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Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Prancing Pony > other fantasy books! DEAR GOD!   [1] [2] >>
Jordan was kind of good for a bit...haven't made it through the whole series yet, but I've tried...

Brooks is the Sword of Shannara one, right? I read that a while ago and liked it, then read it again and really didn't like it, so maybe I'll give it a 3rd try to be sure.

I read a while ago a book by, I think, um, Melanie Rawn? Or something to that affect? It had wizards and mages and things in it...kind of different, pretty ok.
yeah actually so many fantasy "postAuthorIDs" copy Tolkien....im sure you would have read about the similarities between harry potter and LOTR.
in each one there are forgivable [eg: Dark One, Wizard, hero guy, etc] and unforgivable...[Midlands, Elves, etc]
in almost every fantasy book, if there's a dark lord guy, the hero guy will have something that the dark lord guy wants, and the entire story is spun around that one object
[Ring, Knife, sword,] etc.....
im gonna write a fantasy novel where the dark lord guy wins the dominion of Earth and the hero guy is killed

Sounds nice! I'm pretty sure someone's done one, but I can't think of it off the top of my head right now. And most spare fantasy is pretty rubbish. Ursula Le Guins's Earthsea series is pretty darn good though.
Melanie Rawn is a great read - for women or girls. Not much appeal for the fellas I think. Anyone?

If you have checked my profile, you will know that I am a writer / student - that is I am studying Writing and Editing and working on a novel.

Popular Fiction has been a specialty so far, and one of the things we are taught to do if we want to get published is to follow THE RULES. These include:
- The hero/heroine should be attractive, have faults and weaknesses
-There needs to be a villain
- The villain is typically an evil sorcerer of some kind
- There is usually an object or talisman involved.
-Endings should be happy, good triumphs over evil and all that.
- Ending should involve some sort of restoration or redemption

Any of this familliar? I'm told its what publishers want because its what readers want. What do you guys think?


I guess if you stick to the formula, you're pretty much bound to find someone who likes any given book...I think it'd be kind of neat to read a book that didn't follow the preset standards...but then again, I've never read anything that totally went against everything, so maybe I wouldn't like it. Who knows. Allyssa, you write something that totally disregards the rules, and then we'll all read it for you...you've got a guaranteed audience (haha)...
Don't really read fantasy, but I have a gripe about most fantasy & sci-fi movies - why do the villains have to be so dumb? Even Star Wars isn't totally blameless - the stormtroopers can't shoot straight, and all it took to kill the Emperor was a piseed off parent!

I enjoyed Peter's etremely funny Evil Overlord List (Copyright 1996-1997 by Peter Anspach) though - it's his "The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord". It also may be quite helpful to fiction writers - it's got stuff like:

1.My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

2.My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

3.My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

4.Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5.The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

, and etc. The link is http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html

[Edited on 27/12/2001 by Ungoliant]
Nice. If you want something that goes against all the rules try some Kathy Acker (Post Punk fiction of the really ****ed up weird variety). I find that if you follow the rules, if not entirely but to enough of a degree, then the story is more satisfactory to all who read it, and more likely to be reread. Nice as it would be for us to all say "Yes I'd like to read something totally different and against all the rules" if we actually did, we'd be left with a sense of complete dissatisfaction at the end, like it or not it's true! (check Robert Rankin's Armaggeddon 2 They Came and Ate Us:The B-Movie if you don't believe me.)
Quote:




Popular Fiction has been a specialty so far, and one of the things we are taught to do if we want to get published is to follow THE RULES. These include:
- The hero/heroine should be attractive, have faults and weaknesses
-There needs to be a villain
- The villain is typically an evil sorcerer of some kind
- There is usually an object or talisman involved.
-Endings should be happy, good triumphs over evil and all that.
- Ending should involve some sort of restoration or redemption

If everybody stuck to those rules then all storys would be the same, full of pretty, young brainless little heros, screeching damsels in destress and cackling, predictable baddies.
haha, Halo...mostly they are!
Follow those rules except bend some one of them in order to different from all the Kopykats. Give it just a little plot twist or give it a slightly different ending, like the hero joins the Foreign Legion/convent because the comical sidekick gets the girl/boy. Or else they give up buming around and become part of the mainstream establishment, like as a CPA. Of course, I suppose these have all been done before too. Big Smile Smilie
hey Plastic,
I've already thought about what you had said, that if you write a novel where the bad guy wins, then there just can't be a re-reading or even a story.
but in my story, everything tilts toward the favour of the dark.....he has these servants [reavers, maybe] who are actually dead heroes converted and slaves to his command.
then he has these 3 beasts, which are immortal. Obviously he himself is immortal.
then these 3 sorcerers [powerful] who practise black sorcery also follow him.....
oh and + he has these hideous servant beasts in thousands [like Orcs]
the hero guy does not die, he gets converted to General of the Army of the dead [kinda like Darth Vader] but his brother then becomes the real hero.......
warped!
in the end, evil does win....and it makes pretty interesting reading.!
but evil can never "totally" win, if you know what i mean...then the whole earth will be full of evil and fire and stuff

in response to the original topic of postAuthorIDs copying tolkien, if you really want to be original you can. there's no excuse like "tolkien was the pioneer....he took most of the available ideas".....
there's this excerpt that Taz had posted sometime back about a new kind of fantasy novel, [same names from tolkien but good concept]....it had "Sea-Elves"
pretty original [even though Elves was taken already]
nowadays, the fantasy books are so typical.....you know the hero's gonna win.....the worst that can happen is somebody dies along the way....
the dark lord puts together thousands of years in preparation, and against all odds even the smallest of heros can kill him!!!!!
im exhausted
im trying to deviate as far as possible from tolkien in any fantasy thing i write
If you make the Evil guy kinda likeable and all the goog guys really wet and crap then it'll get re-read all over the place. I've read something like that somewhere, but I can't think what. The only example I can think of right now is Pratchett's Death character, who you're always rooting for!
I've found in my own writing just to make all the characters as totally inept as possible and everything come out all right completely by mistake works well enough. Though I tend more towards the sci-fi than the fantasy really.
I haven't read any fantasy books except for Tolkien's. I tried LeGuin, but it's no good starting at book 3 of Earthsea, is it? And they don't have the two previous books in the ****ing library! grrr!!!
Libraries really suck! I got nearly all my sci-fi/fantasy from an ex-girlfriends dad who really liked me, he died and left me all his books, pretty morbid, but there you go, a truly great man.
very weird, not altogether morbid!
anyway, anything I write always seems to tilt toward evil, i can't help it....though i am putting in some very strong and powerful guys on the good side.
also, at the near end of the huge story, the evil guy gets banished from Earth...he cannot die [sounds like Melkor, but more powerful]
and he passes his spiritual "earthy" powers to one of his darkest sorcerers.
so the legacy lives on, kinda thing
well if u make the bad guy likeable then u'll be going into the "cute", "not really serious" category, like Pratchett, which is something i always try to avoid, as i want the darkest story possible
btw, im checking the US Top 10 countdown thing every day on TV and still see only Vanilla Sky at #1
Whenever I write a fantasy story it always looks a great lot like Tolkien, with elves, dwarves, wizards, walking trees, stuff like that. I can't help it, really. So I've given up on writing a really good fantasy story. Cool Smilie
whenever I try and write anything it looks like an illiterate 6th grader decided to try and write a fairy tale. I gave up a while back...Wink Smilie
hehe
yeah at first when i used to write stuff, it used to look like that! illiterate 6th grader, yupp1
but now it's more or less ok....i've got enough of a vocabulary to make it better i guess
lol
Big Smile Smilie
I've given up on it, seriously. It's no good. You can't beat Tolkien anyway... Big Smile Smilie
So don't try, write in a different genre (a less poncy one Wink Smilie )
yeah actually Tolkien obviously cannot be beaten....but something refreshing is needed in the fantasy genre.
*stupid
You're right here Sauron. Must admit... Smile Smilie
I know, I'm writing poetry actually. Does work out all right. Wink Smilie
hafta tell you Tommy....
I write poetry, song lyrics [metal], short stories, novelly stories [though i never finish any of them!] all crap u can imagine!
so kudos on ya!! [have no idea what that means but heard a lot of ppl say it]
but yeah, the fantasy genre is getting very typical...every story has different specifics and locations and characters, but in the end, ultimate evil dies by a minor hero
And if you have to follow that scheme, you can't possibly be original, unless you let the evil forces win, which is not what I would do, but I bet you would... Smile Smilie
I write short stories now and again too, but they suck. My poetry's quite all right though, if I have to say it myself... Smile Smilie
Haven't written poetry since I was an angst ridden teenager, I won an award with it once though. Mostly song lyrics and short stories now.
my sis is an awesome poet...she actually enjoys writing stuff, which is beyond me...whenever I get a poetry assignment, I pass it right off to her...Wink Smilie Big Smile Smilie
Surely that's cheating......
As you read this commentary, remember, I come in peace!

I started my fantasy book reading with Terry Brooks and fell in love with the Shanara series. In comparison to the Fellowship (which is the only one of the Trilogy I've complete (working on the Two Towers)), there are elements that I like better. I feel like Terry Brooks' characters are a little more rounded out, more 3d. The prose is a little easier for me to digest, but I am an undereducated American, so maybe that's the reason for that. Plus, as I recall, there's a little more romance in it. Sorry, I'm a chic. I need a little of that.

I've truly enjoyed the Tolkein that I've read, and I'm a fan now, but I also like Terry Brooks, and will continue to read his works with relish.

There's room for two in my life. Smile Smilie
I'm so glad you come in peace! So you need the whole chick-flick aspect, so you'll love what they've done with the movies then. Hmmmmm..... should I unleash my army of ninja badgers or not?
maybe just to show them off a little bit, *Plastic...not for a real attack.

Yummy, did you read just the Shannara series or also the other stuff Brooks has written? I'm thinking of giving Brooks another try...
Right you are Chika.
Ten'SHUN!
*watches the badgers come smartly to attention*
Do your stuff little guys!
*WOW! You know the bit from You only Live Twice with the Ninja academy? Well it's like that only better and with badgers, it's more like Crouching Badger Hidden Squirrel!!*
Yummy: I liked the Sword of Shannara enough to read it a coulple, three times; however, I didn't like the later books.
LOL! Crouching Badger Hidden Squirrel - you get better each day, Plastic.
im sure u come in peace....
im prejudist to anything that has the same elements as other famous stuff.....and especially when it's popular.
now take this terry brooks series...
i havent read even a single word of the whole trilogy but still dont feel like reading it coz i've seen SO MANY stories and stuff about a legendary sword which is entrusted [?] to a person.
it may be well-written, it may be awesome to read, it may even be interesting, but since Tolkien came out with the ELVES concept and the OBJECT OF THE WHOLE STORY concept and is pretty much the pioneer in fantasywriting, i'll always remain prejudist

phew! anyway back to the topic
Tolkien just ripped off a whole load of much older stuff, he was no pioneer. I may be a fan, but he was no innovator, go read the Elder Eddas and find out what I mean, or Beowulf and suchlike.
oh come on...his book was the first of its kind. even i say that the names of the people and places are very norse-type and old viking legend type, and a lot other stuff, but obviously he was a pioneer in the fantasy genre. he may have taken elves and eldar from beowulf i dont know, but beowulf isn't about destroying a dark lord with wizards at your side, is it now?
I really wouldn't know, I've never actually read it!!! D*mn you for calling my bluff! I'm sure someone did the whole dark lord thing before him, how about Bram Stoker? Vlad Dracul was a bit of a dark lord, no wizards mind you, but then, I have a better one! King Arthur, went off with Merlin (wizard) to go and do in his evil dark lord half brother whose name (which began with an M) has completely gone out of my head. And he had an evil Dark Queen (Queen Mab) to contend with as well.
hehe....hmmmm
anyway yeah I've read Bram Stoker's Dracula and half the story [though it is an amazing book] is letters.....this guy writes to his fiance bout his experiences with the COUNT and then she writes back to him and she writes again to another friend and another doctor and all sorts of stuff.
not much of the "evil" touch if you ask me
though it was damn original
well yeah you cant beat ol King ARTHUR but that was like real life [right?] so it doesn't count. .....im only prejudist to yknow books copying books.....and other stuff in the same league
or is Arthur stuff fantasy!? if it is, then DARK LORDS RULE!
anyway, Merlin was 17th century Gandalf i guess!!!!
Most of the Arthurian legends are pretty much fantasy (Read Mallory's La Morte D'Arthur, or the Mabinogion, the two first ever Fantasy books) but some of it is fact, there was a King Uther Pendragon at about the right time, and there might have been a revolutionary form of government instated by him involving a table. And there are rumours of Merlin type figures at the time, but they were really only Druids, and really, can someone help me out with his half brothers , no wait it was his ****ing son wasn't it! Well the guy's name anyway, it's getting on my nerves now. There was a dodgy metal band named after him in the 80s as well, HELP!!!
I thought someone called Mordred was in there somewhere. Dunno who that was...but maybe it was a dagger in a computer game. Damn!
Mordred was the little bas***d's name, out of Morgraine I think, Arthur's half-sister who knew she was beforehand while he didn't, but Arthur got saddled with the bad karma anyway. And more probably her name was Morgan le Fay. And the Merlin era was more probably the seventh or eighth century. certainly not the seventeenth which was probably King Charlie the Tooth and Olie Cromwel the protector's time.
im so lost here in all this Arthurian half-brother talk that it's virtually impossible to find me!
all i know about arthur is that he had knights of the round table and they slew dragons and took out swords out of stone [Excalibur]
and here you have Arthur's evil half-brother and half sister?
im certainly lost!!!!!!HELP!
the modest topic about dark lord's names seems to have gone somewhere out in space!
hey come to think about it, several of the Tolkien names seem to have come from Arthurian legends!!
ok plastic, here are a few suggestions for that evil half-brother that are on the net:
Gawain, Gareth, Gaheris and Agravaine, Mordred. Tristan
any one of those?
i seriously have to read up on arthur stuff...
ok here's how Tolkien copied old Icelandic myths.....only the names and a few other stuff......but still a pioneer in fantasy
http://www.legends.dm.net/sagas

Mordred! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!
Crap band, great evil guy!
S'alright. Although I don't remember him from the books - just from that awful Merlin movie a while back...or was it King Arthur...can't remember.

Was there a metal band called Mordred then? Old? New?
I don't know anything about the King Arthur books, I never read them, though I have made plans recently to read them, but I never got to it alas... Sad Smilie
Oh well. There was a movie called Excalibur once, and guess who played Uther Pendragon in it (ask Plastic, he'll tell you)
Big Smile Smilie
AS a writer myself, I have to tell you theres just no way you can write without borrowing style from some postAuthorID or another. The trick is making the melting of all the styles you mimic your own. The cleverest writers hide their sources, but you can not write without being influenced by your favorite writers unless you do not read (in which case you would be a poor writer).

Tolkien *IS* the father of fantasy. If some fantasy postAuthorID created a bunch of new races, it would just be confusing. It is better to follow the Tolkien standard of elves, halflings, dwarves and humans. Some postAuthorIDs, I've noticed, have elves as rather Indian (native american) like and others stick to the Tolkien standard. I don't think there is anything wrong with this. Just like most sci fi postAuthorIDs make aliens green, most fantasy postAuthorIDs make halflings short, hungry and curious.
*stupid
Let me tell you something: I'm a true elf-believer, but I have always seen them, even before I read Tolkien, the way Tolkien described them. Weird huh? Smile Smilie
*stupid and let me tell you something Tommy, you're a nut :P
And Excalibur was on last night, weird!
Mordred were a bunch of fat blokes in the 80s who did really rubbish half-hearted death-metal like Venom.
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