One of the most beautiful things I’ve discovered in my life is the contemporary fantasy genre. Although is normal not to catch its meaning right away, you’ll find out that it’s very easy to understand; once I lay out some examples. To me, it’s a touch of hope, a new way to see the word, a place where you can get closer to magic. It’s a writing style that makes you feel that dreams and miracles are so very much alive.
When it comes to fantasy elements, it’s so easy to end up in cliché land. The typical wizard, the mystical creatures of the deep, vampires, warlocks, werewolves, etc. But the beauty of mastering this genre is that you can stretch it, twist it, and reinvented it as much as your imagination lets you. Without overdosing a story with high fantasy foundations. Leaving nothing more than a glorious world filled with tangible possibilities.
I don’t want to sound as a commercial, but (too late) I decided to write my debut novel as a contemporary fantasy. And make you feel that the events in the book are plausible if nothing is done to prevent them. Maybe not literally, but the question is there.
So, What’s Contemporary Fantasy?
In short, is a story set in our present time and in a world that mostly looks like ours. It’s uncommonly written in modern times but not necessarily set in the present. It’s the shadow of the following sub-genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Mythic Fiction, Noir Fantasy, or Dark Fantasy.
What Books are Contemporary Fantasy?
- The Harry Potter Franchise by J.K Rowling
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
- The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
What are the types of Fantasy?
- High or epic fantasy. A magical world with its own rules and physical laws.
- Low fantasy. Set in the real world with surprising magical elements.
- Magical realism. Its characters accept fantastical elements as a normal part of their realistic world.
- Sword and sorcery. It focuses on sword heroes.
- Dark fantasy. Combines elements of fantasy and horror.
- Fables. Personifies animals and the supernatural.
- Fairy tales. Set in distant magical worlds. Mostly for children.
- Superhero fiction. The protagonists’ powers are supernatural.
I must give it to this amazing storyteller, Guillermo del Toro, who’s motion pictures flawlessly combines realism with fantasy elements. Watch El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) trailer again and pay close attention to its details and cinematography. Speechless.
Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) by Alfonso Arau is another amazing example of magical realism. Based on the novel by Laura Esquivel. The plot and story are combined with delicious beats of low fantasy goodies that are simply out of this planet.
I promise that there’s nothing else like this genre, no matter if your 12 or 65 years old. A contemporary fantasy story will win your heart over. It will transport you to magnificent places, unexpected possibilities and surround your world with magic.
I discovered that I’m 100% into this genre during my writing journey. And I feel it’s my destiny and my promise to you.
Until next time #InkLovers!
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