Friday, September 26, 2014

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FANTASY

1. Thou shall not regurgitate every fantasy cliche thou hast read in prior works.

2. Thou shall not attempt to overexplain thy magic with psuedo-scientific terminology in am attempt to make thyself seem super smart.

3. Thou shall build an interesting world in which thy fantastical tales may be set.

4. Thou shall not assume that every story is better with princesses.

5. Thou shall avoid overpowering thy characters to the point of ridiculousness.

6. Thou shall not assume that the label of "fantasy" gives thy plot, character motivations, and other story elements an excuse to be unrealistic.

7. Thou shall not follow the path of the Deus Ex Machina.

8.  Thou shall not give characters medieval weapons in a modern setting with the sole reason being that it is "cool".

9. Thou shall not pad out thy word count under the delusion that thy fantasy novel must be "epic" in scope and length.

10. Thou shall consult Limyaael's Fantasy Rant List for much better advice than has been provided here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Don't Care that your Vampires Sparkle (or, Why Trying to Scientifically Explain Magic Doesn't Work if you're Ignorant)

(WARNING: RANT MODE HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. Extreme snarkiness, rudeness, and foul language beyond this point. All those overly-sensitive, proceed at your own risk.)

Nothing ruins a fantasy story for me faster than a terrible romance. Or bad characterization. Or shitty worldbuilding. Or a cliche, overdone plotline. Or a Mary Sue.

But a close second would have to be witnessing the element of magic being ripped to shreds by an author who doesn't know how to fucking write magical things so as to not ruin them.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert on the subject; Hell, I'm just an amateur fantasy writer myself still in the midst of building my own magic system for my fantasy world. And of course, what with it being magic and all, you really can't--and shouldn't--bind it by any hard and fast rules. Magic takes all kinds of fantastical forms and means something different to each fantasy writer. That being said, it's totally possible for an author to suck all the magic out of magic if they suck at writing it.