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5 Things 'Serious' Fantasy Writers Can Learn from Terry Pratchett

Even at his silliest, the late Terry Pratchett had something worthwhile to say.

Terry Pratchett
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  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“Apply logic in places where it wasn’t intended to exist. If assured that the Queen of the Fairies has a necklace made of broken promises, ask yourself what it looks like. If there is magic, where does it come from? Why isn’t everyone using it? ... Fantasy works best when you take it seriously.” 

“Read widely outside the genre … Read with the mind-set of a carpenter looking at trees.”

“Let’s talk about wizards and witches. There is a tendency to talk of them in one breath, as though they were simply different sexual labels for the same job. It isn’t true."

“The roots of fantasy go far deeper than mere dragons and elves … Right at the bottom, at the tip of the root, is the fear of the dark and the cold, but once you’ve given darkness a name you have a measure of control.”

“At its best, [fantasy] is truly escapist. But the point about escaping is that you should escape to, as well as from [...] Too much alleged “fantasy” is just empty sugar, life with the crusts cut off.”