23 February 2007

Can a fantasy be considered historical?

This question comes to mind because I’m attempting to write a fantasy. One of the rules to penning a good fantasy is creating a believable world. It’s called world-building, and the writer better do her research. The writer must understand the political climate and laws that govern the world. This is the world in which your characters interact and it has to be believable to the reader.

To create my fantasy world I’m reading history books, mythology, and studying architectural buildings of the ancient world and fashion. I need to know what influences my characters - what type of dwelling do they live in, do they trade for goods, what clothes they wear, what is their political and spiritual beliefs… All the same ‘stuff’ I need to know when I’m writing a historical novel.

Lord of the Rings set the standard for all fantasies that came after it. J.R.R. Tolkien created an amazing world and went further, by creating the language of his mythical creatures. He was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon and pursued the study of languages, and the branch of philology, linguistics concerned with the relationships and ancestry of languages. The world he constructed came from his studies of the past.

So, my question is do you think fantasies can be considered historical?