Modern fantasy fiction began to emerge in the 18th century, but its roots run deep, all the way back to the oldest myths and fables. Fantasy fiction reflects our metaphorical understanding of the real world — a world we populated with monsters and magic in an attempt to understand it, and to speak more eloquently of its fundamental truths.
In this two-hour class, I will give you a brief history of the genre, discuss its unique strengths and enduring popularity, and then guide you through the process of writing your own distinctive, compelling, magical fantasy novel. We’ll discuss what separates high and low fantasy, what distinguishes urban fantasy and led to a revolution, the narrative structures associated with myth and quest, character archetypes and variety, alternate histories, magic and mysticism, and the core metaphors which define our favorite fantasy texts. From JRR Tolkien to George RR Martin, from Ursula K Le Guin to JK Rowling, we’re going to talk about what makes fantasy magical.
This class is intended for both readers and writers of fantasy fiction; while there will be some content geared toward the writing of fantasy fiction, the bulk will be focused on understanding, analyzing and appreciating it.
This downloadable version of the class includes audio and video versions of the lecture, along with notes and a transcript of the key points. Those files are DRM free, and you’ll be able to keep them, watch or listen to them as often as you like, and copy them to any computer or device that you own.
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