Dark fantasy is frequently used interchangeably with supernatural horror. Certain writers and reviewers also use the phrase to describe high fantasy works with anti-heroic or ethically dubious protagonists.
It is sometimes referred to as dark fantasy when written by authors more commonly connected with the horror genre. However, the phrase is also employed to designate darker works by more well-known authors for writing in other fantasy genres.
Best selling dark fantasy books are a subgenre of fantasy characterized by a purposefully menacing tone, enhancing what is typically thought of as a gloomy ambience. This ominous subgenre of fantasy is created by purposefully fusing traditional fantasy elements with a feeling of terror and dread.
The precise characteristics of dark fantasy are primarily undefined. Dark fantasy differs from other literary subgenres because its characteristics are less clear-cut. As a result, there has been disagreement and arguments over what fantasy books fall under this category. The typical characteristics that most authors consider suitable models for dark fantasy are listed below.
The Good Vs. Evil Motif
Dark fantasy frequently has characters that struggle with the concept of good versus evil. The line separating right from wrong is not always that distinct. Some best fantasy books series violate the morals of specific characters.
In some situations, the protagonists skew toward goodness, whereas in others, they skew toward evil. As a result, the story’s structure becomes more complex and meaningful due to the other conflict this causes.
Main Characters Who Are Anti-Heroes
What distinguishes a villain from an anti-hero? Most likely perspective. This is one of the critical factors of dark fantasy. Pure heroes don’t appeal the way negative characters do. Instead, the tragic character is what makes the story more hooking. Someone willing to work hard and get their hands filthy. If you want to see how to write a tragic main character effectively, watch Dark Desire on Netflix.
The goal of horror is to make your audience feel terrified and dreadful. Use that as inspiration for your imaginative writing. Then, you decide how to approach it. Include creatures that only prowl during the night. Include some graphic imagery. Some of the previously stated items will give your story some creepy qualities.
Absence Of Heroes
This is where dark fantasy differs significantly from other subgenres. The protagonists in almost every other enemies to lovers books are portrayed as the best of humanity. Most of these characters are natural leaders who excel in intelligence, strength, beauty, and reputation.
Dark fantasy does not operate in this way. Heroes may not even be present in this subgenre. Instead, the story’s protagonists may merely represent the lesser of two evils.
In literature, atmosphere describes a reader’s specific emotions when reading a book. As opposed to tone, the atmosphere does not suggest the author’s or the characters’ attitudes in the literary work. However, despite distinct literary elements, atmosphere and tone are closely related. As a result, the dark fantasy genre’s menacing tone frequently matches the dreary mood the reader experiences. Robert Butler’s second book in the series, Who Endures: Trust And Betrayal, has a strong plot of good fighting against the bad.
Not A Happily-Lived-After Ending
Have you ever engaged in a dating sim or an interactive game? Depending on your decisions, they can have happy or unhappy ends. Dark fantasy and enemies to lovers fantasy books can have a satisfying conclusion. Usually, they won’t.
Most stories always finish with the question: Given everything they had to go through, did they win? Bad outcomes are complex. You might not want your readers to encounter it terrified to the point that they never recommend or revisit your book. However, you also want it to fit within the world of the tale you’ve written. Authors enjoy adding a dash of hope at the conclusion.
Fighting Off Inner Demons
Dark fantasy characters frequently carry the effects of prior tragedies into the story. You might also go literary and make a character under the control of a demon or dark force. Because these stories frequently conclude with pages of the protagonist whining about their power. An excellent example of how to deal with this type of inner demon is Naruto. Even the “monster” received a redemption story. What they did with Kurama is fantastic.