How To Tell If You Are In Literary Magical Realism

Firstly, you will notice that something amazing has happened. Not just to you, because then you might simply be insane. And this will not do for magical realism, where everyone must be insane. Or behave like it. No, it must be something incredibly amazing that happens to everyone, like everyone sprouting butterfly wings, or water squirting on people whenever they have bacon and eggs for breakfast or something. Except people don’t eat bacon in magic realism because awareness. Soy.

Secondly, under no circumstances must anyone change their behavior because of this. No one will wear rain slickers when they have soy and eggs. There will be no widespread disuse of bicycles or running shoes because people take up flying.

Thirdly, whatever has happened, it is only really important to one person. Your character. And it will open up his or her or their soul, because this is the person the universe rotates around, and has changed itself to illuminate their one specific problem that is extremely important that no one has ever had to deal with before. Like finding fulfillment. Or falling in love.

Third-and-a-halfly, your character must studiously ignore any larger implications of something amazing, and only ask things like, Grandma, do your wings ever catch on your clothing. And not use quotation marks because decentering spoken discourse challenges the patriarchy or capitalism or something and is really important, okay?
Okay.
Were you talking there?
Who can tell?

Fourthly, The End

Seventhly, make sure there is no resolution of anything.

Sixthly, play with narrative conventions, such as chronological order, making clear you won’t be bound by them or sentence structure grammar because freedom, I mean liberation

Am I In An Epic Fantasy? A Guide

This is the kind of thing that my Patreon supporters get periodically!

This Guide Will Help You Determine Whether You are In An Epic Fantasy.

What kind of person am I?

You are young and single.
Where do I live?
In a small, unregarded village, hundreds of miles from anywhere important.
What’s my job?
Apprentice something-or-other. Or nothing, really.
Who are my parents?
Dead.
What? No, they’re not. I live in their house!
That’s what you think. Be prepared for a big revelation, soon.
How soon?
As soon as the Village Elders talk to you.
What? Why would they talk to me?
It has to do with the mysterious sheep-killings and dark strangers we’ve been seeing about these parts lately.
Yeah, what’s up with those?
And about that mysterious amulet you always wear.
I always wondered about that. Where did that come from?
We never talk about that.
Dammit! That’s what my “dad” always said when I asked.
And you were never suspicious that your parents always referred to themselves in quotation marks?
Dammit. What do I look like?
Like an absolutely typical person in your village, possibly with an atypical (pick one):
Hair color
Eye color
Birthmark
Minor physical defect that in NO WAY detracts from your attractiveness
Do I have a religion?
Yes, but God or the gods, or the Whatever doesn’t really ask a lot of you, or have any commands, or do much at all, except for facilitate Ancient Prophecies that totally have absolutely nothing to do with you or anyone you know (wink, wink!) and that no one actually reads apart from Mysterious Strangers that appear out of nowhere.

Excuse me, but there’s a knock at the door.

Don’t hurry back.

Lost In Space Opera

A Patreon post I just felt like sharing further.

“Sir, I think we’re in a Space Opera.”
“Why is that, Commander?”
“Well, sir, look at the situation. Here we are in our prototype starship that’s supposed to be able to outfight, outfly and outlast anything that’s ever been put in space.”
“Once we’ve got all the experimental systems working properly.”
“Exactly. And we’re the only ship in the quadrant.”
“On the same day that…”
“…the Treacherous Empire is supposed to parade its decommissioned fleet before our entire Starfleet and sign a Treaty of Eternal Peace and Friendship.”
“Oh, hell.”
“Also, the President’s beautiful and inexplicably intelligent twin daughters are aboard for reasons that will never be fully explained, but allegedly have to do with being so darned smart that they’ll be able to help us out with those experimental systems.”
“Well, commander, it looks as though we’ll need to break it to the crew. They deserve to know. Officers only, though: the men’s morale would plummet. They’re all dead men.”
“And women, sir.”
“This is your first Space Opera, isn’t it, Commander?”
“Which of us do you think is the hero?”
“Let’s think about this, Commander. You started this conversation by bringing me an overthought analysis of the situation we find ourselves in, while I have iron-gray hair and a deep, commanding baritone voice. Are you familiar with my service record?”
“Yes, sir. You have a reputation for troubling High Command with your bold command style and refusal to play by the rules.”
“While you are a graduate of the Academy with top honors and do things by the book.”
“I’m… not getting any while I’m on this ship, am I?”
“Only if it’s an enemy agent desperate to worm secrets out of you, son. Or, you know, an alien who turns out to be male or a gender humans don’t even have. For laughs.”
“Dammit.”