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Writing fantasy? Take this exam.

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Tenderiser, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Commandante Lemming

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    So I'm Sci-Fi but I thought this was funny the first time I took it because a lot of the questions are based on use of tropes, when some of those things can be good if handled PROPERLY.
    1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages? Oh all sorts of stuff happens
    2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage? "Diner waitress turned local news reporter" might be close to farmhand but we know the parents.
    3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it? ....Throne?
    4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy? Is 26 young? What if I leave the badguy only partially defeated\
    5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world? No. Just. No.
    6. How about one that will destroy it? Seriously?
    7. Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good? Heck no.
    8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information? Nope.
    9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise? No - but I'm not writing fantasy
    10. Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character? No - although I'm using the badguy as a red-herring in another secret-birth-mother issue (but she's not the mother)
    11. Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician? No. King?
    12. Does "a forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel? ....people do this?
    13. How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"? ....strong but occasionally dumb cameraman who doubles as the MC's love interest.
    14. How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"? The closest people I have to mystics have the loosest lips in the book.
    15. Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around? They're TV news reporters, half the book is about their various levels of complicity in their own objectification. I think I should get a pass on this one.
    16. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued? Uh...no
    17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals? I kind of spread those out over the cast - although the villain THINKS she exists to embody feminist ideals.
    18. Would "a clumsy cooking wench more comfortable with a frying pan than a sword" aptly describe any of your female characters? No - although my MC does cook to blow off steam.
    19. Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters? Most of them.
    20. Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"? Well, I have a fast-talking Bostonian cynic who constantly calls other people on their crap...
    21. How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"? The villain's secretary does get messed up when she finds out who her birth mother is....
    22. Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different? So...can we talk about using Elves and Dwarves at all? Make up new things, fantasy people!
    23. Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief? WOW...no.
    24. Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy? No - they're great for live cattle export scans run by organized crime rings.
    25. Do you not know when the hay baler was invented? Wait, what?
    26. Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"? No.
    27. Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then? You understand it - although it does come into greater focus later.
    28. Is this the first book in a planned trilogy? No.
    29. How about a quintet or a decalogue? YEP! (planned as four parts - probably going to end up as more if I ever get there)
    30. Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book? Heck no.
    31. Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"? This IS the first one.
    32. Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books? Mentally? Yes. Actually? No.
    33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far? HAHAHAHAHAHA!
    34. Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group? I'm a nerd but not that kind of nerd.
    35. Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm? I've done alternate realities but not this one.
    36. Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names? One of them has a dicritic....
    37. Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables? First names? No. Last names? Yes, on purpose, as a plot point.
    38. Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"? Yes. Mostly because the second one is a garbage name. But hey, diversity!
    39. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings? No
    40. How about "orken" or "dwerrows"? What is dwerrows? NO! NO! NO!
    41. Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"? For the love of all that is holy...NO!
    42. At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines? Wow - no.
    43. Do you write your battle scenes by playing them out in your favorite RPG? No.
    44. Have you done up game statistics for all of your main characters in your favorite RPG? I don't HAVE a favorite RPG.
    45. Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast? What?
    46. Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls? My characters don't brawl - they leak nude pictures to opposing networks.
    47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't? Actually I do know how it worked but it doesn't interest me.
    ,,,,, more later
     
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  2. I.A. By the Barn

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    I'm going to retake this for my new short stories world as it is a lot more fantasy tropes. So yeah, I'm setting myself up for failure!

    1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages? I hope not, it doesn't even have fifty pages!
    2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage? Everyone knows exactly who their parents are and no-one is adopted or anything.
    3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it? Nope
    4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy? They'll have trouble doing that as there isn't any supreme badguys.
    5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world? No-one has time for that.
    6. How about one that will destroy it? Why would anybody ever make something that destroys the planet they live on?
    7. Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good? Nah.
    8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information? Not in this one.
    9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise? I mean Tim might think he is, but no.
    10. Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character? I don't have supreme badguys!
    11. Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician? Nope.
    12. Does "a forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel? Maybe...:whistle:
    13. How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"? No.
    14. How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"? Er, no.
    15. Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around? One does around one of the male characters.
    16. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued? No.
    17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals? No.
    18. Would "a clumsy cooking wench more comfortable with a frying pan than a sword" aptly describe any of your female characters? No, it describes Tim, though. I guess I score on that one?
    19. Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters? Yeah...
    20. Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"? Nope.
    21. How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"? I have 'half ...' but they're not tortured by it.
    22. Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different? No.
    23. Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief? No.
    24. Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy? No, they are used for trade, emmigration, smuggling, patroling, mapping, wars and transport.
    25. Do you not know when the hay baler was invented? I do.
    26. Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"? I can't draw a map!
    27. Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then? No prologues here.
    28. Is this the first book in a planned trilogy? No.
    29. How about a quintet or a decalogue? Its a series of random stuff happening okay? It isn't good enough to fill novels!
    30. Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book? No!
    31. Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"? No.
    32. Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books? No.
    33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far? Who's he then?
    34. Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group? No.
    35. Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm? No.
    36. Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names? One does.
    37. Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables? One does.
    38. Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"? That'd be hilarious!
    39. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings? No.
    40. How about "orken" or "dwerrows"? No.
    41. Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"? Its not a race, there's a few individuals who are half somethings.
    42. At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines? There's no dwarves so how would that work?
    43. Do you write your battle scenes by playing them out in your favorite RPG? No.
    44. Have you done up game statistics for all of your main characters in your favorite RPG? No.
    45. Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast? What's that?
    46. Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls? No, they use them for their actual purpose- sleeping, drinking and food.
    47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't? I don't have feudalism so does it really matter?
    48. Do your characters spend an inordinate amount of time journeying from place to place? Nope.
    49. Could one of your main characters tell the other characters something that would really help them in their quest but refuses to do so just so it won't break the plot? Well, that's just mean...
    50. Do any of the magic users in your novel cast spells easily identifiable as "fireball" or "lightning bolt"? No-body really uses magic like that, it kinda happens or its constant.
    51. Do you ever use the term "mana" in your novel? Yer what?
    52. Do you ever use the term "plate mail" in your novel? No.
    53. Heaven help you, do you ever use the term "hit points" in your novel? No.
    54. Do you not realize how much gold actually weighs? No, I don't but it isn't really crucial to any of the stories.
    55. Do you think horses can gallop all day long without rest? Horses are not really featured.
    56. Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day? No.
    57. Does your main character have a magic axe, hammer, spear, or other weapon that returns to him when he throws it? No.
    58. Does anybody in your novel ever stab anybody with a scimitar? No.
    59. Does anybody in your novel stab anybody straight through plate armor? No.
    60. Do you think swords weigh ten pounds or more? I don't know. Everyone uses muskets and rifles as the main weapons.
    61. Does your hero fall in love with an unattainable woman, whom he later attains? I have no hero.
    62. Does a large portion of the humor in your novel consist of puns? Maybe...
    63. Is your hero able to withstand multiple blows from the fantasy equivalent of a ten pound sledge but is still threatened by a small woman with a dagger? Nope.
    64. Do you really think it frequently takes more than one arrow in the chest to kill a man? No.
    65. Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an "on the road" meal? No-body is 'on the road' anyway.
    66. Do you have nomadic barbarians living on the tundra and consuming barrels and barrels of mead? Nope.
    67. Do you think that "mead" is just a fancy name for "beer"? No.
    68. Does your story involve a number of different races, each of which has exactly one country, one ruler, and one religion? Nope.
    69. Is the best organized and most numerous group of people in your world the thieves' guild? I don't have one of those.
    70. Does your main villain punish insignificant mistakes with death? There is no main villain.
    71. Is your story about a crack team of warriors that take along a bard who is useless in a fight, though he plays a mean lute? Unfortunately, no.
    72. Is "common" the official language of your world? Yeah...
    73. Is the countryside in your novel littered with tombs and gravesites filled with ancient magical loot that nobody thought to steal centuries before? No.
    74. Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings? No.
    75. Read that question again and answer truthfully. I did.
    I expected to do a lot worse at that, 8 out of 75. I have found another thing with fantasy tropes though and I do a lot worse at that- http://www2.silverblade.net/cliches/
     
  3. IcyEthics

    IcyEthics Member

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    This seems fun. A list of 70 is long though, and I can't imagine many people would like to read through me saying no to a bunch, so I'm just going to copy the ones that call me out, haha.

    Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information?

    This one's definitely a kind off, although the character has personal motivation and doesn't dispense, but rather trade information. He's also integral to the ending, but throughout he does kind of serve this trope.

    Is this the first book in a planned trilogy?

    If you're writing a fantasy novel that isn't, you're lying :p But in all seriousness, I have my ending planned out in a way that could allow for sequels if I feel like it at the end, but the story should be able to stand alone too.

    Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?
    No feudalism present in the story, currently, but I'm just putting this here to show mom that my year as a history student was good for something.

    Is "common" the official language of your world?
    I should try to think of something more original...

    I was honestly expecting to hit way more of these, but I guess while my story is fantasy, it's basic premise doesn't allow for many of these tropes to pop-up. There's a lot of stuff in there that I would have fucked up if I were to use them though. *cough* hay bales *cough*
     
  4. Safety Turtle

    Safety Turtle Contributing Member

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    Surprisingly I passed with flying colours...guess being into dark fantasy help ^^
     
  5. Infel

    Infel Contributing Member

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    1) Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?

    54) Do you not realize how much gold actually weighs?

    56) Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day?

    I lost it you guys. This was a great read.
     
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  6. Necronox

    Necronox Active Member

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    Made my laugh. haha. Nice list. Some of the double-sided references where nice.

    but i'm guilty of (in descending order):
    72. Is "common" the official language of your world? yep. never really thought about calling it anything else, makes sense to call it that, more immersive then calling it the lingua franca, which is the same: see definition here.
    52. Do you ever use the term "plate mail" in your novel? Yes, but i'm not entirely sure why this is on the list, being an actual real type of armor (unless there is another type that has the same name) used primarily in asia. It is, simply put, a mail shirt, hauberk or otherwise that has plates attached or sown into it. such as this example.
    25 Do you not know when the hay baler was invented? cross that one off the list, I just researched googled it : seemed to originate, depending on your definition of it, in about the mid 19th century onwards.
    2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage? Not really mysterious - and certainly nothing special about his perentage, he just doesn't know it. He's really not a farmhand either....
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  7. Safety Turtle

    Safety Turtle Contributing Member

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    Plate mail is not an accurate term, just like chain mail.
    It's Maile...and plate armour is simply called plate armour, depending on the part spoken about ^^
     
  8. Necronox

    Necronox Active Member

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    this is techicallities, most people - I assume - know exactly what one mean when they say "chain mail", origines of the word and variations on spelling aside. in any case. partial plate armor, plate mail or other names is often a more common and slang word for these. Perhaps simply due to the need to further describe the mail's appearence or characteristics. As a whole. I don't find anything wrong with using the term plate mail.
     
  9. Safety Turtle

    Safety Turtle Contributing Member

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    Well to each their own I guess...I personally prefer using correct terms.
    Those terms you mentioned are born out of roleplaying games (not that there's anything wrong with those).

    Anyway, I was just trying to explain why "plate mail" was on the list.
     
  10. froboy69

    froboy69 Member

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    Huh this looks interesting...I'll take it during my dinner break tonight.
     
  11. Garou420

    Garou420 New Member

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    Well, the (current) destination my characters are heading towards does have a Name to Run Away From, but there's an in-universe explanation for that - it's had a bad reputation for a long time, and for a good reason. The name really is a warning to stay away, even if the specifics of why have been mostly forgotten. And the inn I put in was just a sort of logical stopping place/community to make the world seem, you know, a bit populated, and provide a bit of world colour/background and foreshadowing.
     
  12. VarriedRomance88

    VarriedRomance88 Member

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    The Exam


    Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?
    Well...technically I haven't even got fifty pages done yet. But, I did plan on a mini slaughter, scarring, and an attempted murder. So...I'm going to hope for no.

    Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy? Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world?
    ...Yes admittedly one of the 3 related stories I'm working on...yes...

    Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good?
    Yes, there is a prophecy. No there is not a "the one" there is 6 of them. :D

    How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"?
    Powerful no not necessarily just like a modern day Marine or Special Ops kinda strong. But, yep hes extraordinarily kind hearted! Another is a Lycan so he should inherently be "powerful".

    Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued?
    THEY BETTER NOT!

    Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?
    No, I think co-exist ideas? Maybe I am taking this too early lol

    Do you not know when the hay baler was invented?
    That has to be like just before the pre industrial era right?

    Is this the first book in a planned trilogy?
    Yes...I even looked for an argument that they have very separate stories, but they are going to end up being so highly related in order to defeat the darkness that...yes.

    Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm?
    - No but I like these kind of stories!-

    Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?
    - I kinda feel like this should be an automatic yes for most people, because I'm assuming no one was there and no one is like a genius Historian here....

    Ok I don't feel too bad after taking this exam. And it was kinda fun thinking out so far. :)
     
  13. Sam Woodbury

    Sam Woodbury Member

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    I only saw a couple of these tropes in my world, an alternate version of our world with early twentieth century technology combined with magical abilities, so it is not exactly a derivative of Tolkien, but I do have young people coming of age while discovering powers as they travel about. I also have someone from our world going through a rabbit hole to this alternate world. Well not literally a rabbit hole, but yes I realize that Lewis Carrol and CS Lewis among others have already done this, but I find that perspective to be quite interesting, as well as the reverse, fantasy characters coming to our world.

    Maybe bales of hay are anachronistic in a medieval Europe setting, but anything is possible in a fantasy world. That being said, it does seem like such worlds borrow heavily from the European Middle Ages and limit themselves to its political systems and technology. I am intrigued with medieval Europe myself, but if a fantasy world is such a close clone of Carolingian France or England during the War of the Roses why not just use that as the setting, with the addition of dragons, ogres, fairies, or witches; things that people back then actually believed in.

    I don't have a problem with elves, dwarves, or other standard fantasy races existing in a world so long as I get a sense of who they are or what their culture is within the context of that world. Using existing traditions like Norse or Germanic mythology or imagined ones to develop creatures or races can transform a trope into something interesting.
     
  14. -NM-

    -NM- Active Member

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    Probably just:

    48. Do your characters spend an inordinate amount of time journeying from place to place?

    Though I'm going to skip quite a bit of the actual travelling
     
  15. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    Well, some of these were hard to answer yes or no...I think I scored somewhere in the 2-4 range. This was helpful, actually, made me consider some mechanics that I think I got right but will double-check.
    1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages? Well...I can see how some might find the whole thing boring. But the first 50 pages isn't especially boring, I think.
    2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage? No, he is not a farmhand and he knows both his parents.
    3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it? Well...sort of? I mean he's not supposed to be, but by the end he is. So technically yes.
    4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy? The first one, possibly the second, not the third.
    5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world? No
    6. How about one that will destroy it? No
    7. Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good? No
    8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information? No...although there might be moments of this, it's spread over several characters. Who also do other things. I think that's just a normal expository tactic?
    9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise? No
    10. Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character? Well. Depends on your opinion of the MC's father, I suppose. I don't think so.
    11. Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician? No
    12. Does "a forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel? No
    13. How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"? No
    14. How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"? No
    15. Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around? No
    16. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued? Nope
    17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals? I hope not "solely". If they are well-drawn characters, which is what I'm going for, I hope they'll embody feminist ideals anyway
    18. Would "a clumsy cooking wench more comfortable with a frying pan than a sword" aptly describe any of your female characters? None of the main characters. Maybe a background character or two.
    19. Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters? See #18
    20. Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"? No
    21. How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"? No
    22. Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different? No
    23. Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief? No
    24. Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy? No
    25. Do you not know when the hay baler was invented? Yes, and point taken.
    26. Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"? No
    27. Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then? No
    28. Is this the first book in a planned trilogy? Not a planned trilogy...although I have ideas for an indefinite number of sequels
    29. How about a quintet or a decalogue? See #28
    30. Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book? Not yet...
    31. Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"? Well, no previous books in this continuity, so...no
    32. Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books? No, but again, I have some ideas
    33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far? LOL
    34. Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group? Nope
    35. Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm? No
    36. Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names? No
    37. Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables? ...are we counting first and last names together?
    38. Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"? If anything, my names are all too similar, I think...
    39. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings? One, possibly two of these
    40. How about "orken" or "dwerrows"? No. Although, as in real life, different cultures/languages have different names for the same thing. Including races
    41. Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"? No
    42. At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines? Nope
    43. Do you write your battle scenes by playing them out in your favorite RPG? No
    44. Have you done up game statistics for all of your main characters in your favorite RPG? No
    45. Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast? No
    46. Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls? No
    47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't? I think "feudalism" is an extremely broad term that can plausibly describe a whole bunch of different arrangements
    48. Do your characters spend an inordinate amount of time journeying from place to place? Well they do travel a lot...dunno about "inordinate".
    49. Could one of your main characters tell the other characters something that would really help them in their quest but refuses to do so just so it won't break the plot? I don't think so, unless I've missed something. This is why beta readers exist!
    50. Do any of the magic users in your novel cast spells easily identifiable as "fireball" or "lightning bolt"? No
    51. Do you ever use the term "mana" in your novel? No
    52. Do you ever use the term "plate mail" in your novel? No, although why is this bad?
    53. Heaven help you, do you ever use the term "hit points" in your novel? Ok is this a joke?
    54. Do you not realize how much gold actually weighs? I guess it's heavy?
    55. Do you think horses can gallop all day long without rest? No
    56. Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day? Nope
    57. Does your main character have a magic axe, hammer, spear, or other weapon that returns to him when he throws it? No
    58. Does anybody in your novel ever stab anybody with a scimitar? No
    59. Does anybody in your novel stab anybody straight through plate armor? No
    60. Do you think swords weigh ten pounds or more? ...yes? Depends on how big they are?
    61. Does your hero fall in love with an unattainable woman, whom he later attains? No
    62. Does a large portion of the humor in your novel consist of puns? No
    63. Is your hero able to withstand multiple blows from the fantasy equivalent of a ten pound sledge but is still threatened by a small woman with a dagger? No
    64. Do you really think it frequently takes more than one arrow in the chest to kill a man? No
    65. Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an "on the road" meal? No, but point taken
    66. Do you have nomadic barbarians living on the tundra and consuming barrels and barrels of mead? No
    67. Do you think that "mead" is just a fancy name for "beer"? I know what mead is
    68. Does your story involve a number of different races, each of which has exactly one country, one ruler, and one religion? Nope
    69. Is the best organized and most numerous group of people in your world the thieves' guild? Nope
    70. Does your main villain punish insignificant mistakes with death? No
    71. Is your story about a crack team of warriors that take along a bard who is useless in a fight, though he plays a mean lute? No
    72. Is "common" the official language of your world? No
    73. Is the countryside in your novel littered with tombs and gravesites filled with ancient magical loot that nobody thought to steal centuries before? No, only one gravesite so far and everyone is too scared of it to go inside
    74. Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings? No, it's a ripoff of IRL history
    75. Read that question again and answer truthfully. Ok, wiseguy, I think we're done here
     
  16. FIsh Owl

    FIsh Owl New Member

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    I think we need to revise those rules since today fantasy is not LotR anymore. Today it’s GoT.
    I would start with:

    1. How many characters was maimed and crippled in first 50 pages?
    2. Your main character is a bastard with troubled relations with his father?
    3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it? (this part is still good today)
    4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and can’t decide whom he should defeat because everybody is a badguy. Including him.
    5. Is your story about how useless magical artifact are because world is still coming to an end no matter what your do?

    Wow. I can actually go on and on.
     
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  17. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Contributing Member

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    39. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings?
    To be fair, a lot of new fantasy still uses these races.

    62. Does a large portion of the humor in your novel consist of puns?
    Puns are kind-of awesome. To be fair, there's a lot of irony as well.

    68. Does your story involve a number of different races, each of which has exactly one country, one ruler, and one religion?
    Well... humans have more than one. Does it still count against me? lol
     
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  18. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Contributing Member

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    The little people for comedy one still fits.
     
  19. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy? Technically
    2. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise? Yes
    3. Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around? No
    4. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued? No
    5. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals? Victimhood and obesity? No
    6. Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters? No, warriors in my setting almost always can cook for themselves at need.
    7. Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"? No
    8. How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"? No
    9. Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different?
    10. Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief? No.
    11. Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy? No.
    12. Do you not know when the hay baler was invented? The what?
    13. Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"? No.
    14. Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then? No.
    15. Is this the first book in a planned trilogy? Yes
    16. How about a quintet or a decalogue? No.
    17. Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book? No.
    18. Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"? No.
    19. Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books? No.
    20. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far? NO.
    21. Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group? No.
    22. Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm? No.
    23. Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names? No.
    24. Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables? No.
    25. Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"? i see plenty wrong.
    26. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings? Elves.
    27. How about "orken" or "dwerrows"? No
    28. Does anybody in your novel stab anybody straight through plate armor? Yes.
    29. Do you think swords weigh ten pounds or more? [info] No.
    30. Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings? No.
    31. Read that question again and answer truthfully. You got me! It's LOTR 4; Smaug's Revenge.
    Missing questions I couldn't be bothered to answer have an automatic "No.

    PS, a greatsword maxes out at 8 pounds irl.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  20. NoGoodNobu

    NoGoodNobu Contributing Member

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    1. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued? Yes? No? There are two female protagonists: one gets held hostage till she outwits her captor in order to go after and save the second girl, who is tricked into believing someone else was holding the first one hostage and thinks she's on her way to rescue the first. Technically both girls inevitably have to save themselves, even though their goals are always to rescue & protect the other. But "captured & rescued" is basically the action of the story more or less
    2. Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm? Oh yeah, the girls try to picnic on a faerie mound and inevitably get spirited away to FAERIE—is it a little less cliche that they actively sought it out?
    3. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings? Not those per se, but the other characters are all fae—I'm trying to figure out what exactly the humanoid beings constitute, as faerie mythology and folklore can be convoluted and often contradictory in their terms or titles, depending on era, translation, literary/artistic period, et cetera. Spenser would have me believe they are "elves," but other sources state elves ought be diminutive creatures. . .
    4. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't? Quite possibly—although it doesn't play a role in this story (I just now am curious how much or little I actually know).
    5. Do your characters spend an inordinate amount of time journeying from place to place? Yes, and for a different trope-y cliched reason: they have to make their way through a complex multicursal labyrinth to get to the castle. I want to say this is true for parody reasons—but I don't think it's exaggerated enough or purely played for humorous effect. Sure, I poke fun at it (and other tropes I also purposefully included), but I don't think near enough. But it's not quite "journeying from place to place" as it's kinda just their continuous misadventures within the maze
     
  21. bionerdwithaporpoise

    bionerdwithaporpoise New Member

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    28 & 29 - simply because I'm not sure how many books there will be. 2 so far :cool:
    61 - except he doesn't woo her, he takes her at will
    72 - only because I haven't thought of a default language and took the "common tongue" route for now

    Not bad :agreed:
     
  22. A.V.K.

    A.V.K. Member

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    Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise?

    Yeah. A banished one, and not a god OF the world he's banished to. He's trying to escape and has and wants nothing else to do with the world except use it as a means to GET OUT.

    Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"?

    Yep. Scorched lands. . . dangit.

    Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables?

    Yes, Dimitius. Sorry, buddy, but you are the four-syllable outlier.

    Does a large portion of the humor in your novel consist of puns?

    Yep. Dangit Cazarik. Although I'd argue it's more of a character trait that he's UNfunny, as there is situational humor in the book proper.
     
  23. Freddy van Zandt

    Freddy van Zandt Member

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    For the novel I'm querying right now, I was happy to see that for the bare handful I answered "yes" to, it was a "kinda-sorta not really" that people would only give a whole yes to if they were being really nit-picky.

    My current WIP, however... well, those Dwarven mines aren't called that, and it's not a shortcut per se, but... yeah, I'll admit to that and a few others. Being fair, it's an older concept and thus more likely to be derivative as young Freddy was finding his oats. I try to balance it's inevitably more tropey nature with solid characters who transcend their tropes in some way.
     
  24. Frostbite

    Frostbite Member

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    29. Is this the first book in a planned trilogy? It's the first book of a planned series of probably 2-3. I'm guilty
    47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't? Just the mere basics. So I guess I don't really don't know how it worked. Luckily feudalism has little to no role.
    72. Is "common" the official language of your world? "Language of the empire" often referred as the common tongue. I'm guilty.

    I'm glad to see I'm not too cliche.
     
  25. Ettina

    Ettina Active Member

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    Answering for several of my stories: Tagritha's story, Divad's story, Saving Rose, Morgana's story and the amnesiac guy's story.

    Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages? Explain 'nothing'.
    Tagritha's story has character development for the first bit, then her hometown gets attacked and the main plot starts.
    Divad's story is all about the characters (specifically the protagonist and an orphaned child his family takes in) and it starts with that immediately.
    Saving Rose, Morgana's story and the amnesiac guy's story all start off with a very clear main plot.

    Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage?
    Tagritha is a young farmhand, but her parentage isn't a mystery - her little half brother's is, though, to everyone but her. Divad's parentage is definitely mysterious, but the mystery is not resolved by the plot. He's sort of a farmhand, but he doesn't age like a human, and is kinda both young and old in a sense.
    Saving Rose features a young hooker and the even younger kid she adopted - no farms in sight. Their parents aren't in the picture, but both of them know exactly where they came from.
    Morgana is probably in her late twenties/early thirties, as is the perspective character, and she's a pirate and he's a sailor. No mysteries about parentage, either.
    Amnesiac guy's entire past is a mystery, but he's also around late twenties/early thirties. He was high up in the government before his amnesia, and the other major characters are all mercenaries.

    Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it?
    No for all of them. Closest is that Tagritha wants to put her little brother in charge of an empire, but he's no heir to anything.
    Amnesiac guy was in government, but his position was a civil appointment, not an inherited position.

    Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?
    No. Morgana and amnesiac guy both would have kind of qualified as supreme badguys before the story began, but both are defeated at the start of the story, and not by young characters coming of age.
    Tagritha kind of becomes the supreme badguy herself eventually, but it's more morally ambiguous than that.

    Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world?
    How about one that will destroy it?
    No. The only magical artifact is in amnesiac guy's story, and the stakes are much lower and the heroes have the artifact from the start. (It's what gave him amnesia.
    Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good?
    No prophecies of any kind in any of these stories.
    Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information?
    Morgana's story has a couple doctors that dispense information. Other than that, no.
    Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise?
    No gods in sight.
    Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character?
    Don't really have a supreme badguy in any of these stories, and the only secret badguy father is Tagritha's little brother's father, who is a regular soldier in his faction.
    Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician?
    Amnesiac guy was the evil magician duping the royalty, but she was a queen, and not particularly 'kingly', whatever that means. That's the only story where royalty are in any way relevant to the plot.
    Does a "forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel?
    An amnesiac wizard for the amnesiac guy's story, and Morgana was a sorceress and loses a pile of skills, but none of them really resemble the stereotypical forgetful wizard type.
    How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"?
    No
    How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"?
    No. Tagritha has some pretty big secrets, but she's not a wise mystical sage. (More of a morally ambiguous, ambitious teenager who is fiercely protective of her little brother.
    Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around?
    No. Tagritha thinks about her appearance in terms of being mixed-race, but not about her attractiveness. And Morgana tends to be vain in the very beginning, because she uses her appearance to manipulate people, but she has far bigger concerns.
    Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued?
    Rose from Saving Rose would kind of qualify, but it's very complicated. The protagonist tries to save her, but she doesn't want to be 'saved', and then ends up needing to be rescued from the protagonist.
    Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?
    No. I just write people, and women are people too.
    Would "a clumsy cooking wench more comfortable with a frying pan than a sword" aptly describe any of your female characters?
    No. No one is really known for cooking in my stories, unless Tagritha's healing herbal treatments count. (And they're more a cover for her brother's magic than actually effective.)
    Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters?
    There are a couple of female warriors in Tagritha's story, but they failed pretty hard along with the rest of their army.
    The amnesiac guy's story features two mercenary women - the leader of their group and one of their teenaged students. This summary would basically fit the mercenary leader.

    Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"?
    No dwarves, and no characters known for being dour.
    How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"?
    Tagritha's little brother is the only half elf in any of these stories, and his other half is orc. He's also solidly on the orc side versus elf. Tagritha herself is a half-orc/half-human, and she is a bit torn, but she sides with orcs for her brother's sake
    Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different?
    No dwarves, and only Tagritha's story has elves (who are dicks).
    Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief?
    No. Orcs in Tagritha's story are short, and they're not funny at all.
    Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy?
    No. The only story to feature ships, Morgana's story, has trading ships as well as pirate ships.
    Do you not know when the hay baler was invented?
    It's not relevant to any of my stories. The only story that has had farming techniques come up is Morgana's story, and the farmer in that story is a talented sorceress who uses her magic very heavily in farming. (In that world, the majority of people have magical powers, to the point where not having magic is a disability.)
    Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"?
    Only setting with a map is Divad's story, and nothing has any names like that.
    Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then?
    Only Tagritha's story has a prologue, and it's decently clear.
    Is this the first book in a planned trilogy?
    Probably not, for any of them. Three will at least have sequels.
    How about a quintet or a decalogue?
    Doubt it. Maybe Tagritha's story will.
    Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book?
    No.
    Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"?
    Again, define 'nothing'. I don't tend to write epics about taking down a world-threatening evil, but that doesn't mean nothing happens.
    Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books?
    Yeah. Divad's story is a prequel, but I don't think I'll ever finish the original story idea. Saving Rose is actually a sequel to something I may never finish.
    Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group?
    No, but that would be fun.
    Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm?
    No.
    Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names?
    No.
    Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables?
    No.
    Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"?
    It's fine if you have a reason. Tagritha and her brother both have orc names and start out living with humans. But randomly different names would be odd.
    Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings?
    Tagritha's story features orcs and elves. Otherwise no.
    How about "orken" or "dwerrows"?
    I renamed the races in Tagritha's story, but the orcs are called 'targran', not 'orken'.
    Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"?
    No.
    At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines?
    No dwarves, no mines, and the only one that features a journey is Morgana's story (sea voyage).
    Do you write your battle scenes by playing them out in your favorite RPG?
    No. But I don't see a problem with doing that.
    Have you done up game statistics for all of your main characters in your favorite RPG?
    No.
    Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast?
    That would be neat, but no.
    Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls?
    No. The only story that has bars being remotely important, Saving Rose, has them being used by emotion eater main characters to psychically feed. No brawls necessary.
    Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?
    Probably. But my stories don't go into a lot of detail about that.
     

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