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May 28th, 2010

11:42 pm: Rant on loyalty
This is partially about loyalty and partially about the characterization of traitors. Because I wanted it to be.

When loyalty is (and isn’t) a virtue )

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April 11th, 2007

11:05 pm: 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.

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October 29th, 2005

08:13 pm: Espionage rant
This is the espionage rant. And most of this does assume fantasy worlds, yes, so I expect that a lot of what I’m saying wouldn’t apply in straightforward spy novels/SF.

Because, if nothing else, there are probably some technological ways to overcome the problems I’ve seen )

God, stupid spy stories annoy me.

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August 28th, 2005

07:40 pm: International relationships rant
Not (perhaps sadly) about what happens when people from different nations become friends or fall in love, but about relationships between countries—from war to outright dominance of one by another, and everywhere in between.

Read more... )

…Well, that was depressing.

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August 26th, 2005

06:51 pm: Propaganda rant
Ooh, the propaganda rant! Here we go.

Read more... )

Propaganda-centered fantasy would be a great way to write about messages and even give them without writing message fantasy. I’m surprised that more people don’t use it.

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July 5th, 2005

05:23 pm: Political fantasy rant
This rant is on political fantasy—ideas about achieving it, caveats, problems with it. You know, all the usual things.

Can’t think of a clever title for the lj-cut… )

And writing limitations on magic is next.

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May 13th, 2005

04:41 pm: Writing empires rant, part two
The second part of the ‘writing empires’ rant, since the last one got too long to pack everything into one essay.

More problems to make things complicated )

Seasonal variation is next, and then it’ll be the start of another poll-time.

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May 9th, 2005

04:05 pm: Writing empire (first part)
This rant concentrates on some ideas for writing empires. I do think they’re different than kingdoms—though fantasy authors often don’t treat them any differently—and that there are a lot of questions and concerns they bring up that most authors simply ignore.

An empire is a lot more than its imperial family )

Damn it, there will have to be another half of this rant, as this got much longer than anticipated. Well, hey. It’s a fertile subject, and I’d like to see a lot more done with it than currently is.

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January 2nd, 2005

06:53 pm: Rant on creating good rulers
Ooh, yay, one of my favorite topics. (Seriously).

Over the river and through the woods to the ruler’s house we go… )

That was fun.

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October 10th, 2004

11:24 pm: Council scene rant
As promised.

There is no reason a council scene shouldn't be as exciting as a battle )

Next rant is on how to plot, I think.

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July 1st, 2004

12:03 am: Notes on non-monarchical societies, part three
And here are other things to consider.

Very practical matters )

And that finishes government, I think. Next one’s on culture.

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June 29th, 2004

12:55 pm: Notes on non-monarchical societies, part two. (And tabloid mages yay!)
The second part of this rant that I did last night. Another series of questions to ask about non-monarchical societies.

Starting with ‘Who’s going to defend them?’ )

Man. Now I have tabloid mages on the brain.

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June 28th, 2004

07:42 pm: Notes on non-monarchical societies, part one
These are the kinds of worlds that I prefer to build, just because I find monarchies overused (and sometimes ending up in places where it seems that it would make more sense to use another form of government, like far-future science fiction). Also, it forces you to rebuild from the ground up, and carries your world out of some of the most tired stories, such as the peasant-who’s-the-secret-heir plotline.

So, a series of questions that have pat answers in a monarchical model )

Didn’t get to everything I wanted, so I’ll probably do another part on this tomorrow.

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February 8th, 2004

02:11 pm: Politics and diplomacy.
Because, why not?

Random Superstition of the Day: Cats were once believed to lie on top of babies and suck the breath out of them. One of the many, many reasons that cats were killed and burned alive during the Middle Ages.

Politics and diplomacy )

Just several ideas to play with.

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January 4th, 2004

03:06 pm: Intrigues indeed.
For personal reasons, I've decided to go friends-only on most entries for a while. However, the rants will remain public.

Some lines from Swinburne appropriate to what I'm feeling today. "Dolores," again.

In yesterday's reach and to-morrow's,
Out of sight though they lie of to-day,
There have been and there yet shall be sorrows
That smite not and bite not in play.
The life and the love thou despisest,
These hurt us indeed, and in vain,
O wise among women, and wisest,
Our Lady of Pain.

I am so going to write a story based on the Dolores worship Swinburne describes.

Intrigues, and the things that mess them up in fantasy novels )

Shorter than usual. Let me know if you can think of anything to add.

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