Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Trouble with Fantasy

Karen and I were about fourteen here (1962). She is the Billie of HOME INVASION.

I have been dabbling with fantasy for the last year or two but I notice one real problem. Although I am able to come up with a decent concept, a satisfactory conclusion often eludes me. It is harder to end a fantasy story than a crime story, that's for sure.

What fantasy stories have great endings? Are you often disappointed or do most fantacists write pretty good endings?

18 comments:

George said...

John Collier's FANCIES AND GOODNIGHTS is a textbook on how to end a fantasy story. For a darker example, read Robert Bloch's fantasy short stories. I'm a big fan of his "That Hell-Bound Train."

Richard S. Wheeler said...


The Mary Poppins stories.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I have to be honest: fantasy isn't my thing. I've tried a few - I have. But they just don't send me. Still I give you an incredible amount of credit for doing this. It's hard to write in a different genre.

Anonymous said...

I AM NOT SPAM!

They deleted my comment again.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I got it here. I will repost it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I bet I could find a picture of Jackie with that same hairdo! In fact she had both of them, I'm sure.


Jeff M.

Kelly Robinson said...

I think endings to anything are hard to write, and the proof is the fact that some of my most favorite writers have written endings I don't care for. Some of my favorite books have endings I don't like so much.

In real life, things don't end. Even if you die, stuff goes one.

I know that doesn't help with your question. I just understand and sympathize with the difficulty.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for the support, Kelly.

Ron Scheer said...

Endings for me need to be both unpredictable and inevitable. That requires a pretty fully understood fictional universe of possibilities and probabilities. It can't just be an anything goes world. Which is why I tend to steer clear of fantasy. It's a lot of work, either reading or writing.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That sums it up, Ron. Hard, isn;t it?

Erik Donald France said...

Great picture ~!

Good luck with the ending~!

David Cranmer said...

Lovely pic, Patti!

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is so 1962, isn't it?

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd have to recommend Robert E. Howard for great fantasy endings, but I'm not sure that's the type of fantasy you're thinking of.

Todd Mason said...

Fantasists can fall so completely in love with the constructs that they are creating that it becomes difficult to find a decent way to bring down the curtain, but that's true of all sorts of fiction...it's just that one has more of a responsibility with fantasy to make the setting temporarily believable.

All the great fantasists, from Borges through Leiber through Russ through Davidson and on and on, can be proper subjects for study here...they usually let the story end where the resolution calls for it, as with any story...you don't need, as some sometimes seem to think they do, to bring the curtain down on the world you've posited as well, unless that's the story.

I'm not sure I'll agree that Bloch is inherently darker than Collier!

Todd Mason said...

Jeff, why don't you simply quit using Anyonymous and start using Name/URL? It won't take much longer, if any, and won't treat you as spam as readily. (This is not the first time I've suggested this, but it will be the last, perhaps to everyone's relief.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I continue to box myself into a corner with these stories. Although the one you read for me about the woman who turns into a cello (or does she) is coming out in UNDERGROUND VOICES soon.

Todd Mason said...

Excellent. The long rhythms of publishing...did I send along Theodore Sturgeon's E PLURIBUS UNICORN collection? Definitely an excellent model for organically imposed form on fantasy, the early Sturgeon fantasies...