Limyaael

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04:30 pm: How to let your protagonist make mistakes

Comments

From:[info]ex_fumbles873
Date:January 24th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC)
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Hi, very good rant as usual (been lurking around for a while now and read them all). I have particular problems with this one, especially with #2, so this rant came just in time to get me some good ideas on how to get my characters into trouble.

And I read theSparrow, too, some time ago, but I have to admit it completely freaked me out back then.

BTW, I friended you.
From:[info]half_pace
Date:February 15th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)

Rant

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Hi, excellent rant as per usual. Friend me?

Couple of ideas for next rant(s):

Sticking to inheritance patterns for traits. All too often, I've seen Suethors decide that a trait is dominant and then have the hero(ine) show this trait, even though her parents both have the recessive trait, without an explanation. i.e. Mary-Sue has brown eyes, despite both parents having blue eyes.

Pointless Japan-phile-ness. Seriously, what's with the Suethors' obsessions with Japan, and done grossly wrong too?

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From:[info]khajidu
Date:February 15th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Rant

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Actually, parents with blue eyes can have children with brown eyes... but it's very rare.
From:[info]half_pace
Date:February 16th, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Rant

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Yeh, I know. But would you agree that it's rare enough that an explanation is needed?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 16th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Rant

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I wouldn't, personally, because I don't think Mendelean genetics should apply to fantasy worlds.

Start thinking like that, and you wind up with the idea that cross breeding two Half-Elves should result in one Human, one Elf and two Half-Elves because of the punnit square.

- Dan Hemmens
From:[info]ex_fumbles873
Date:February 19th, 2008 09:07 am (UTC)

Re: Rant

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Start thinking like that, and you wind up with the idea that cross breeding two Half-Elves should result in one Human, one Elf and two Half-Elves because of the punnit square.

That would work only if only a single characteristic was involved and none of the alleles were dominant... Which most probably isn't the case, although most authors handle it as if it were, or so it seems with all those half-elves out there that are carbon-copies of each other. (On the other hand, in these stories not only the half-elves are clones...)/mini-rant

Anyway, I think you're right. Apart from the fact that it's damn hard to make fantasy races work genetically according to Mendel's laws, it's much more fun to devise completely new genetics for them. And who said they have to behave genetically like us?
From:[info]abnormaldiversity.blogspot.com
Date:March 3rd, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)

Re: Rant

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In one of my stories, I actually worked out a set of fifteen or so genes, each with two or three separate allelles, that caused the mix of magic talents in my story. I've lost the info on the specific genes, but I do recall that it was possible for a child with a strong talent in this one plot-important 'forgotten magic' to pop up without any relatives having that particular talent. I was planning to have a generations-long conspiracy in place based on the faint hope of finding the hypothesized decendant of this one person, only to discover that someone who is most definitely *not* descended from them shows the qualifications they need.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 15th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)

Re: Rant

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I, a lover of fantasy and biochemistry, would like to point out that Mendelian genetics can work perfectly well in fantasy worlds. You just have to put a little thought into it. In fact, thinking about things like magic in terms of evolutionary biology and genetics can provide some really interesting ideas, especially about drawbacks- Why, exactly, is the trait for mad majickal skillz not found throughout the population? (This is one of the very, very few things I thought Robert Jordan did right- since the girls were being recruited to a celibate group and the guys were getting killed, the numbers dropped)
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~Shadow Phoenix~
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