Why I write what I write

Last weekend my friend Fulvio visited me to pick up Air to read for the summer  and brainstorm with me on what I want to do with my writing. He asked “Why do you write fantasy?” and didn’t relent until he got an answer that satisfied him.

Air 2009 - could this be The Book Cover?

First answer was “Because I’m not technological enough to write sci-fi”. Second “I love the Middle Ages” – and it’s the only thing I can draw: castles, swords, knights in chain mail, warrior women and princesses yes, starships, laser guns and futuristic towns no-no. Third I showed him my first official illustrated story (summer 1978) – it’s set in an underwater town made of glass, so I guess fantasy was always in my veins (thanks mostly to fairy tales).

My influences might be: reading the Sword of Shannara sometime in the early 80s. The Dragonlance saga (Dragons trilogy and Twins trilogy), Eddings (almost all of it), Jennifer Robertson’s Cheysuli books, the Rose of the Prophet trilogy (because it had Larry Elmore’s drawings in it! ;-)) and a bunch of other titles in the 90s. Verne and Salgari and fairy tales during childhood. No “classics”, no.

Anyway, thinking about it a little longer made me come up with another answer (by then he was gone, so I guess I’ll direct  him to this post to read it, haha! :-D): I write fantasy because magic doesn’t need scientific explanations. Now, I’m a Virgo, so pretty much a logic and straightforward gal (which clashes enormously with the Artist in me, but that’s another story), still, I believe in faeries, angels, supernatural beings AND that not everything needs to be explained. Magic was the science of the world before science was invented. It has its logic, but also keeps its mysteries.

Air English version 2008

So, there you have it. I write fantasy because I like creating Earth-based worlds (meaning the laws of physics are basically the same, men and animals are the same, BUT there’s that touch from the magical Races that make it different), setting my own rules for magic and leaving something unexplained and mysterious like I’m sure our world was for our un-scientific ancestors.

Now I’m going to “copy” Cassandra’s old “call for writers“, when she asked a question and fellow writers sent her their replies and she posted them in two or more instalments:

Why do you write what you write (whatever that is, including poetry and non-fincion)?

Send your answers to creativebarbwire(at)gmail(dot)com by July 31 and in August I’ll post the answers in as many posts as necessary!

Thank you and happy writing!

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  1. I like you’re reasons for loving fantasy! I think I write for two main reasons. Firstly because I like to work through my emotions and explore my place in the world and secondly because I (think?) I have a message that is worth sharing. I tend to focus on these two areas so even my fantasy (which I write for similar reasons to you) does these two things…or at least tries to.


    • definitely the same reasons behind it! 🙂 Nice to meet a kindred sould writer! 😀


  2. Arrgh I hate spelling mistakes, especially silly ones. I meant, “your” possessive not “you’re”!


    • we all make it when typing fast, don’t we? As long as we correct them when editing… we’re writers! 😀


  3. Viv

     /  16/07/2010

    I think I write because I can’t NOT write and stay moderately sane(well functioning anyway)


  4. kimberlyloomis

     /  16/07/2010

    I love that question! Here goes: First I started writing romance and that was because I love love stories and I wanted to delve more fully into the psychology of individuals and how that worked or didn’t when in a relationship. Then, I started writing literary fiction and the reason for that is to simply write a tale from the darkest space my mind inhabits so I can best communicate my worries and even my philosophy. It’s the story I NEEDED to write.

    Lovely post, Barb. Thank you.


    • I think we all write what we need to write… but sometimes someone comes up and asks why and is not happy with the previous answer!
      Thank you for your view and happy writing! 🙂


  5. How about – I write fantasy because fantasy is awesome.

    Can’t wait to here the responses you get to this question. Oh and I’ve passed on an award to you.


    • that’s the short answer, Cassandra! 😉 I’m sure you can e-mail me the longer answer! 😀
      Thanks for the award!
      Have a nice weekend…


  6. Gosh Barb, you hit on it when you said its a hard answer to give. Why I write fantasy is sometimes beyond my ability to articulate. But if I was pressed, I would say legends always stirred my soul. The first ever story tellers created the most amazing fantasy characters which became our myth and legend. That’s what I want to echo.

    If I had the ability to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’, I would write historical fiction, but I would be sure to leave some vital hist. fact out and cause readers to get their backs up!


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