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March 19th, 2004

06:49 pm: Sex in fantasy novels.
Now that I have your attention...

Quote of the Day:

"Although humans tend to view sex as mainly a fun recreational activity sometimes resulting in death, in nature it is a far more serious matter." -Dave Barry.

The rest of the trouble with it, at least in fantasy novels )

Hm. It was meant to be a death rant, too, but I didn’t get to that. It’ll probably be tomorrow.

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March 16th, 2004

03:04 pm: Feminist fantasy rant.
Quote of the Day: “Feminism is the radical opinion that women are people.” –Seen on a bumper sticker; I haven’t been able to find the original.

Yes, people, and not the Masters of the Universe.

Feminist fantasy: Another genre I don’t hate, just wish would change )

Another genre that drives me nuts. When it’s good, it’s very, very good, and when it’s bad, it’s horrid.

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March 15th, 2004

02:04 pm: On urban fantasy.
Quote of the Day:

"I sometimes wish that I could control the weather. But this might be uncomfortable for other people."


I don't hate urban fantasy. I just wish the prettification would stop )

Urban fantasy is another genre that's often simplistic and shallow, and it doesn't have to be.

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March 14th, 2004

02:21 pm: Crossover fantasy
Quote of the Day:

"There is assuredly something wrong with you." -Ruskin, to Swinburne.

Crossover fantasy rant )

I think there's something wrong with a lot of crossover fantasy authors, too.

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March 12th, 2004

09:45 am: They're innocent little words. Why are you hurting them?
More fantasy-focused this time.

Leave the words alone )

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March 11th, 2004

08:40 am: Spelling/grammar three.
Because I never get over sharing my irritation.

Here we go again... )

Maybe more on this later.

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March 9th, 2004

09:43 pm: Yet another list of grammar/spelling mistakes the world would be better off without.
Today I went to work and looked at student essays, and said, "AARGH!"

Then I came home and looked at webpages, and said, "AARGH!"

Then I picked up a professionally published book and looked at it and said, "AARGH!"

Damn typos )

If I see one more "discrete lover," or one more "flare for art," I am going to hurt someone.

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March 7th, 2004

07:03 pm: Grammar/spelling/punctuation part 1
Well, everything except the paper and 1200 words on one of the stories is done, and that will work out, and I have two pages done on the paper so far.

(Translation: If I keep working, I'm going to go crazy).

So this, for right now.

Top ten reasons to use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in your manuscript )

Do I sound bitter? Looking at student papers will do that to you.

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March 4th, 2004

10:47 am: Dream rant.
An odd subject to be ranting about, maybe. Then again, I think I’ve read too many italicized dream-sequences lately.

If you’re going to give your character meaningful dreams… )

Too many italicized dream-sequences has to be the cause of it, I think.

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March 2nd, 2004

03:36 pm: Name rant
This rant is based mostly on experience with amateur fantasy online, and some of my own writing. A professional author can usually succeed in making me accept the most ridiculous character names (although certainly not always).

Name rant )

There’s no reason for most of this nonsense with names, except that authors get too close to their work and forget how Krystalynne sounds to someone who doesn’t know and love the character.

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February 29th, 2004

07:27 pm: Other Species Equal-Time Day.
Apropos of nothing at all, I went to the library today and got lots of books. Books on Swinburne, including the best biography of him, and books on Shelley, because I like him, and The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories, and a book called Feminism and Fantasy in the Golden Age, which for some reason I thought referred to the Golden Age of science fiction but instead is about feminism and fantasy in the Golden Age of Spain.

But I was a Spanish minor, so this is still cool.

Dragons and unicorns are nice, but... )

I really ought to work on that wyvern culture.

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February 27th, 2004

09:15 am: Grasslands fantasy
It was going to be undersea fantasy, but I decided not.

If you're running on the grasslands, there are some things you should remember... )

Well, that felt abbreviated. A lot of it's obvious, though.

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February 25th, 2004

09:27 am: Yo ho ho and a bottle of...something.
Yep, high seas rant. Since I don't have a lot of technical knowledge about ships, this is confined to the simple and obvious, again.

Then again, considering many amateur fantasy authors' tendency to be dramatic... )

Undersea fantasy's next, I think.

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February 24th, 2004

09:50 am: Sounds of the jungle.
If that brought "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" into your head, I'm doing my job.

In the jungle, the quiet jungle... )

For good, realistic descriptions of jungles in fantasy, read Glen Cook's Black Company series, which uses Indian and Vietnamese mythology and settings, or the Monarchies of God series by Paul Kearney, which features an alternate world where the characters are just starting to explore their version of America. Best description of the heat, insects, and jungle-traveling problems I've ever read.

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February 23rd, 2004

09:12 am: Out of the frying pan and into the desert.
That will teach me to try and be clever so early in the morning.

I have had George Meredith's poem "Love in the Valley" bouncing around in my head for five days now. I am typing a verse of it here so that it will shut up and stop bothering me.

Pretty verse, but it's distracting when I'm trying to grade )

Desert rant )

Why do so many fantasy authors think deserts= hot and lack of water, and nothing else?

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February 19th, 2004

10:46 am: Life in a northern town
Yep, stole the song title.

Random Fact: Dante Gabriel Rossetti was so devoted to his wife Elizabeth Siddal that when she died, he buried a manuscript of his poems with her. However, several years later he wanted the poems back. He had to sneak into the graveyard at night, dig her up, and recover them.

Life in the north )

Study and research is necessary here, I think, if only because so many fantasy authors either don't live in cold environments or do so only in heated homes with modern facilities and no need to rely exclusively on hunting.

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February 18th, 2004

10:01 am: More misused words.
I see these more often in fantasy, since that's mostly what I read, but they also occur in student papers, in professional writing, and damn near everywhere else.

Pick up a dictionary )

A surprising part of that was about color adjectives. I'm not sure why it bothers me so much- other than that trying to picture a character with blue, azure, and cobalt eyes simultaneously gives me a headache.

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February 17th, 2004

10:29 am: On animals and hunting.
Animal rant, part two?

Random Fact: Ailurophobes are afraid of cats. Napoleon was an ailurophobe, and once broke into a sweat when he thought there was a kitten in the next room.

On animals, hunting, and random stuff )

It's ridiculous, the animals who apparently inhabit some fantasy worlds. I'm inclined to agree with Diana Wynne Jones's Tough Guide to Fantasyland, which notes gaping holes in Fantasyland's ecology. The few exceptions are mechanical-like horses, rabbits, crows, and sometimes deer and dogs.

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February 16th, 2004

10:17 am: Beginning middle books.
Probably shorter than the others. The advice I have on this can be condensed down in a few fairly simple points.

And then there was another beginning )

Poor middle books. *cuddles them*

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February 15th, 2004

08:16 pm: On endings in series books.
The other rant was more about stand-alone novels and ending books that were the final ones of a series. This is more about ending books in the middle of a series. And maybe beginning them.

Well, I think I’ve lost the ability to plan the course of these rants anyway, so it might as well be both.

Books in the middle of a series )

No, didn’t get to beginnings after all. I suspect that will be next.

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