A NaNoWriMo Introspection: The First Chapter
Alright, well I'll put the link into my signature, but if you want you can go here and read the first chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel. Now that I look back, however, I might forewarn you about the terrible grammar and the strange beginning.
Before I continue on, let me be honest: I wrote this coming from the perspective of somebody who hates fantasy. I'm sorry to all those who love it, I understand why you might but the current way in which it is churned out, as though it's little more than food to be tossed into a pen full of obese toddlers, is offensive to me as a reader. Every other damned story seems to be wrought with the same thing, whether it be the farm boy or the dragons or the all mighty elves. It's enough to make somebody like me swear off fantasy forever. So, after being dared by a friend of mine, I decided it would be a good idea to write a fantasy novel. Naturally.
In agreeing to this I made a list of fantasy cliches and, one by one, began checking them off. If you have the time I would appreciate you reading along:
1. No Farmboys turned ubermensh.
2. Women are equal in all ways. No, they don't wear leather thongs or metal bras. They wear clothes and, if they're soldiers, they wear uniforms. I know, I know, it's boring this way. Sorry.
3. No homophobia.
4. The main character is not the aforementioned Aryan ubermensh. Nope, he's a thirty-something year old soldier whose wife leaves him eventually and who I picture looking like Pharrel Williams but less... awesome.
5. Technology has exceeded wood and iron. Hooray for black powder and psychology!
6. Racial stereotypes are ignored. Goblins are peaceful geniuses and elves are violent zealots.
7. Capitalism is not inherently evil, though, just like any other system of economics, it can be corrupted.
8. Not everyone rides a horse. Horses are expensive!
9. There are no kings. Sorry, I designed the world around representative republics and theocracies.
10. There are no epic battles that win the day. Sure, there are battles that are decisive, but none of them win the war by themselves.
11. There is a strong social setting. Instead of ignoring how society plays a role on the character, I made it an important function. The very first chapter talks about how elves in the human/goblin nation are treated like dogs.
My goal with this story was simply to write a fantasy novel that does not rely on cliches. I made the elves seemingly evil because it's a different perspective. In truth they're simply heavily religious people who had a large chunk of their population dissent from them and make a nation which threatens them. They are no more evil than the humans and that is the point. None of us are inherently good or bad, it all comes from the choices we make.
P.S.: None of this was edited or proofread. I'm tired.
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