I used to think fantasy is all about the future, something in far, far away land across time and space years ahead. On top of my mind, fantasy stories are one of the hardest genres one can create because it takes superb imagination to put whatever inside our heads into words. Our goals is to make people believe our fictions are worthy-to-read although they are purely out of visualization. You won’t find the background of fictions in any kinds of historical books.
As such, I think The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are genius works. Because J.K Rowling and J.R.R Tolkien create their stories in such detailed and complex ways that they look as if they were real. Each and every little thing is described so exact; the characters, the houses they live, the clothes, the strange creatures in the story… Entertaining, wild but are still meaningful. Their stories are sometimes out of my reach. My realistic nature and my brain can’t cope with their brilliancy.
During the past few weeks I’ve got a lesson about fantasy that broadens my knowledge and shows me another shade of imagination that almost slips away from this little brain. It’s called the fantasy of historical fiction.
Actually, fiction is about fantasy although what you may write happen in the now. Historical fictions challenge me more thinking about the past, hundreds of years before I come to this beautiful world. I can’t stop giving credits to all authors who can create the sort of stories because they don’t live in the actual times and places when the background of the stories take place. All they have are reliable manuscripts, data from newspapers, interviews or researches from scholars about specific time and condition where the stories occur.
But still, they don’t live at that time, in the situation. They make plots, adjust the stories with historical backgrounds. Not only that. They also have to know the kind of language that people use, say, in the 1940s. Since, you know, language also develops over time.
The places may change their names, too. The streets may no longer exist. Also, the social condition. Do the gap between the rich and the poor remain steep? Reading two books about history (one is real and the other is fictitious) informs me how fantasy is indeed sooo diverse. Though yes, you can track the names of the characters in the fiction in historical books or know exactly where this place is located, making stories that take place before you were even born is as much as hard as Lord of the Rings that don’t relate with certain historical timelines.
Although historical fictions are artificial you have to check and double check the years, the title of people with high social status, the names of the places that don’t exist anymore, and many more. Presenting interesting story is a difficult task.. Supporting it with correct facts is challenging, probably require you thinking harder than producing the story itself.