Have you ever read a novel that takes place in a fantasy universe based on Medieval Europe, or a historical fiction that is set over a hundred years ago, or thousands of years ago, or a story that happens on a different planet to a race of people that have no knowledge of Earth’s civilization or culture? Then, once immersed in these carefully crafted worlds, the writer uses an idiom, simile, or references something that completely pulls you out of the story because they’re using an expression that doesn’t fit with the story time or setting? One of the things that always ruins the reading experience for me is when writers use out of place expressions.
When I was in college, I had professor poo-poo all over the entire fantasy genre, and it bothered me greatly. There is nothing more pretentious to me than someone who scoffs and claims that all fantasy is just fairy tales with no deeper meanings or greater substance. Now, of course, there is plenty of fantasy that, to be fair, is pretty shallow as far as deeper meanings go and just exists to provide easy to digest entertainment/escapism (and there’s nothing wrong with that), BUT that can also be said for all the other genres in fiction. These snobs don’t realize that fantasy can be an excellent lens through which writers can critique the world around them and even the everyday social issues that we face in our own modern time.
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