Whimsical fantasy, or pixie fantasy is a type of fantasy with wit, suddenness, unexpectedness and downright playful insanity! It has everything that the popular story Alice in Wonderland has and more.
The elements of Whimsical Fantasy
The tricky part to whimsical fantasy is that there are basically no rules to making it. Usually it will contain pixie fairies, talking mushrooms, enchanted forests, playful dragons and you-name-it! But this is the kind of fantasy that could work really well with specific types of audience, and because there isn’t much content on it you essentially have a free niche for yourself.
Whimsicalness is in the tone!
It’s all in the theme
A common thing I try to iterate on in these blogs is that the most important thing in your stories is defining a theme. The story can be absolutely anything you want it to be, but if you have a theme you set the mood for your reader. Often, the reader already knows what they want to read, so it’s your job to clearly tell them that this is the theme of your book and that they will like it. Don’t try to appeal to everyone!
In a whimsical fantasy, the theme is very clearly defined. You’ll have crazy characters, sparkling places, enchanting mysteries to be solved and more! And it’s not even going to be fragmented that much, it’s all going to be in one place. Whimsical fantasy is beautiful like that – it encapsulates the craziness in one ball and tries to make sense of itself. It wont make any sense, and that’s exactly why it will make sense!
Does story matter in Whimsical Fantasy?
For the most part, no! It literally doesn’t. Do you remember what the story for Alice in Wonderland was? Stop the evil queen? See, that’s just there to help Alice move forward with something. The ‘real’ Alice in Wonderland is the Mad Hatter, the rabbit, the crazy worlds, the eat me drink me stuff and all that awesomeness.
So in your whimsical fantasy, you really don’t need to put that much emphasis on the story as much as you do on the world building.
The thing about this genre is, it’s absolutely crazy. It usually belongs in the section called “literary nonsense”. What you need to be careful about is how you describe your things. Often, they might make sense in your head but would confuse the hell out of your reader.
In my book Fantasia of Lorelei I have a dragon that’s made out of candy and has marshmallows as its teeth, so when it breathes fire it makes smores in its mouth. That’s pretty wonky and random, but I’ve used elements already familiar to the world and combined them together, that’s why it’s still quite imaginable!
Can I copy other whimsical fantasies?
For the most part I’m going to give a pretty hard “no” to this one. The thing is, Elves, Dragons, Thor, Orcs, Wizards and Cthulhu are all popularized fiction that have set the standards of fantasy. Copying those is considered a comfortable norm. One of my own books has Elves in it, after all.
But in Whimsical Fantasy, you got a problem! The genre is so random, that copying from it is just too obvious. So what I would recommend is, you could take inspiration for the limitations of it, but not outright copy the concepts. Keep them as original as you can, and your readers will love you for that!