Friday, June 22, 2012

Fantasy Manifesto Number One

I'm so sick of writers whose highest aspiration is to be the next friggin' Robert Jordan. Here's the deal:

1. There are three, and only three, fantasies in which the presence of maps in the book does not presage pre-chewed suckitude: Oz, LOTR and Earthsea.

2. Conlangs are a parlor game for linguists, not a substitute for good writing.

3. Just because they're orcs, doesn't mean it's okay to kill them out of hand. Hath not an orc eyes? Hath not an orc hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food (mostly), hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer, as a human is? If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die? And if you wrong them, do they not revenge?

Friggin' racists.

4. Those warriors who keep count of all the opponents they've killed in battle? Not only is it not cute, it's not real. Just try sparring with someone in a boxing ring for five minutes, and see how quickly you run out of breath. Now imagine swinging an axe for thirty times that long.
Yeah. That's right. I said it.

5. If you have dwarves, elves and fairies in your world, you better have a reason for putting them there - and they'd better be interesting characters, not just an obligatory Tolkien homage. And hobbits are friggin' copyrighted, bitches. Tolkien outright invented them. Remember that. No one will sue you, because they're a genericized trademark now, but I'll know. And I've got my eye on you.

6. If nothing happens in the first hundred pages, that's not epic pacing - that's bad editing.

7. Don't expect anyone to pay money to read about your neat RPG campaign.

Better now.
But there's more coming.
I can feel it.

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