But maybe that’s what makes me qualified to write about this topic. For the most part, I am a fantasy outsider.
When I was younger, I used to write fantasy stories all the time, but I’d never finish my work. This could be attributed to the inexperience and impatience that sometimes comes with age, but it could also be attributed to writing myself into corners because of lack of outlining or world building.
I eventually changed genres, but I didn’t change my methods. I’ll normally know my beginning, my ending, and a vague middle, but I don’t know in detail how to get from point to point. Luckily, this works for most of my novels.
This did not work for my first NaNoWriMo novel, a YA Urban Fantasy with mind readers, psychics, vampires, witches, and warlocks. For this, I had no idea where I was going, just a concept in mind with no ending in sight. As I started reading through the draft, I decided it needed too much work and trunked it. Maybe it was something else, or maybe it was because when I write fantasy and don’t plan, things can quickly get convoluted. I just know that the NaNo motto "No plot? No problem!" is not too accurate when it comes to me and fantasy; it's more like "No plot? Big problem!"
So…the smart thing for me would be to not write fantasy, right?
Except that, just a while ago, I came up with a fantasy idea that I love. In a day I was able to work out the majority of the plot, but still, I’m hesitant to actually write it. I know how I am with fantasy. An extensive outline, world building, medieval research…it would probably all be required for me to write it and write it well, and even then…
I guess time will tell if I have the guts to go out of my comfort zone and the strength to go through and do something I don’t like doing, planning.
Readers, do you think that the fantasy genre requires more planning than other genres? Why or why not? If you think it does, how do you--or would you, if you don't write fantasy--handle all the planning?