Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

47 views
Fantasy > Prejudice on the Fantasy Genre

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Ward (RichardWard) | 5 comments Why does the Fantasy genre get so much prejudice? It's not that bad, really. I think it's good for the brain. It exercises our imagination.

What are your thoughts on this?


message 2: by V.W. (new)

V.W. Singer | 141 comments It is not the genre itself as such. But it seems to be the genre of choice for many new authors, so naturally you are going to have a large number of less than market ready books. The readers come to expect this and become more suspicious of each new book. Combined with the sheer comparative quantity of fantasy novels coming out, it is hardly surprising that a certain degree of prejudice or wariness has begun to develop.


message 3: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 276 comments basically what vw said. folks think its easy to hammer out a fantasy when in reality a lot of work goes into it. well maybe im one of the rare ones but i make sure my world works correctly in the realm of metaphysics (for the most part) and establish the history of the universe im creating. all the extensive details might not appear but no internal rules are broken (glares hatefully at meyers) and i have working reasons why the world is the way it is. not everyone does language magic systems religion or world building down to the plants and such but folks get sick of shallow repetitive stuff and of course are jaundiced. there are so many ways to tell the hero journey. make it unique enough that no one notices


message 4: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 145 comments There's plenty of prejudice about Romance too.
You're not alone; never fear! ;-)


message 5: by Prex (new)

Prex Ybasco (prexybasco) | 19 comments One undeniable factor is the fact that great fantasy novels have set the bar for readers. If new novels cannot be at par with the works of JRR Tolkien or J.K.Rowling, or CS Lewis, it's going to be difficult for them to be noticed.


message 6: by Kristofer (new)

Kristofer Hanson (kristofermhanson) | 12 comments Prex wrote: "One undeniable factor is the fact that great fantasy novels have set the bar for readers. If new novels cannot be at par with the works of JRR Tolkien or J.K.Rowling, or CS Lewis, it's going to be ..."

And therein lies the problem: Right now the fantasy genre is a pool and there is a lot of "scum" floating around in it. Readers have to do their best to navigate these waters and pick the good from the bad. They can just lift their arms up and grab the J.K Rowling and C.S. Lewis books that are comfortably arranged around the side of the pool, so why reach into the muck to search for something good?

Self-publishing is an amazing tool, but it has made it too easy for people to throw stuff into the pool and continually add to this flotsam. It is sad to say, but a majority of what is being published is just not good. This is making readers jaded and turning them away from the gems that are floating around out there and forcing them to stay with the books and authors they know are good.

I just self-published my first novel, but I ensured I went "all in" doing it. I hired a professional editor and a professional cover designer to work with me in developing my novel. I can honestly say that if I had not made this investment I would not have had the courage to self-publish.

I thought I had written a quality product, but my editor polished it to perfection. My story was good, but my mechanics were not so good. I learned so much from her and felt so confident when she was done that I decided to self-publish and forego the traditional route. I had attempted the traditional route very early on in the process, but after working with her I see why I was rejected then.

Did I know the pool was this deep and this full of prejudice? Not at the time, but I do now. If I did I still would have self-published.

Does my spending money on an editor and a designer make me a better author or person than the next indie writer? Of course not. It has improved my skills as a writer, though.

Does my spending money on an editor and a designer make my book better than that of the next indie author? Most, yes, but this is case by case. Thing is, I KNOW I am delivering a quality product to the reader, even if they do not like the story.

As a reader I find myself standing in this pool. I can just reach over and stay in my comfort zone by grabbing Archmage or I can reach my hands into the much and hope I find something like Foehammer.

As an author I can only sit back and hope the reader plunging into the pool is willing to take a chance and go out of their comfort zone by grabbing my book or another good indie book.


message 7: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) With Fantasy, one has to find the balance between world-building and flooding the reader with pointless minutiae. I'm sure we can all name a few fantasy authors, famous or just starting out, who go well past building the world and into describing every leaf, twig, and rock on the path. And I think that overindulgence in description has a tendency to turn away more "casual" readers.


message 8: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 491 comments I don't think the fantasy genre gets more prejudice than any other genres. The problem might be in the classification. For example, Science fiction fans might argue that some works are in fact fantasy and not scifi and will turn up their nose at it, even though they'd still enjoy it if they'd read it.

That said, people seem to forget the most important thing. They need to preach by example. How can you convince readers that indies have great books if as an indie author, you choose traditional published books over indies'?


message 9: by Kristofer (new)

Kristofer Hanson (kristofermhanson) | 12 comments G.G. wrote: "I don't think the fantasy genre gets more prejudice than any other genres. The problem might be in the classification. For example, Science fiction fans might argue that some works are in fact fant..."

I don't follow you here G.G. I would not be a fantasy writer today if it was not for R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan. Obviously, Mr. Jordan will not have any books coming out any longer, but I always preorder Salvatore's books.

So what if he is traditionally published, it does not mean I can't try and search for a good indie novel in between his novels.

I try not to play the us vs. them when it comes to traditional and indie writings. Most of us were inspired by traditionally published authors, so to forego their works is just silly.

BUT I do agree that in there you need to mix it up a little... if you find a good indie book, then let others know about it. Indie authors really only have each other to help publicize our works.


message 10: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 138 comments Sturgeon's Law existed before self-publishing became popular. Ted Sturgeon was talking about traditionally published work when he condemned 90% of everything. It seems to me that it was true then, and it's true now. I've been reading fantasy since the 1960's. I've always needed to get down into the muck if I wanted to find the 10% that's worthwhile. This is nothing new.


message 11: by Lenita (new)

Lenita Sheridan | 1010 comments Even though I cam a fantasy author, from the reader's point of view, I have found quite a bit of good quality fantasy which has been self-published (also some bad). I'm not too into faerie stories, but more into fairy tales which have been rewritten. One such example, though not an indie author, is Robin McKinley's Beauty. I also appreciate authors who have a sense of humor. I liked Angela Chrysler's Dolor and Shadow. It is a good epic dark fantasy.


message 12: by Shomeret (last edited Aug 26, 2015 06:00PM) (new)

Shomeret | 138 comments Having said what I've said above, the best and most original fantasy that I read in 2014 was indie published. Admittedly, it's by an author who has been traditionally published and has had success in the world of traditional publishing.

This year, however, I've found fantasy novels by indie writers who haven't had success in traditional publishing that are truly excellent. I wouldn't have found them if I hadn't been willing to read hundreds of descriptions of indie books that didn't show one glimmer of creativity. My point is that the same goes for the traditionally published books. Traditional publishers want to guarantee that their releases will be popular, so they largely publish clones of bestsellers.


message 13: by C.J. (new)

C.J. McKee (cjmckee) | 107 comments I think the fantasy genre has been flooded, and I've heard the oh so common complaint that a lot of the indie fantasy is trash. Not everyone is going to like the story or writing style. However I have seen some stories which are near copies of other stories. Not that there's anything wrong with quest stories or similar tales with elves, dwarves, etc.

I have also seen a LOT of science fiction as well. In general I think the indie book field is drowning in the sheer number of books being released through self-publishing. As is the usual human response, when there are "bad eggs" it ruins it for everyone else.

I've read both good and bad, good story bad writing, boring story, good writing, etc. It's up to the reader to decide whether or not they want to take the time to actually search for, and read, the indie books without a pessimistic view.


message 14: by Lenita (new)

Lenita Sheridan | 1010 comments I agree with Shomeret. At least half the indie fantasy books I've read have been good.


back to top