I've heard quite a bit of fantasy genre blasting. Most who bash hesitate when you bring up writings such as C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia...which had, gasp, a 'white witch', a faun, centaurs...so on and so forth. The bashers are more sure of their position when you suggest 'Lord of the Rings'...seriously, 'magic rings', elves, orcs, dwarfs, goblins (can't remember if they are in there or not, but 'Gollum' certainly gives me of a mental picture of a goblin–and yes, I am aware that he had a past as a hobbit). How about some more suggestions to challenge your thoughts? I'm sure I can find one to make you say, 'ah...no, I don't read that stuff.' How about...Star Wars? Aliens anyone? Or...how about vampires...and...werewolves! Gasp, gasp...
My point is that while fantasy can be dark, and much of it is 'dark' out there these days, fantasy is merely a tool for telling a good story and the fact that it is fiction should be evident. If you can't separate the facts from the fiction then don't read nor write it. I myself follow this same line of reasoning (which is why I have a hard time writing mystery/suspense–my 'villain' becomes all too real to my mind so I have a tendency to turn him/her into a 'nice' guy which ruins my story line every time). It is not good for us to avoid real life because our heads are stuck in a fantasy world.
We should be feet firmly on the ground, mentally and spiritually. The obvious should be said–I do not suggest crossing lines into writing books that praise false deities and dabble in paranormal activities. I feel the same about books that take the name of the Lord in vain, have sexually explicit scenes and innuendoes, so on and so forth.
But there are books which have affected my life–in a good way–that would stun some Christians if they heard the names of them. I'd immediately feel the sting of judgment...nothing new for a PK so pardon me while I brush the barbs from my back and move on.
Fairy tales would be considered a form of fantasy. I once heard a preacher review a seldom heard fairy tale and I swear everyone sat up and forsook their Sunday morning nap!
The story is what we read for. Right now, there is an insatiable hunger in the world for young adult fantasy fiction and I can either ignore that fact or I can write the stories that are in my mind. I choose to write them...or they choose me, I haven't figured that part out yet.
I never intended to write any fantasy fiction. Never even intended to write Young Adult fiction, and yet...that is where I've ended up, book after book...many of which may never reach publication. I've finally given in and accepted this point in my writing. The time to explore is now–before being locked into one genre, and I know–I'll likely not be able to stick to just one no matter what the experts say.
What I began my writing with is fiction which was mainly geared toward Christian female readers, and while I haven't forsaken that genre, I have found walls built around the concept of 'Christian' fiction which have tainted my picture of what I can express.
Definitely haven't given up on my original genre, and things are changing rapidly–who knows where I'll end up.
Please, join me on this journey, let us learn storytelling together, and hopefully we'll both find storytelling a rewarding experience regardless of the genre.