I’m Saying Goodbye to Epic Fantasy Writing

Goodbye, epic fantasy writing. Kick that balrog's ass.
Goodbye, epic fantasy writing. Kick that balrog’s ass.

Goodbye, epic fantasy. It’s been fun, but things are just not working out between us. It’s me, really, not you. You’ve been great to read and have filled me with so many awesome memories. But when it comes to writing you, I don’t know, something just feels off.

Shit, I’m never good at these kind of things.

Anyway, goodbye. Take care and keep being you. Anytime I think of a dragon fucking up a village or kings and queen butchering each other, I’ll remember.

Is this for forever? Nah. I never say never, but for a while, I want to try new genres.

Please, don’t cry. We’ll always have our memories.

Much love,

Philip Overby


Writing a break-up letter to a genre is batshit crazy, I know, but it felt cathartic.

After attempting epic fantasy for years, I’m not sure the right novels are springing forth from my head. I wrote two most recently, but the more I look at them, the more I think they’re “trunk novels.” Meaning I’ll put them aside and maybe one day do something with them. The second one I “finished” (meaning I wrote it, edited it several times, but it still doesn’t seem right) is still sitting on my computer having not been touched for some time. One benefit of writing in a certain genre is figuring out if you have the endurance to complete it. I’ve learned I have the endurance to write a first draft of an epic fantasy. I’m not ashamed to say that I don’t feel ready to tackle something that is typically large in scope, involves a huge cast, and usually spans several books.

There’s no shame in trying something new.

Since May 2015, I have enjoyed writing my Splatter Elf tales, which are more like sword and sorcery with a weird, bloody sense of humor than epic fantasy. Completing these stories has given me the sense of accomplishment that I’ve never gotten from attempting novel after novel of epic fantasy. It’s also helped me find that ever elusive “voice” that everyone harps on about so much.

I’ve realized, for now anyway, I’m not very good at putting on my serious face.

A short example would be when my friend and I were making a short film. We went to a cemetery and tried to make it this grim story of revenge about a man finding his wife’s murderer. However, about a day into filming it, we realized we’re not good at being dramatic actors. We decided to have fun with it and it just became more and more over-the-top the more we went on. It even ended with the shittiest slow motion fight in the history of shitty slow motion fights.

As far as reading epic fantasy, that won’t stop. I still love reading it and most of my favorite authors write in the genre. I have no intention of abandoning the genre completely. It’s like my love of horror as well. I still love watching horror films, but I stopped writing horror years ago when I couldn’t write it without adding some ridiculous element that sapped the fear out of it.

Again, never say never. I will still enjoy reading epic fantasy since it’s what I love the most, but I think I want to spread my wings a bit more. I want to challenge myself to attempt genres I also love (such as thrillers and urban fantasy). Granted I haven’t read nearly as much of these other genres, but I do have a strong interest in them.

So what does this mean for my writing? It means I’ll continue to publish my Splatter Elf stories to get my “swords, magic, and monsters” fix, but I’ll most likely be writing novels in other genres (most likely thrillers and urban fantasy) going forward. I intend to write a Splatter Elf novel down the line, but as for now the short stories are my focus.

Therefore, I’ll be writing more weird fiction, trying out urban fantasy, and seeing what I can do with “realistic” settings as well. I wrote a thriller a while back and I’m curious how that will look like once I do some hard edits.

It’ll be bittersweet to see all the new epic fantasy novels come out and think, “I’m not doing that anymore.” At the same time, if you love something, let it go and all that shit.

If you’re interested in my Splatter Elf fiction, the first short story “The Unicorn-Eater” is available for FREE on Kindle from July 29th-August 1st.


And I’ll also be releasing my second Splatter Elf short story “River of Blades” on July 31st.