Fantasy Based on Reality

Tamora Pierce

Image from Tamora Pierce’s website

Yesterday, I read this guest blog post by Tamora Pierce entitled “Craft of Writing: Suspension of Disbelief” over at Adventures in YA Publishing. I’m a fan of Tamora Pierce’s books because she writes fantasy novels with strong female protagonists. I particularly like her Daughter of the Lioness duology. I haven’t read all of her books but I would like to do so eventually. Anyway, I love what she had to say about writing fantasy and how it has to be grounded in reality. I end up loving a book when the characters and the setting feel real even if the story takes place in another world and in another time period. What I always look for in the books that I read is having a connection to the characters and being able to relate to what they’re going through. I think that happens when there’s an essence of truth in the story. Here’s one part of the blog post that I would like to share:

“Life has to be real to suspend disbelief. People should eat, and sleep. Dogs and cats have to be let out to do animal business. Teeth have to be cleaned, beds have to be made, horses must be cared for. It’s important to find out how far a horse can go in a day and under what conditions, because if you have a horse running all day without let-up, you will lose all of your horse-loving readers — and there are a lot of them out there. Magic should be the same. I view the realism in the way I write as the thing I do to make it possible for my readers to save up their suspension of disbelief for the magic, but the truth is, I try to make my magic sensible, too. It must follow rules. I like mine to draw on physics, and the energy that is inherent in all things. The stronger the magic used, the more powerful the world’s reaction to it, and the better chance that it will kill a mage who is unprepared, careless, or too weak to conduct the energy. Spell circles and drawings become magical circuits to conduct the power drawn from the mages, circuits that can increase or contain power. This way, it makes sense, and I keep my reader.”

Click the link to read the whole article, I think it’s a good one. And if you haven’t had the chance to read any of Tamora Pierce’s books, you should definitely check them out especially if you’re a fan of YA fantasy.

5 thoughts on “Fantasy Based on Reality

    • I thought it would be a good idea to link to the article since Tamora Pierce is such a wonderful writer. I haven’t read the Circle Opens and Beka Cooper books either. I’ve only read Song of the Lioness, Daughter of the Lioness and Protector of the Small. I want to read the Immortals and Beka Cooper series. I just don’t know when I’ll be able to get to them.

  1. Ooh thanks for the information/link to the article! I’ll definitely have to check it out. Pierce is also one of my favorite/most influential authors so I’d love to read her thoughts on writing.
    You should definitely read the rest of Pierce’s books. Her first three Tortall quartets (The Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, and Protector of the Small) are the best, in my opinion.

    • Hope you enjoy reading the blog post! I’ve read the Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small series. I should read the Immortals! The thing is, I have to have copies of the entire series before I start it so I can read one book right after the other. I’ve heard good things about the Beka Cooper books too, have you read those?

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Tortall and Other Lands | Goddess In The Stacks

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