I've written a lot of fantasy. I mean, duhhh, it's kind of what I do. I don't only write fantasy, but fantasy has always appealed to me. Fantasy gives me the latitude to stretch my imagination to someplace not only fictional, but unbelievable. It's a world where one can immerse themselves and breath in the wonder of a world so different from our own.
The fantasy books I'm currently working on, The Chosen of the Light, is set within a somewhat typical epic fantasy world. Horses and castles, magic, long walks, dark creatures. I'm not saying that to belittle what it is I write, only to illuminate the concept. The world of The Chosen of the Light shares similarities with other epic fantasies... until Reller comes along.
Book Three, Devoid, isn't out yet, so I have to tread carefully, but at a point during my main character's journey, he comes across a man named Reller (I've changed names slightly). Reller isn't your typical epic fantasy character. He's a man who deals in something like blackmarket trading (without explicitly saying it), and though he has a calm demeanor, he manipulates and teases. It's brutally apparent to my main character he shouldn't get involved with Reller, but he ends up doing so out of necessity.
The thing about Reller is that writing him is very different from the epic fantasy world I tend to create within. He's a real world villain, in fact, Reller is a man who is easily relatable to our own real world. He's manipulative. He tells lies with a smile on his face. He's ruthless when he doesn't get what he wants, and all he does is want.
But when I write about Reller, something happens in my writing, a feeling I haven't had in years. Reller gets me excited about the story I'm telling. I've been working on The Chosen of the Light for over 20 years now, and it's difficult to have that same feeling of excitement after so many years. Reller is a new addition to my book after multiple rewrites, but he's still 5 years old or more. What makes him such a great character is his draw to the real world, the world I tend not to work in, and how fun it is to mesh the two worlds together.
As a writer, perhaps branching out into other genres is important to our craft. Perhaps sticking to one genre is fine, however figuring out how other genres might play into is important in learning how to write and how to develop a story. Either way, Reller is staying in my story, and maybe, just maybe, I'll keep him around for another.