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May 20th, 2007
On possession, mind control, and hypnosis
This is a broad general topic, admittedly, but each one by itself would probably be too narrow for a rant. Thus, we’re doing it this way.( Interesting, but not when they’re used as an escape clause )
And I suppose that, for now, that’s all I really have to say, since each point covers a lot of ground.Tags: fantasy rants spring 2007
, idea rants
April 27th, 2007
Attitudes towards killing and violence.
Since this deals with attitudes
, I won’t be addressing strategy and tactics here; it’s mostly about the social and cultural associations of battles, duels, and other methods of killing. Also, it has few separate points; most of the ideas I wanted to present are gathered together under general ones.( You can’t swing that sword that way )
Class/caste systems is next, according to the poll.Tags: fantasy rants spring 2007
, worldbuilding: culture
, worldbuilding: law
April 11th, 2007
Writing fantasy about oppression
All right then.
Frankly, this rant was difficult to write. Part of it is simply that I’m afraid I’ll leave something important out. The other part is that I’m white, middle-class, and American, and so I’m approaching a lot of this in theory, not in the experience of living with it. Given the time period I live in, I don’t even have to deal with some things that would have been de rigeur
for an American white, middle-class woman a few decades ago. So, if you see something in the rant you think is biased, ill-chosen, wrongly-worded, or offensive, please correct me.
The nice thing about using an LJ post as a format for this rant is that I can clearly show the correction of mistakes by strikeouts. ( So here we go )
All right. After all, I am hardly immune from criticism, either.
Tell me what you think.Tags: fantasy rants spring 2007
, pay attention to: class
, pay attention to: race
, rants on political fantasy
, rants on power dynamics
March 24th, 2007
asked for a rant like this. And, after all, there’s no reason that you need to assume a villain in order to have a story. Mainstream fiction and many “classic” novels get away quite handily with having no villain, or only one truly despicable character in a populated world where many other shades of morality exist.
The only thing I do
assume for this rant is that your non-villain is a fairly important character, and therefore you’ll be thinking about how his or her activities matter to the story as a whole; obviously, if they appear onstage in only one scene, your concerns in developing them will be different.( Beyond good and evil )
The next rant will probably be on ways to focus and tighten stories.Tags: characterization: villains
, fantasy rants spring 2007
, rants on character types
, rants on empathy
March 20th, 2007
Six ways of using the insider
Now that the reading for my exams is finally letting up a bit, I can write another rant!
The “insider” in the title of this post means someone who’s a native member of the culture/world you’re writing about, or at least familiar with it. A common worldbuilding trick in fantasy is to bring a visitor, a sheltered innocent, or sometimes a complete alien, as in modern-day people crossing over from Earth, into the picture so you have someone who will ask questions about aspects of the culture and can be Explained At. But outsiders have problems, too, the most pernicious of which is limiting the stories you can tell. Using the other half of the equation and telling fantasy stories with insiders is very far from impossible. And no, it does not need to involve the characters telling each other in monologues what they should have known already.( Here are ways of doing it )
I’m open to suggestions about what to do next.Tags: characterization: protagonists
, fantasy rants spring 2007
, rants on character t ypes