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senordesol

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thaluikhain said:
senordesol said:
Queen Michael said:
Let me add one point:

You are neither Andrew Hussie nor Don Bluth. If there is a regular word for the object, and it doesn't have any obvious cultural conntations that would make that word unusable in a fantasy setting, then you WILL use the regula word. If it walks like a sword and talks like a sword then you damn well don't call it an ashteraz, and you sure as hell don't use italics. It's not a "smeerp," it's a rabbit. It's not a "wing-creature," it's a bird.
If you're using real-world creatures in a fantasy setting, you might be doing 'fantasy' wrong.
Er...what?

So, humans and horses and dogs shouldn't be in fantasy? Hey?
The point being: if it's 'fantasy'; make up some 'fantastical' things -stuff that may not have a real-world analog.
 

Thaluikhain

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senordesol said:
The point being: if it's 'fantasy'; make up some 'fantastical' things -stuff that may not have a real-world analog.
Some stuff, no reason to get rid of everything real.

OTOH, if you can make up a brand new way of things working, good for you...very hard though.

OTOOH, there's no reason for anything in particular to be different. We generally accept that gravity works, and metallurgy is much the same, and so on. Way back when in D&D, the elves had a magical talent for seeing in the dark which was just a passive IR vision that could detect body heat. Certain other monsters had active IR, could see further, could see things that didn't have bodyheat, but they could themselves be easily seen by things with passive IR.

Likewise, there was a Conan story were the ancient monster was the last remnant of a species which had evolved before humanity, and then fallen into decline when their water source got poisoned.

I think it's unfortunate that there's a divide between science fiction and fantasy nowdays.

(Not to mention those insufferable people that insist on bigotry in their fantasy (no gay people, women are second class etc) because it's "realistic", but don't mind dragons and wizards and whatnot)
 

senordesol

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thaluikhain said:
senordesol said:
The point being: if it's 'fantasy'; make up some 'fantastical' things -stuff that may not have a real-world analog.
Some stuff, no reason to get rid of everything real.

OTOH, if you can make up a brand new way of things working, good for you...very hard though.

OTOOH, there's no reason for anything in particular to be different. We generally accept that gravity works, and metallurgy is much the same, and so on. Way back when in D&D, the elves had a magical talent for seeing in the dark which was just a passive IR vision that could detect body heat. Certain other monsters had active IR, could see further, could see things that didn't have bodyheat, but they could themselves be easily seen by things with passive IR.

Likewise, there was a Conan story were the ancient monster was the last remnant of a species which had evolved before humanity, and then fallen into decline when their water source got poisoned.

I think it's unfortunate that there's a divide between science fiction and fantasy nowdays.

(Not to mention those insufferable people that insist on bigotry in their fantasy (no gay people, women are second class etc) because it's "realistic", but don't mind dragons and wizards and whatnot)
Not disputing that, but so long as it's grounded enough for people to relate: I say 'go nuts'. Just make sure that everything new that's introduced is described well enough for us to grasp what it means.
 

Thaluikhain

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senordesol said:
Not disputing that, but so long as it's grounded enough for people to relate: I say 'go nuts'. Just make sure that everything new that's introduced is described well enough for us to grasp what it means.
Sure...except everything that changes risks throwing massive holes into the fabric of your setting. Now, it's a risk, not a certainty, and you can rework your setting around it, but it's often quite a problem.
 

senordesol

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thaluikhain said:
senordesol said:
Not disputing that, but so long as it's grounded enough for people to relate: I say 'go nuts'. Just make sure that everything new that's introduced is described well enough for us to grasp what it means.
Sure...except everything that changes risks throwing massive holes into the fabric of your setting. Now, it's a risk, not a certainty, and you can rework your setting around it, but it's often quite a problem.
Not...really. Knights riding giant lizards instead of horses doesn't really break anything.

Maybe this is just a raw nerve form me. Frankly, I'm sick of Medieval 'fantasy' where the only changes to the world are geography, some dudes with pointy ears, and the ability to perform miracles as an everyday occurrence. Fucking seen it. So if someone wants to call something a 'flockling' instead of a 'bird' - eh, that's the least of my concerns with a story.
 

Thaluikhain

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senordesol said:
Not...really. Knights riding giant lizards instead of horses doesn't really break anything.
Certainly, but stick giant eagles in and you have problems.

senordesol said:
Maybe this is just a raw nerve form me. Frankly, I'm sick of Medieval 'fantasy' where the only changes to the world are geography, some dudes with pointy ears, and the ability to perform miracles as an everyday occurrence. Fucking seen it. So if someone wants to call something a 'flockling' instead of a 'bird' - eh, that's the least of my concerns with a story.
Fair enough, though there's no reason why that's limiting, lots of stories are set in something very close to the real world. When that is used in lieu of a good story or something, yeah, there's a problem.

(Not to mention, stick regular miracles in, and society should be completely different to what it was)
 

Muspelheim

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Way ahead of you. But I ought to print them out in a little protocol I can go through before any other human being gets to see it, nonetheless. To make sure no one else have to suffer from it when a few mistakes inevitably escapes here and there.

Queen Michael said:
Let me add one point:

You are neither Andrew Hussie nor Don Bluth. If there is a regular word for the object, and it doesn't have any obvious cultural conntations that would make that word unusable in a fantasy setting, then you WILL use the regula word. If it walks like a sword and talks like a sword then you damn well don't call it an ashteraz, and you sure as hell don't use italics. It's not a "smeerp," it's a rabbit. It's not a "wing-creature," it's a bird.
Seconded. Save the fancy words with cultural significance for when it counts.

Further; fantasy races. If your "Bana'dalar'orai" are Dark Elves, call them Dark Elves. Or if your "Kran" are actually lion people, call them "Lion Folk" or something.

There is an art of making up words, and to use them in a way that they do become part of the reader's vocabulary as well, and they can see their meaning just as clearly as proper words. That art isn't stapling weird phrases together, hoping they'll stick. We've already got loads of lovely words in English, not to mention all other languages. Use 'em, friend.

Not to mention, if you are using "Ritsh'Ratsh'filibom-bom-bom" or something to describe dwarves because you want to be able to say "They are not dwarves, I'm original", I'd say you'd either have to rework them a bit or get over the fear of being considered unoriginal. Better being honest about your vision than trying to dress it up in random phrases.

senordesol said:
thaluikhain said:
senordesol said:
Queen Michael said:
Let me add one point:

You are neither Andrew Hussie nor Don Bluth. If there is a regular word for the object, and it doesn't have any obvious cultural conntations that would make that word unusable in a fantasy setting, then you WILL use the regula word. If it walks like a sword and talks like a sword then you damn well don't call it an ashteraz, and you sure as hell don't use italics. It's not a "smeerp," it's a rabbit. It's not a "wing-creature," it's a bird.
If you're using real-world creatures in a fantasy setting, you might be doing 'fantasy' wrong.
Er...what?

So, humans and horses and dogs shouldn't be in fantasy? Hey?
The point being: if it's 'fantasy'; make up some 'fantastical' things -stuff that may not have a real-world analog.
Or rather, do it when it matters and do it well. Saying "Well, this is a Pluttiskutti. It looks like a flying shrimp. It's like a squirrel, but it isn't, so I'm being original" or "It's a Skvimp. It's a flying black slab" isn't terribly original in itself, either.
 

Thaluikhain

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Muspelheim said:
Seconded. Save the fancy words with cultural significance for when it counts.

Further; fantasy races. If your "Bana'dalar'orai" are Dark Elves, call them Dark Elves. Or if your "Kran" are actually lion people, call them "Lion Folk" or something.

There is an art of making up words, and to use them in a way that they do become part of the reader's vocabulary as well, and they can see their meaning just as clearly as proper words. That art isn't stapling weird phrases together, hoping they'll stick. We've already got loads of lovely words in English, not to mention all other languages. Use 'em, friend.

Not to mention, if you are using "Ritsh'Ratsh'filibom-bom-bom" or something to describe dwarves because you want to be able to say "They are not dwarves, I'm original", I'd say you'd either have to rework them a bit or get over the fear of being considered unoriginal. Better being honest about your vision than trying to dress it up in random phrases.
Dunno about that. By all means, use the generic names for generic things, or better still, don't use generic things at all.

But if you are coming up with your own new thing, I don't see why coming up with a new name is a bad idea. It's not going to be Mr L. Folk, the Lion Folk from the Principality of Lion Folk, may as well come up with names for all of those.
 

Muspelheim

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senordesol said:
thaluikhain said:
senordesol said:
Not disputing that, but so long as it's grounded enough for people to relate: I say 'go nuts'. Just make sure that everything new that's introduced is described well enough for us to grasp what it means.
Sure...except everything that changes risks throwing massive holes into the fabric of your setting. Now, it's a risk, not a certainty, and you can rework your setting around it, but it's often quite a problem.
Not...really. Knights riding giant lizards instead of horses doesn't really break anything.

Maybe this is just a raw nerve form me. Frankly, I'm sick of Medieval 'fantasy' where the only changes to the world are geography, some dudes with pointy ears, and the ability to perform miracles as an everyday occurrence. Fucking seen it. So if someone wants to call something a 'flockling' instead of a 'bird' - eh, that's the least of my concerns with a story.
I do agree, to a point. Mixing things up is the way to have fun with the material. It's when the changes become gimmicky that I start having a problem, I suppose. When it idn't done cause it'd be interesting or because it's part of the writer's vision, but just because it can be used as an originallity shield.

Like, "No, no, the Templars of Peace are entirely original! They're riding flying lobsters! No one has ever thought of that before!"

The root problem in your examples (which I am in entire agreement with) lies in lazy writing. Everyday miracles in particular. Making non-stale, non-gimmicky wizardry is more about making it matter than it is about calling it "Thingchanging", carried out by "Svaanpankakaz".

As for the Medieval stasis, I'm in complete agreement. What weight does any of the events our heroes undergo, espesially if they're saving the world from X, have when bugger-all changes?
 

Muspelheim

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thaluikhain said:
Dunno about that. By all means, use the generic names for generic things, or better still, don't use generic things at all.

But if you are coming up with your own new thing, I don't see why coming up with a new name is a bad idea. It's not going to be Mr L. Folk, the Lion Folk from the Principality of Lion Folk, may as well come up with names for all of those.
Well, with generic things, I mean things such as swords, elks, carts, grass... It'd be a very incoherent tale if they were barred, wouldn't it? :3

Considering the lion folk, I meant more as a way to refer to them. They likely got a proper name, and names for each other and their cities.

To make up them, I'd think of their culture. Where do lions live? The Savannah. There, there are places like the Zimbabwe, and other central African cultures which you can look at for inspiration. How do they live, what is their history, what do they value, and so on. Suddenly, they feel like a more fleshed out culture, at least to me, and the names come easily.

Captcha says "what. ever", though. Everyone's a critic.
 

Fox12

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Johnny Novgorod said:
What's with all this Tolkien flaming recently? They're good books, if you have the patience and the concentration to go through them. They're dense read, sure. So is War & Peace, if all those cartoons are anything to go by.
The problem isn't Tolkien himself, it's all his imitators. If you look at people like Christopher Paolini (Eragon) he talks about how he wants to emulate Tolkiens writing style. The result is a clumsy mess that we like to call purple prose. In a sense, it's what happens when a poor writer tries to write something they think is poetic without understanding what good poetry actually sounds like.

I'll be the first to say that Tolkien needed an editor, since he tended to miss the forest for the trees during his descriptions, but he's still one of my favorite authors. He's the most influential fantasy author of the modern age, and a better story teller then Martin by far. He's also achieved things no author has really done before with his creation of Middle Earth, and most fantasy authors tend to just use his work as a template. Besides, Tolkien is nowhere near as bad as writers from the 1700's and 1800's. You think Tolkien overwrites his novels? Go read Moby Dick.
 

Fractral

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I'd add 1) Sex can be referred to, but tastefully, and with a minimum of description, and 2) Don't write in first person. I have read My Immortal, as a joke, and by god is it painful. The second part comes because I can't remember reading a book in first person which wasn't awkward at some point. Some of the short stories pulled it off, though.
 

senordesol

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Muspelheim said:
senordesol said:
thaluikhain said:
senordesol said:
Not disputing that, but so long as it's grounded enough for people to relate: I say 'go nuts'. Just make sure that everything new that's introduced is described well enough for us to grasp what it means.
Sure...except everything that changes risks throwing massive holes into the fabric of your setting. Now, it's a risk, not a certainty, and you can rework your setting around it, but it's often quite a problem.
Not...really. Knights riding giant lizards instead of horses doesn't really break anything.

Maybe this is just a raw nerve form me. Frankly, I'm sick of Medieval 'fantasy' where the only changes to the world are geography, some dudes with pointy ears, and the ability to perform miracles as an everyday occurrence. Fucking seen it. So if someone wants to call something a 'flockling' instead of a 'bird' - eh, that's the least of my concerns with a story.
I do agree, to a point. Mixing things up is the way to have fun with the material. It's when the changes become gimmicky that I start having a problem, I suppose. When it idn't done cause it'd be interesting or because it's part of the writer's vision, but just because it can be used as an originallity shield.

Like, "No, no, the Templars of Peace are entirely original! They're riding flying lobsters! No one has ever thought of that before!"

The root problem in your examples (which I am in entire agreement with) lies in lazy writing. Everyday miracles in particular. Making non-stale, non-gimmicky wizardry is more about making it matter than it is about calling it "Thingchanging", carried out by "Svaanpankakaz".

As for the Medieval stasis, I'm in complete agreement. What weight does any of the events our heroes undergo, espesially if they're saving the world from X, have when bugger-all changes?
True. Simple interchanging of elements is a gimmick, but even gimmicks have their place (so long as it isn't an attempt to carry an entire theme). Let's take your 'flying lobsters', for instance. The choice to use lobsters is actually quite interesting. If certain nods in the story were made toward the fact that lobsters have no known natural end of lifespan (and how that represents the ideals of peace or whatnot); that's actually a pretty cool way to tie in an 'interchangeable element' with the world.

Another example is with a story I'm actually writing. One of our heroes finds himself in the ocean with something that wants to eat him. Now I could have made it a shark and no one would have batted an eye, but instead I exchanged it for something called a 'crusher fish' (based on the Dunkleosteus). But the change actually matters to this particular sequence, as the manner in which he deals with the fish is somewhat different than how he would deal with a shark *and* it better establishes the 'fantastical' elements of the world.

The point being: don't be afraid to change things up or even interchange things; just make sure it's for the purposes of world building, theming, or plot elements.
 

Safaia

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Epitaphs should be avoided at all times. 'The blue eyed boy' and referring to people as their title. Make sure you watch out for pronouns even more so in scenes when two characters of the same sex are interacting. When in doubt use a name. Your technical editor will make any changes if needed.
 

Thaluikhain

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Muspelheim said:
As for the Medieval stasis, I'm in complete agreement. What weight does any of the events our heroes undergo, espesially if they're saving the world from X, have when bugger-all changes?
Yeah, that's very annoying, especially if you look at our own world.

European nations have been fighting each other for ages, but the alliances and the weapons kept changing.

If you've fought the orcs in the medieval/renaissance period, then why can't they be using muskets a hundred years later? A century or so after that and the elves are digging trenches and the orcs are attacking them with mustard gas.

Then drow bombers pound hobbit industrial centres in the next war.

After that dwarf military advisors fight Troll-Cong in the jungle with assault rifles. Lizardfolk put a satellite in orbit.

Now, that doesn't seem to happen in fantasy, but really really should, IMHO.
 

deathjavu

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Here's another rule: editing is equally important as writing. I don't understand why writers have such an aversion to editing- maybe because it feels less creatively pure- but it's actually more important than the first write. And here's why:

Your first draft is shit. Don't worry too much about making it perfect, by the time you get to the end you'll know where you want the focus to be, who the characters are, etc., and the early parts will be shit. That's just how it is.

Your second draft is also shit.

Your third draft? Shit.

Maybe around draft 4 or so it'll start to resemble an actual well-written story. Maybe. If you're a thorough editor.

I've never heard of a single writer that gets it right the first time- Hussie's about the closest I can think, and even he reviews pesterlogs to add quirks and puns. Plus he writes this stuff literally every day and would still really benefit from a good edit in many places.

The rest of us schlubs get to edit our faces off until we have something good. That's how every good writer ever does it, and what makes us think we're better than them?
 

rorychief

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What do you guys think about once off third person chapters?

I'm considering every two to three chapters having a chapter one third the length of the protagonists that jumps to another location and follows a minor character for a bit. Tv tropes gave me the impression this is frowned on or will be misconstrued as lazy cheating if the character sees something related to the plot that the protagonist couldn't. But my intention would be to take a break from the fish out of water, bewildered by everything protagonist to get some worldbuilding done that doesn't need to be in the form of a expository conversation. Still annoying?

If so is there anyway it can it be done well? I know this isn't writers workshop or anything but I'd appreciate the advice from anyone willing to show off :)