Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Way We Wish It Was.

  I think that fantasy is, at heart, "history that we wished would have happened". We wish there really had been a time when unicorns frolicked in green pastures, and we sure as certain wish we were in it!
 As a writer of fantasy, I have a corresponding love of history. Not the sort of history about battles; (who, where and when,) but the feel of ages past. Including the tiny, day-to-day details and household objects. {I once found a picture of a drop spindle unearthed at a Scandinavian archeological dig, and was happy for days.}

I just love that sort of stuff.

 And of course, what they wore. Those are really breath taking.
Yes, I'm talking ancient, but also even just a few centuries old.  I think one of the main draws to this genre is our insatiable longing for 'the way it was', and even better "the way it might have been".
Even if it wasn't really that great in centuries past, we love the smell of those pages. Like all nostalgia, we embellish on the truth, and the further back it goes the better it looks in the eyes of the present.
 It's not a modern wonder; when the printing press started up and the Brothers Grimm collected up German fairy stories, what time frame were they set in? A century or so previous.
 And I'd be willing to say that's why most fantasy is set the in 'medieval days'; the press started a burst of creativity, and most 'fairy-tales' were set in the previous century or two, to make them more interesting. This set a precedent that continues today.
 (Yes, it's a theory. But a sound one, I say. ;-) )

 So that's why I love researching ancient ways and means and including them in my plot-lines. It's fascinating, just whole great barrels of fun, personally. But I also hope that other people will enjoy reading these little tidbits of information as much as I do putting them in.
And maybe they'll research it, too. And then maybe they'll go out and make a modern reproduction.
  ...and send me a picture.
 That would be totally amazing!

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