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A fantasy author is someone who writes stories set in imaginary places, focuses on made-up creatures, supernatural beings, and so on. The author can focus on a general category of fantasy, or he or she may focus on a more specific sub-genre, such as superhero fantasy, mythic fantasy, or dark fantasy. The medium through which the fantasy author writes can also vary; he or she may write a novel, a short story, a series of stories or books, or even poetry. The common themes of fantasy writing must be present in order for the author to be considered a fantasy writer.
Sometimes a fantasy author may cross genres; fantasy may, for example, be combined with horror or science fiction. A fantasy author will usually avoid doing so, as these other genres are closely related by distinctly different. Other authors may try to blend the genres to create a more compelling story that capitalizes on all the advantages of each genre. Dark fantasy can walk the line between pure fantasy and horror, and the superhero fantasy can often mix science fiction with fantasy. These genres are popular among a variety of readerships, so some authors may write exclusively for such genres.
A novel is a long work, usually 65,000 words or longer. A fantasy author may write novels exclusively, and if the author does so, he or she may choose to write a novel series; the series is a collection of several books that deal with some of the same characters, places, events, and so on. One of the most famous series ever written is the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, This set of three books deals with creatures known as hobbits and one hobbit's quest to rid the world of evil by destroying a cursed ring. The Harry Potter series is another famous collection of books by J.K. Rowling; these books focus on a boy wizard named Harry Potter who battles an evil wizard named Voldemort.
Other writers may focus on short stories instead of longer novels. Short stories are usually 10,000 words or less, and they deal with shorter episodes and less developed characters. This form of writing can be exceptionally difficult, as the writer must develop a story and characters in far less space than an author who writes novels will do. Like novelists, a short story writer can also write a series of stories that are somehow connected to each other, or he or she can write individual stories that are unrelated.
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