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Friday, November 14, 2008

My Answers to Fantasy Novel Writing Exam - FireHeart

This is my answer for Fireheart - Legend of the Paladins Trilogy.
As straight as it is, no holds barred.
Don't get discouraged, fellow aspiring writers! If you say "no" to all these questions, you won't get to write anything at all!

1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages? nope. lots, actually.

2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage? nope

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? nope. it comes with effort.

5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world? nope

6. How about one that will destroy it? nope

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? nope. prophecy, yes. saving the world? that depends.

8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information? Yes and no

9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise? nope. the god is the narrator

10. Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character? no. what do you think he is? darth vader?

11. Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician? nope. theoden is.

12. Does "a forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel? nope.

13. How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"? nope. a powerful, kind-hearted but wise and quite intelligent

14. How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"? nope

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? nope. they're too busy fighting and save the day

16. Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued? if you don't count be loved, then yes.

17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals? dunno

18. Would "a clumsy cooking wench more comfortable with a frying pan than a sword" aptly describe any of your female characters? nope

19. Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters? nope.

20. Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"? nope - look at andreas (or andres) marvellini

21. How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"? yes, carolyn a half-elf, but no, she doesn't care of all those heritage stuff

22. Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different? yeah, if no, it'll be a cliche to lotr

23. Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief? nope

24. Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy? nope. also battle and transport

25. Do you not know when the hay baler was invented? yes (what the heck...!)

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"?
nope and yeah. all use unique names with meanings if necessary like Kraal'thragon: The Towers of Death

27. Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then? i tried not to

28. Is this the first book in a planned trilogy? yes

29. How about a quintet or a decalogue? nope, (or yes, if you mean a poem in general)

30. Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book? nope

31. Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"? nope

32. Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books? nope. i'll wait until the series are finished first, and then i'll write the prequels.

33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far? nope. I said "yes" many times or my name is Robert Chandler and I whined like a horse to get this far.

34. Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group? nope. Role-playing game, yes.

35. Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm?
nope. but the world itself, yes.

36. Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names? yes.
rael'charon, ney'varith, dar'gum

37. Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables? nope - if you count rael'charon more than 3 syllables, then yes.

38. Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"?
nope. that's absolutely wrong, unless they're immigrants from another country. (Emmerich and Klarisse Chandler are Borgian immigrants who lived in Arkvale, Lore, both are descendants of war immigrants)

39. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings?
Yeah! Absolutely, it's staple for first-time writers.

40. How about "orken" or "dwerrows"? nope. what the hell are that?

41. Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"? regretfully, yeah.

42. At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines? nope. the dwarves showed the way.

43. Do you write your battle scenes by playing them out in your favorite RPG? yeah

44. Have you done up game statistics for all of your main characters in your favorite RPG?
yeah

45. Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast? nope, but i'd like to.

46. Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls? nope. they brawl, get information, and make new friends and get into a bit of mishap...

47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?
no, i studied it, but never claimed that i know it all..

48. Do your characters spend an inordinate amount of time journeying from place to place?
yes. You won't get much experience by staying in the same place all the time...

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? no, as long as i remember...

50. Do any of the magic users in your novel cast spells easily identifiable as "fireball" or "lightning bolt"? yes. it's a must!

51. Do you ever use the term "mana" in your novel? sadly, yes. and "aura" too. it won't be recognizable if i don't.

52. Do you ever use the term "plate mail" in your novel? yes.

53. Heaven help you, do you ever use the term "hit points" in your novel? hell no!

54. Do you not realize how much gold actually weighs? nope. it's in my trade.

55. Do you think horses can gallop all day long without rest? nope. even elven horses need a break from time to time, but they can cover more miles a day than human-breeds.

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, all of them need rest and food from time to time, though I didn't have to describe it.

57. Does your main character have a magic axe, hammer, spear, or other weapon that returns to him when he throws it? yes, a pair of ordinary scimitars controlled by one's inner strength. I'm thinking a boomerang as a more natural side.

58. Does anybody in your novel ever stab anybody with a scimitar? yeah.

59. Does anybody in your novel stab anybody straight through plate armor? nope.

60. Do you think swords weigh ten pounds or more? [info] nope. checked wikipedia for research.

61. Does your hero fall in love with an unattainable woman, whom he later attains?
Nope. He did fall in love with an unattainable woman, and he never got her at last and chose a truly believably attainable one.

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

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. be realistic, dude!

64. Do you really think it frequently takes more than one arrow in the chest to kill a man? Nope, unless he wears a plate/chain mail.

65. Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an "on the road" meal? nope. better resort to rations and dried food for that.

66. Do you have nomadic barbarians living on the tundra and consuming barrels and barrels of mead? Nope, but I'm thinking of adding some (if the character ever gets to the mongolia-like parts of Eternia...)

67. Do you think that "mead" is just a fancy name for "beer"? Nope. It's a totally different brew.

68. Does your story involve a number of different races, each of which has exactly one country, one ruler, and one religion? yeah and nope. the orcs occupied two countries plus one separatist tribe.

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? nope. Just the disastrous mistakes.

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? Nope. the bard can actually shoot arrows and shoot wind spells.

72. Is "common" the official language of your world? Yeah, they ain't got the "Babylon Effect" and no, there are other languages, but are ancient and too time-consuming to define.

73. Is the countryside in your novel littered with tombs and gravesites filled with ancient magical loot that nobody thought to steal centuries before? Nope, but I'm thinking of building one with a magical loot that somebody thought to steal centuries before in another story.

74. Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings? nope. never intended to that. God forbid!

75. Read that question again and answer truthfully.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More about "Feudalism" in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudalism

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