Using the Attributes of Modern Fantasy
to Enhance Discussion, Creativity, and Productive Thought

Modern Fantasy Attributes Defined

Frank E. William's Model can be used to identify discussion topics that can facilitate the enhancement of students' cognitive and affective abilities with respect to their ability and desire to seek creative experiences. The better students are able to understand the ideas in William's Model; the greater their comprehension and appreciation of quality literature. Science fiction and modern fantasy are two excellent genres that can provide for these types of cognitive and affective growth.

Paradox - the author's and characters' actions or ideas seems to be contradictory but may be true or have some sensibility.

Attribute/quality/characteristic of a person or thing that is distinctive for the character, setting, plot...

Analogy - a logical link between two similar events or ideas with the purpose of providing understanding.

Discrepancy - inconsistency between facts, actions, thoughts...

Provocative questions - question that causes deep thinking or problem solving to resolve (causes cognitive dissonance or disequilibration).

Examples of change - change is used to contrast different characters, their abilities, their abilities to adapt and change to changes in plot, characters, or setting.

Example of habit - a habit is a constant, often unconscious performance of an act acquired through frequent repetition. Habits are usually employed as a device for failure, or if overcome or changed, for success.

Organized random search - characters in modern fantasies are often in search of something. A quest for self improvement, achievement of a personal goal, finding an artifact, person, ...

Skills of search - development of a method for finding information; could be trial and error, guided by a supernatural force, historical knowledge, wit and wisdom, or other superior abilities to discover.

Tolerance for ambiguity - characters often seem to thrive in unexpected and open-ended situations or the author tolerates ambiguity as an element of style or tone.

Intuitive expression - characters are adept at making guesses and acting on hunches or emotions.

Adjustment to development - characters are able to adjust to situations that previous characters, or they, have not been able to do successfully before the start of the story.

Study creative people and processes - characters may be able to act creatively, but often learn to be more creative or create new and unique processes.

Evaluate situations - situations are described in detail from different points of view and perspectives described by the author and / or characters along with different inferences and a wide variety of possible consequences.

Creative reading skills - Written in a manner that helps develop reading skills and abilities. Requires and facilitates a different way of reading or reading comprehension due to the writing style, tone, plot or other device.

Creative listening skills - The writing style, tone and plot encourage the development of listening skills.

Creative writing model - Written in a manner that skillfully and creatively models the use of story elements and quality literature, which can facilitate the development of writing skills and abilities.

Visualization - written in a manner that provides opportunities to visualize characters, settings, and situations that are not ordinarily observable.


Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©