• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

Recent content by DylanRS

  1. DylanRS

    blog History for Fantasy Writers: Millers

    These articles always set a cozy mood for brainstorming and daydreaming. I've been taking somewhat of a break from the kind of fantasy they seem to be written for, and every time I read one of these I get more excited for my eventual return. I wish I could reach back into history and shake...
  2. DylanRS

    What do you look for in fiction?

    Speaking of which, anyone here into James Clavell? I started Shogun last october and was burning through it at first. That first like 1/5 was some of the most jam-packed content I've ever read. Just so much action and scenery and vivid characters...it was straight up cinematic. But I fizzled out...
  3. DylanRS

    What do you look for in fiction?

    I guess the word "long" basically covers this, but I'm wondering whether most people mean boring expositions. And I'm wondering if this is similar to taking a common route of a beginning writer and stopping them from writing boring expositions by condemning expositions themselves. Like how a lot...
  4. DylanRS

    What do you look for in fiction?

    This is the essence right here. For me it's not so much about what's being talking about, but the cohesion - from every angle. Someone said that the best art seems like it was oozed by the artist, not created. It's like they found it somewhere. I think Vladimir Nabakov said, and I'm hugely...
  5. DylanRS

    Problems with a hard magic system

    A really big hammer might suck all the suspense out of nail-related issues, but if you spill paint on the floor you're SOL. Are mages of this caliber a dime a dozen, or are they relatively scarce? Can they teleport, or are they isolated from distant peers? What kinds of magics might they...
  6. DylanRS

    Should you skip the ancient history of a invented world?

    When you move past some fundamental things, there's really nothing you "should" do. The answer here is not concrete at all. It just has to be good. I know that's vague and possibly unsatisfying as a directive, but that's it. Essentially, our job is to be interesting and meaningful. The word...
  7. DylanRS

    Where the monsters are

    Why not scatter them like the elves, but develop an organic path for their historical conquest? If they're just dumb brutes I see even less of a reason for them to have a clear homeland, but even if they have just a smidge of dignity or a sympathetic flavor then why not give them scattered but...
  8. DylanRS

    Premature Beta Readers

    Fascinating thread so far. If there's anyone who's hesitated on pulling the trigger with a reply, I'd love to read more about your approaches to early and late feedback. If there's a place or places where I can find more on the subject (here or on the web), I'd also be grateful for a recommendation.
  9. DylanRS

    Outlining a half-written first draft/second draft

    Try writing a Wikipedia-style plot summary that covers every major beat. Don't look at anything you've written so far. Try to make it fascinating to someone who for whatever reason is never going to read your book, and for whatever reason gets a lot of satisfaction from just reading the...
  10. DylanRS

    When Does a First Chapter Become a Prologue?

    Guys, help me out here. Why can't I even fathom skipping a prologue? I'm actually surprised to find out this is a preference. Even a common one. No matter how many times I find out a prologue is unnecessary, there's no way to know if the next one will be.
  11. DylanRS

    Living with Megafauna, Pt. II

    Fire is a specific fruit of intelligence, and intelligence is explosively applicable. Before you go and change creatures to be intelligent in this hypothetical, just know you'd be giving them fire too. Or maybe our great advantage is opposable thumbs and fine motor control.... A major...
  12. DylanRS

    The Anti-McGuffin (is this already a thing?)

    Interestingly enough, while the original story probably had more details, you never quite explained why Henry was so reviled. And yet I was intrigued. So Henry's disrepute was a catalyst that the reader didn't necessarily have to be in on. McGuffin's are something that seems to have two...
  13. DylanRS

    Asking the reader rhetorical questions?

    I'm a fan of switching from third limited to a character's thoughts without even slanting the words. For your first example I'd switch from author to character and make her the speaker for a brief moment. Wait. I've only gone straight, right? -- Just written like she'd actually thought it...
  14. DylanRS

    How can I come up with a good cost for my magic?

    It sounds like you have an awesome grasp of how to build a costly magic system. You've made magic into something akin to lawyering or doctoring in real life. It takes effort, time, etc., and it's not for just anyone. I do think that whoever suggested the sexist angle is overthinking it; it's up...
  15. DylanRS

    How complex does plot really need to be?

    Agree to disagree. The character interactions/dialogue are engrossing to me. The gimmicks don't register as gimmicky to me, if that makes sense. And my point wasn't that it doesn't have a plot. My point is that a lot of people rely on sort of post-hoc plot considerations to explain why a story...