Modern Fantasy - description of story elements and quality characteristics

Story Elements


  • Characters can have special powers.
  • Animals act like people (animorphisism).


  • Place is imaginary or of another world or universe.
  • Time is anytime or no time.
  • Fantasy time (Once upon a time sets the stage and They lived happily ever after closes the tale.) any time or any place, timeless or placeless, or long long ago.
  • Time travel is possible.


  • Varied, but usually suprising twists or developments.
  • Involving situations not possible in our realistic world.
  • Full of action and follows specific and simple patterns.
  • The plot starts right out with fast moving action that grabs the listeners interest and keeps it.
  • Conflicts are usually resolved with great deeds or acts of human kindness related to good and bad/evil.


  • Good versus bad or evil.
  • Uses magic or other ideas to achieve the extremly impossible.
    1. Problems of young adults
    2. Security
    3. Fear of leaving home
    4. Fear of not having children
    5. Fear of not being loved or giving love
    6. Reflect basic values and concerns of different cultures
    7. Good and evil
    8. Right and wrong
    9. Justice and injustice
    10. Happiness, kindness, friendship, loyalty
    11. Good triumphant over evil
    12. Love and loyalty
    13. Love and loyalty can transform ...
    14. Discuss basic values of people


  • Use of magic or possibly powers that have no scientific bases yet verified by repeatable evidence.
  • Use of mental powers or technologies that are not possible or not yet discovered.


  • Feel that in a magical world the story is plausible.
  • Despite the availability of magic the struggle of the characters seems authentic and failure an option.

Point of View

  • Could be any. Often third person narrative.

Quality Characteristics

See Modern fantasy worksheet for examples of qualiity in fantasy


Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©