Fantasy and the Draw
Reading fantasy is a quest of sorts. We’re always looking for the books that sing, books that seem like they could very well have happened here on earth, those that linger long after the appendices and dust jackets have been pored over in hopes of learning more.
And those that delight us often have the layers, the hint of more beyond what we read, beyond what we perceive, that this story, important as it may be, is but a chapter — and a small one at that — of a world far vaster both in space and in time.
And so, in writing such a work, the writer must take on the personality of the world they create, must be that world, exude the patina that, layering on the history of each character, as well as their memories of ancient histories, so that the reader needs to know more. Like a Bosch painting or an Escher drawing or an ancient map, there is always more to see. Or like gazing down from on high, seeing things in a new light, from a new perspective.
That joy of discovery and re-discovery is what keeps us coming back. We’re willing to slog through stories that don’t do that (to a point), hoping that the next book will be the one. And I can’t think of a more worthy quest than that.
Except maybe to tell such a story.