination, make sure to leave them in the comments below.