We al love the idea of leaving the dreary hum of normality behind. Magical realism, science fiction, fantasy, call it what you like, almost everyone can think of an example that has transported them to a new world and made them come back to earth with something lingering in the back of their mind.
Yet if you get them to explain the story, you’d think that it was the background world, the places and events that things happen in, that make them special. In fact, it’s very often the case that the ‘unreal’ elements simply allow the author to enhance or exaggerate in a way that wouldn’t be possible in the ‘real world.’
Reader or writer, here are a few key elements that make these stories tick. Feel free to use them as a guide to add to your reading list, or as a bit of inspiration to take your writing into a new realm.
Driven By Character
Driven by Emotion/Relationships
Driven by Plot
So readers, beware. Just because there’s a picture of a magic rune or another world on the cover, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a great book. Try out some of the books I’ve suggested here, or do a bit of digging to make sure that you’re getting a great story, rather than a great world.
And writers, explore. Take the main elements of your stories or ideas and have a go at adding another dimension to them. I did this in my short story Chrysalis, where I used the idea of children growing away from their parents and overpopulation into a magical ‘virus’ sweeping the globe, or where I used the idea of grief as something that plods around after you to develop the idea of a grief tortoise (currently being edited).
Leave your book suggestions or your writing inspiration below.