Mythago Wood has the elements of many fantasy stories -- a mysterious forest with magical creatures within it. What I think makes it different is how the main character -- Steve -- relates to it like we all do to our own lives -- none of us honestly know what the heck will happen next. We think we do, but in our core, we are not sure. The book captures that mood perfectly in every moment: making breakfast, waiting for the love of one's life to appear, finding strangers at the perimeters of the ground who seem both violent and friendly, making and losing and finding a toy boat, Steve facing down his feral brother Chris: this is a story about the unknown within and without, the qualities of the world and ourselves that we both know intimately and not at all: we can never be sure, even if everyone knows the story. It makes you wonder how much of your world has sprung out of you.
It's a really wonderful story. I want to read more from this storyline and his others.
Lessons for Writers: in reaching for the fantastic, don't forget your characters can only make that reach with their own complex, messy, unsure, and somewhat magical senses of their own. Nothing is written in stone.
Learn more about these wonderful books at the Robert Holdstock website.