I adore fantasy, and let’s be honest, so do you.
Fantasy is the best-selling genre of all time.
But there are people who hate fantasy titles. Yeah, really there are…
So what is it about fantasy that drives people away?
I did a little research into this and I discovered twenty things that fantasy haters don’t like about this most popular of all genres…
What can fantasy authors learn from this list, shared below? Well, maybe they can ration some of the worst stylistic elements and features. Maybe they can listen to the criticisms and make reasonable modifications.
Or, quite the contrary, perhaps they should cram their stories with even more of what those haters hate! After all, they’ll never get it… but the genuine fans will love those qualities!
Either way, it’s good to know the flip-side of opinion…
20 things people hate about fantasy
1. Too little romance or too much romance turns people off. Fantasies seem unable to bring that comforting balance of “just enough” romance
2. Some think “only children” are instinctively drawn to fantasy worlds, so they have pre-decided that fantasy is “not for adults”
3. Some people dislike stories that are told without rules or limits
4. Some find the language (terminology) of fantasy somewhat inaccessible
5. Some feel fantasy fiction does not focus enough on human experience and individual problems
6. Some don’t like stories with so many characters to follow
7. Some dislike prose with so much fussy detail
8. Some do not have the imagination to immerse themselves in fantastic worlds, it’s just the way their minds are hard-wired
9. Some do not feel their life requires the escapism that fantasy offers
10. Some dislike the flowery prose of fantasy
11. Some dislike the arbitrary power an author extends over character and plot development (i.e. inconsistent rules or ill-conceived magic systems)
12. Some are unable or unwilling to “invest” in the span of stories that make up an epic fantasy series… some fantasies tend to go on-and-on
13. Some believe fantasy fiction is geared towards the male reader
14. Skeptics (that’s to say, people who doubt something is true and useful) say magic is unscientific
15. The same skeptics say that magic is unrealistic
16. Worse still, those skeptics say magic is not intellectual or sophisticated enough for them
17. Recycled tropes are a bore
18. For some, the sheer size of a single fantasy novel is intimidating (let alone a series of stories)
19. Fantasy romance is considered unrealistic
20. Conventional rules of reality can easily be bent or hot-wired by the author; this is seen as short-cutting plot and character development, and so this is “unfair”
Thoughts or comments? Tweet me @neilmach
Listen to this topic on the Myth & Magic Podcast