So far I have attempted to write a contemporary novel and I am currently working on a fantasy novel. It is very different from my contemporary story and so far I am loving it. For this discussion, I wanted to discuss some of the differences and pros and cons of writing these two genres and compare them.
Fantasy vs. Contemporary
Why write fantasy?
- 3rd person perspective. I don’t know about you but when it comes to fantasy I really prefer 3rd person perspective (vs 1st person for contemporary) and it turns out I prefer writing it too (so far)!
- Less research. For contemporary, you often need to research places your characters are going, how much time it takes to get from one place to another, real facts of stuff that happened, etc etc etc. I don’t like researching these things, I much rather just make it up on a whim (which is what I do all the time). For my contemporary I had to look up stuff all the time, like: if they’re going to walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, how much time does that take??
- MAGIC. (that needs a bullet point on itself okay)
- It doesn’t have to be realistic. Yes, it does, but I mean, for fantasy you can have an evil sorcerer or a teenage assassin, you can’t really do that in contemporary. Your characters can be a little more dramatic, messed up and morally grey (or like: morally pitch black).
- It’s (often) action-packed. You don’t know what’s going to happen next in your story? Well, let something explode (that’s some solid advice, guys). You do need to have a lot of plot in your story but that makes it easier to go on with writing, I think. You don’t have to linger too much on conversations and slow scenes.
Why write contemporary?
- You can use your own experiences. It’s really easy to add things that happened in your own life and twist it into your contemporary story, BUT don’t do it too often because my character in my story became to be a little too much like me #oops.
- You can add modern media. I love books with references and modern technology, but in my no-electricity fantasy world, I can’t say sentences like: “with eyes wide, like a deer caught in head lights” BECAUSE THERE IS NO ELECTRICITY OR CARS OR LAMPS. (
and also how do people find each other, like do they yell and hope they come running because they don’t have phones??) In contemporary, you can add in all the technology, references and media you want.
- No worldbuilding. The worldbuilding I have done so far isn’t much BUT with contemporary, you don’t have to do it at all! How wonderful!
- You can set it in your hometown or a place you already know. Because why not? For fantasy, you’ll have to create something yourself! And make it consistent because you can’t have your clock tower move from the North to the East between scenes. That’s just odd
(or it’s a moving tower because you can go ahead and add moving tower to your fantasy story, that’d be awesome)
- It’s (often) more character-based. The story is often filled with character development and relationships between characters and the plot is usually not that action-packed.
I think the conclusion is that neither is better than the other, it’s just a matter of preference. Right now I prefer writing fantasy but that’s just because I’m working on that at the moment. I like reading both genres and I love to take the strength of the one and put it in the other. I am trying to make my work in progress both plot and character based, my characters are
I think very well developed and undergo quite the development.