This week: The Magic Castle Edited by: Dawn Embers
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|Fantasy Newsletter by Dawn|
A look at the grandeur structure of the castle in the real world and within fiction. Whether it's made of sand, one of stone or even one within an imagination, there is often a place in fantasy for a castle.
|The castle is a classic structure found within fantasy stories. Whether it's the dark castle of the gothic tale in Dracula or the medieval style seen in epic fantasy stories like Lord of the Rings, there are many castles within speculative fiction stories. I'm sure there are some within science fiction too.|
Even in the real world we have castles. Some countries still have historic castles that have lasted for centuries with some still containing residents. Then there are the fantastical castles found within Disney World and Disney land that are homes to fairy tales and spectacular firework shows when the parks are open. Even in Los Angeles there is a place called the Magic Castle that is a very exclusive place that hosts magic shows (it's members only with the exception of this year as they became a voting center for the 2020 elections and I got to place my ballot there). Some castles are very large and extravagant and others are smaller with more practical uses. There are many options.
Does a castle fit in your story?
Well, let's consider the option. For me, I have a castle for the beginning segment of my current NaNoWriMo novel and it's something that's not overly fancy but has seen shifts as the magic around the area has affected the weather and conditions. I still need to work on the descriptions, which often comes in rewrites as I'm not a descriptive first draft writer. But it's a location that makes sense when writing a story about a future king. Many of my other stories, even those that are fantasy based don't have the castle as a setting. It all depends on the story.
There are some struggles that come with castles that one might consider if trying to develop the setting into the story. One thing some people might forget is the technical matters that come with the large, often stone structures people create for the common castle. Heating could be a difficult factor, for example. I would imagine that it's hard to both heat and cool the massive structure created with this type of building though there may be some magical solutions aside from the usual fire or air flow channels. Even if it is a problem in the castle, that doesn't mean you have to necessarily solve all of the issues. Even if you acknowledge it's an issue within a scene, it could help give a realistic feel to the setting.
Imagination is another factor to consider. Sure, there are classic structures and those will work great for particular stories but there is also a little room for creativity. Can you make a castle that is different? What would fit best within the world you are creating.
Whether classic, gothic, unique or made of glass, the castle is a useful location to use within a speculative fiction story. From Kings and knights to descendants from many generations remaining in the historic shelter of their ancestors, there are tales to be told.
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|Where would you put a magic castle in a story? Who lives in that castle?|
Last month, I discussed dark fantasy. We looked a little at what qualified for the subgenera and considered elements of darkness for writing or reading.
Comment by Steven (PLEASE BUY MY BOOKS!)
I love dark fantasy. I write a reasonable amount of it. But it has been a hard sell. I've sold some pieces, but I will say this - with the current state of the world, more and more anthologies and magazines are looking for that darkness in their fantasy. Not just horror, but a fantasy where darkness might prevail, or the heroes are not the greatest of people, or the losses of 'winning' are immense. For writers like me, trying to sell my work to publishers, maybe this time has had some benefits. I don't know...
Comment by BIG BAD WOLF Feels Lucky
One book I read, "Villains by Necessity" by Eve Forward had the Heroes become morally corrupt, and basically, it's up to the so-called Villains to save the day - it's rather telling when the Bad Guys have to save the world by releasing Evil back into it in order to stabilize Good.
Another book, "Grunts!" by Mary Gentle, basically has Lord of the Ring type Orcs picking up Modern Weaponry, and bring Full Metal Jacket into a fantasy setting - not suitable for children.
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