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.
We all make mistakes. We’re all human. I can personally admit that I’m my own worst editor. No matter how many times I comb over my work, I can always find mistakes. But does that mean I should be burned at the stake? Well, according to some – yes.
I can be forgiving about a lot of faux pas in writing. I don’t mind some cliché’s if they’re presented with a new and interesting twist. I can even forgive the occasional character stereotype if they work well within a story, and most of the other characters in that same story are more complex or original. I can even forgive the archetypical hero’s journey formula that appears in most popular fiction and fantasy. But, one writing sin I just can’t STAND and instantly kills a story for me is bad dialog!
Someone recently mentioned that I shouldn’t call my latest series of books a series because they should be referred to as a trilogy, seeing as my series will only contain three books (tentatively, I might do more or some spinoffs, depending on how well this series does). But what are the rules when it comes to these distinctions? Technically, there aren’t any.