I recently watched a National Geographic episode on J. R. R. Tolkien’s, “Lord of the Rings” and what inspired him to write it. Every writer takes in their surroundings and life events and puts them into a box, opening it up later during the writing process. Lots of what we live, we write.
However, fantasy writers seem to be attacked more often than other fiction writers. While “attacked” might be a strong accusation, it is the most apt description. Fantasy writers seem to be frowned upon where other fiction writers are praised. Even sci-fi authors get the “Oh, I’m so sorry” look from people when telling them what genre they write.
I’ve said it before, though: Every writer includes fantasy in their work.
But the real reason for the “attack” is that people hear that you are a fantasy writer and immediately assume you can’t handle real life so you escape from it. The biased opinions don’t fade easily, either. Unless of course you are Tolkien, George R. R. Martin or Terry Brooks. If you are not a well known, successful fantasy author, you better have a thick skin. Apparently people equate success and riches with intelligence. But have you ever looked at a fantasy/sci-fi book and thought to yourself that the person must be some kind of bumbling idiot?
Every writer out there interacts with society on so many different levels, but the one key thing they all share is a deep, intellectual understanding of their fellow human beings. Good writers, fiction or otherwise, know what makes people tick. And they’re smart!
So think about that for a moment and now look at fantasy and even sci-fi authors. Look at the worlds they create, look at the underlying politics, the issues, the people and then ask yourself if you think they’re idiots or geniuses. It takes a certain level of intelligence to write, yes. But personally, I think it takes exceptional intelligence to write fantasy or sci-fi. So go ahead, call me a nerd or a geek. I know I am. I know how to face real life issues like a pro and roll with the punches. Because I take what I learn and I put it out there in my writing for the world to see and to help those who are struggling with life issues to find a solution somehow. What’s your writing IQ?All writers do. We’re equals, no matter what genre we choose to focus on and channel our skills into. Tolkien was a genius.
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