Friday, January 28, 2011

Flights of Fantasy

Just two weeks ago I attended a wonderful SCBWI conference - not in the Big Apple, New York, but in Miami! We have lived in Florida for six years but I was never lucky enough to be able to go to one of their conferences.

Although not as big as New York, the Miami conference was terrific with wonderful speakers on pertinent topics.The title and theme of the conference was the Wizarding World of Writing. Many of the presentations centered on fantasy and the different types of fantasy that occur in children's literature. As one speaker said, there are many levels of fantasy, time travel, worlds of make believe and of wizards themselves, and dystopian worlds, as well as the simpler fantasy of young PBs where animals speak.

Authors, illustrators, editors and agents spoke and we were charged up to go out and write wonderful books - perhaps filled with fantasy.

If you were just starting a new book, what type of fantasy would you choose?

As I was driving home from Miami across Alligator Alley, which crosses the Everglades to Naples, about half way back, inspired by the conference, I began a new and exciting fantasy PB. With the vast spreading blue sky arching over the Everglades and the prairies of saw grass stretching as far as the eye can see, flocks of the different varieties of the glorious birds that live in the Everglades flew overhead.

Those of you who know my love of nature won't be surprised to know that I chose as my protagonist one of these great birds. She - Caroline Grace- leads an interesting life!

What inspires you in your stories and what type of fantasy would you incorporate this in?


  1. Glad you had such a great time at the conference!

    My fantasy seems to always be based loosely around mythology. I don't know why that is, but even when I don't start with that angle, somehow my brain manages to connect the dots back to mythology.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  2. Long car rides after inspiring conferences always get my muse excited. I'm glad to hear you had a productive drive home.

    I've never considered myself a fantasy writer - but given my YA WIP (where Death shows up in high school) I think I have to re-evaluate the word "fantasy" - or is it "supernatural"?

  3. One sort of fantasy I enjoy in picture books is a fantasy fulfilling something the main character wants to achieve in real life.

  4. Sounds like a fun time. To answer your question--kind of--is no matter what type of fantasy you're planning to write, make it original. There are so many books out there that tread the same ground.

    But I'm partial to stories that give a modern twist to popular fables.

  5. Yikes! World-building!

    At this point in my writing, I'm sticking to realistic fiction. Although there may be a bit of dystopia in my future.

  6. I suppose, in a way, any book can be a *fantasy* - I'm certainly not an angry teenage boy, but there happens to be one living in my brain at the moment, so him speaking through quite the fantasy.

    But if we're speaking genre...not sure what I would leap into! I love the whole vampire/werewolf/otherwordly creature boom going on right now, but I'm not really sure I'd have anything new to say. I'm fascinated by how many different takes writers have on these myths. Glad to hear you were inpsired!

  7. Angela - Nice to chat with you - Its funny how our brains are configured. You find yourself turning to mythology. I often find my stories centering on nature or history - almost without a conscious decision.

    Meg - A supernatural fantasy world!

    Gale - I agree - I'm working on my new character laboring to achieve a major goal.

    Ron - Perfect - fantasy that is original with s modern twist.

    Judy - Yes - building a realistic world of the fantasy land.

  8. I think I'd work on a dystopian fantasy, which seems to be on every agent's wish list right now. I fell in love with the genre when I read Suzanne Collins' amazing Hunger Game series.

  9. Sounds like a great conference, Eileen!

    I tend to lean toward fun, silly fantasy. Pirates, dragons, superheroes, matzah balls in outer space, etc.

    I would love to write a thought- provoking dystopian world like Hunger Games or the Shadow Children series. But, for right now at least, those just aren't me.