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Fantasy Writer's Quiz

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by TheokinsJ, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Sia

    Sia Sage

    Let's see... my reactions

    1) Depends what you mean by 'nothing'. The characters in this WIP have the sense to actually prepare for a long journey so they're packing up and chatting and just showing off their personalities.

    2) Nope, thank goodness. Although there is a character with mysterious parentage... but there was no rape involved or anything. His mother just got bored quickly and it is entirely her fault.

    3) Hmm... maybe. It doesn't really come up though.

    4)Not exactly.

    5)Not really.



    8) Ah, no, it contains several characters whose 'sole' purpose is to dispense information. There's a whole class of people who have that purpose. Well, technically, they have families and stuff but the nobleman or king or whatever doesn't care - he just wants the information from his scribe or whatever.

    9) Depends on who you ask.

    10) Nope but the farmhand... maybe.

    11) Who knows? Possibly.

    12)Hmm .. how are we defining a 'wizard'.

    13) I have a gentle "giant" if that's any help? Actually, he's just a very tall human.

    14) Well, refuses to give plot points away for his own reasons, yes. Mysterious reasons? Not so much. Secrets of the guild and all that.

    15) Well, some do, some don't.

    16) Probably. I imagine there's a play with that premise somewhere and someone has to play the part, right?

    17) Hmm ... perhaps. All the scribes being women probably helps them advance there.

    18) No.

    19) No.

    20) Not yet.

    21) Nope, at least I don't know of any yet.

    22) I haven't got that far yet.

    23) Or that far.

    24) No, I know they're also for getting somewhere. This is where my knowledge of ships end, however.

    25) That's correct, I don't. Still, it doesn't enter into the current WIP so...

    26) I didn't draw a map in the first place.

    27, 28, 29) No. No prologue. No planned series.

    30) Pass. I never actually printed the thing, you know.

    31) Again, define "nothing"

    32) No...

    33) No

    35) Perhaps.

    36) Umm, yes. Sort of.

    37) Umm .. maybe?

    38) I do see something wrong with that.

    39) Elves, certainly. Not sure about the others.

    40) Nope.

    Skip all the nonsense about RPG games, I don't do that. I'll do the rest later.
  2. brokethepoint

    brokethepoint Troubadour

    I found the exam humorous, then I read the comments at the top. Sounds like someone is sour about something.

    I fail to see how answering yes to a couple of the questions has any relevance to originality or being a rip off.

    The exam is listed in the humor bites so hopefully it is meant as humor, otherwise I would like to know what they consider original.
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    Let's see how my latest WIP holds up:

    1) Quite a lot happens before page fifty, actually.

    2) Nope.

    3) Uh-uh.

    4) Nope.

    5) No.

    6) Nope.

    7) Nope.

    8) Nyet.

    9) Nein.

    10) No.

    11) No.

    12) no

    13) No

    14) Nope

    15) Nope.

    16) No; in fact the male characters spend far more time getting captured and rescued than any females.

    17) No.

    18) Nope.

    19) Kinda.

    20) Nope.

    21) Nope.

    22) No dwarves feature in the story, so no.

    23) No.

    24) No.

    25) No, but I fail to see how that's relevant.

    26) I have no map.

    27) No prologue.

    28) Nope.

    29) See 28.

    30) Hard to say, since it's a) incomplete and b) not yet printed.

    31) No.

    32) No.

    33) No.

    34) That I can honestly say is a yes, if me and one other person count as a group.

    35) Yes, the main human characters are originally from Earth, now living in Faerie.

    36) No.

    37) No.

    38) I do see something wrong with that.

    39) Yes to elves, no to the rest.

    40) No.

    41) I do have some half-Fae, but they're not really their own race.

    42) Nope.

    43) Considering this is an adaptation of a long-running RP, yes.

    44) Nope.

    45) Huh? No.

    46) No...

    47) No. I'm quite secure in my knowledge that I don;t really know how feudalism worked.

    48) Nope.

    49) Nope.

    50) No.

    51) No

    52) Nope.

    53) Hahaha, no.

    54) I know it's freaking heavy, but I don't know the exact mass.

    55) Of course not.

    56) No.

    57) No

    58) Nope.

    59) Nope

    60) No.

    61) Nope, he's got a lover from the very start, and they're both loyal.

    62) No.

    63) Depends on what the dagger's made of. If it's steel, then yes.

    64) No.

    65) no.

    66) No.

    67) No. Mead is made from honey.

    68) Nope. The Fae actually have two rulers, who alternate by season.

    69) No guilds.

    70) Nope. She doesn't even punish significant mistakes with death.

    71) No.

    72) Nope.

    73) Nope.

    74) No.

    75) Don't tell me what to do!
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Going to go with 'Labyrinth' here; might occasionally refer to other works.

    1.Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?
    Quite a bit happens.

    2.Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage?

    3.Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it?


    4.Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?

    Heh...almost the opposite.

    5.Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world?
    6.How about one that will destroy it?

    No. There is a magical artefact involved, but as such things go, it ain't much.

    7.Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about "The One" who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good?

    heck no.

    8.Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information?

    I have several characters who dispense info. I suppose one or two might show up randomly. However, the MC is actively *looking* for info too.

    9.Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise?

    'Empire' has a character that kinda-sorta fits the bill here. More along the lines of 'possessed' or 'very minor avatar', though. Not the case for my other works.

    10.Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character?


    11.Is the king of your world a kindly king duped by an evil magician?


    12.Does "a forgetful wizard" describe any of the characters in your novel?


    13.How about "a powerful but slow and kind-hearted warrior"?

    'powerful' - yes. 'slow'...not retarded, but not a genius, either. 'kind-hearted'...more like 'fun loving, with an occasionally abusive definition of 'fun'.

    14.How about "a wise, mystical sage who refuses to give away plot details for his own personal, mysterious reasons"?

    not really.

    15.Do the female characters in your novel spend a lot of time worrying about how they look, especially when the male main character is around?

    The main female character in 'Labyrinth' is way too old for such things. 'Theodora' in 'Empire' does try to 'look good,' though.

    16.Do any of your female characters exist solely to be captured and rescued?


    17.Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?

    not really. Theodora in 'Empire' does chaff a bit at womans roles, but she's got a lot of other stuff going on.

    18.Would "a clumsy cooking wench more comfortable with a frying pan than a sword" aptly describe any of your female characters?

    I have a couple of peasant woman type characters that might apply to (in short stories)

    19.Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters?

    fearless? no. trained in weapon use...a couple.

    20.Is any character in your novel best described as "a dour dwarf"?

    I do have a few dwarves, but I'd hardly call any of them 'dour'

    21.How about "a half-elf torn between his human and elven heritage"?

    A couple of minor characters could fit that description, I suppose.

    22.Did you make the elves and the dwarves great friends, just to be different?


    23.Does everybody under four feet tall exist solely for comic relief?


    24.Do you think that the only two uses for ships are fishing and piracy?

    nope. Though I do have a pirate attack in 'Labyrinth'.

    25.Do you not know when the hay baler was invented?


    26.Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"?

    My current maps are mere outlines. A large chunk is described as the 'Great Unknown Southern Plains', though. Does that count?

    27.Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then?

    I am considering a short prologue for 'Labyrinth'. If I go that route (big 'if) it will be very clear, though.

    28.Is this the first book in a planned trilogy?

    'Labyrinth' is envisioned to be two short novels, barely more than novella's.

    29.How about a quintet or a decalogue?

    'Empire' is slated to be four or five novella's, each on the order of 25,000 - 35,000 words, all standing alone, though with the same MC's..

    30.Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book?

    No. Of them all, only 'Labyrinth' is novel length, and then just barely.

    31.Did absolutely nothing happen in the previous book you wrote, yet you figure you're still many sequels away from finishing your "story"?


    32.Are you writing prequels to your as-yet-unfinished series of books?

    I do have some short story type prequels in mind.

    33.Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far?


    34.Is your novel based on the adventures of your role-playing group?


    35.Does your novel contain characters transported from the real world to a fantasy realm?


    36.Do any of your main characters have apostrophes or dashes in their names?


    37.Do any of your main characters have names longer than three syllables?

    Hmmm...'Titus Maximus' ... 'Theodora' ... 'Archon Zotikos'

    38.Do you see nothing wrong with having two characters from the same small isolated village being named "Tim Umber" and "Belthusalanthalus al'Grinsok"?


    39.Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings?

    goblins and hobgoblins, more than a little different from the AD&D versions, yes
    elves, also different from the AD&D versions, yes (though they rarely make more than a cameo)
    dwarves, yes, though more on the order of 'short long lived people' than the AD&D versions
    halflings, no.

    40.How about "orken" or "dwerrows"?


    41.Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"?

    half elves, maybe...but very, very rare.

    42.At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines?

    nope. The characters in 'Labyrinth' do venture into a highly abnormal and very dangerous underground environment a couple times though.

    43.Do you write your battle scenes by playing them out in your favorite RPG?


    44.Have you done up game statistics for all of your main characters in your favorite RPG?

    I used to.

    45.Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast?


    46.Do inns in your book exist solely so your main characters can have brawls?

    Nope. One in 'Empire' though is the scene of a mass kidnapping.

    47.Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?

    Is this some sort of trick question?

    48.Do your characters spend an inordinate amount of time journeying from place to place?

    In Labyrinth, the MC travels better than 4000 miles. Things happened.

    49.Could one of your main characters tell the other characters something that would really help them in their quest but refuses to do so just so it won't break the plot?


    50.Do any of the magic users in your novel cast spells easily identifiable as "fireball" or "lightning bolt"?

    'fireball'...maybe...though it is far wimpier than the AD&D version.

    51.Do you ever use the term "mana" in your novel?

    I thought about it, decided otherwise.

    52.Do you ever use the term "plate mail" in your novel?


    53.Heaven help you, do you ever use the term "hit points" in your novel?


    54.Do you not realize how much gold actually weighs?


    55.Do you think horses can gallop all day long without rest?

    heck no.

    56.Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day?

    Hmmm...Casein might have the stamina for that sort of thing...but nope.

    57.Does your main character have a magic axe, hammer, spear, or other weapon that returns to him when he throws it?

    There is a magic ax...but its not throwable

    58.Does anybody in your novel ever stab anybody with a scimitar?

    nope. hmmm...I don't think any of them have scimitars...

    59.Does anybody in your novel stab anybody straight through plate armor?


    60.Do you think swords weigh ten pounds or more? [info]

    some do.
  5. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Sheesh..two parts for this stupid test?

    61.Does your hero fall in love with an unattainable woman, whom he later attains?

    lessee...not in 'Labyrinth'. 'Shadow Sea' is an arranged marriage. 'Empire'...not really.

    62.Does a large portion of the humor in your novel consist of puns?


    63.Is your hero able to withstand multiple blows from the fantasy equivalent of a ten pound sledge but is still threatened by a small woman with a dagger?


    64.Do you really think it frequently takes more than one arrow in the chest to kill a man?


    65.Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an "on the road" meal?

    I most certainly do realize that.

    66.Do you have nomadic barbarians living on the tundra and consuming barrels and barrels of mead?

    They live on the 'Great Unknown Southern Plains' and consume fermented mares milk.

    67.Do you think that "mead" is just a fancy name for "beer"?

    You mean its not?

    68.Does your story involve a number of different races, each of which has exactly one country, one ruler, and one religion?


    69.Is the best organized and most numerous group of people in your world the thieves' guild?


    70.Does your main villain punish insignificant mistakes with death?

    main villain...well, a couple of them are demonic/otherworldly psychopaths...

    71.Is your story about a crack team of warriors that take along a bard who is useless in a fight, though he plays a mean lute?

    Labyrinth: Titus and Casein are good fighters, no bard.
    Empire: Peter is a good warrior, and there is a bard, but she's more into 'intel'.

    72.Is "common" the official language of your world?

    More like 'imperial' for solaria (bastardized descendant of latin)
    Cimmar (across the ocean to the east) has its own language, rooted in in norse
    The area west of Solaria was part of a large empire which employed a common trade tongue.
    There are several different goblin/hobgoblin languages.
    The 'true' elven tongue is almost telepathic.
    Quite a few languages are spoken on the southern plains.

    73.Is the countryside in your novel littered with tombs and gravesites filled with ancient magical loot that nobody thought to steal centuries before?

    There are a lot of graveyards, yes. Most are long looted, though.

    74.Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings?


    75.Read that question again and answer truthfully

  6. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

    17. Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?
    - Half point. I'm writing feminist SFF, so obviously they do have several traits that are specifically meant to address feminist issues. But none of them do nothing but that.

    25. Do you not know when the hay baler was invented?
    - Not off the top of my head. But my story takes place in what is functionally the 1950s, so I think I'm safe.

    30. Is your novel thicker than a New York City phone book?
    - It's entirely possible. Depends on which phone book we're talking about. There is one that is really thick, but the Yellow Pages often come in multiple volumes and are actually only about as thick as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. /has lived in NYC.

    33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far?
    - Blast! You saw through my clever disguise. *twirls moustache*

    39. Does your novel contain orcs, elves, dwarves, or halflings?
    - Halflings.

    41. Do you have a race prefixed by "half-"?
    - Well, the halflings. With the hyphen, no. In linguistics (and presumably also like English grammar classes), we would always write the hyphen regardless of whether or not we expect it to be part of the world, such as "pre-" as the prefix for prefix.

    47. Do you think you know how feudalism worked but really don't?
    - This question has layers, man. I have a strong interests in economics and I spent two years studying medieval history, though, so I'd like to think I have a decent idea of how it works.

    54. Do you not realize how much gold actually weighs?
    - 196.97 u, if I'm not mistaken. chemistry jokes, woo!

    62. Does a large portion of the humor in your novel consist of puns?
    - The writer of this questionnaire needs to keep an o pun mind.

    65. Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an "on the road" meal?
    - As a chef, I would say that you could make it in two hours, which is reasonable enough. Not instant, no, but most things aren't. Rotisserie roasts would take an hour and change, even pan-frying something would take a bit of time unless you were only serving one or two people. If you had access to a wizard who could keep it cool, you could make it in ridiculous bulk very easily and just eat for a few days, too. I mean, it's not your best choice, but you could do worse. The fact that you can use the crap pieces of meat makes it useful, too, for hunters who would have tons of less quality pieces of meat that they'd still not want to waste.

    And yeah, a good stew would be best slow roasted for a few hours, but if you're on the road in medieval times, the standards of 'good' food are pretty low, to be honest, and I think you could suffer a bland stew. As long as the meat cooks, it's edible.
  7. KRHolbrook

    KRHolbrook Scribe

    Hm, I'll take a shot at this, I think.

    1.) Rick Balder experiences a nightmare controlled by gods, then escapes a mental institute.
    5.) You could say Rick is a magical artifact, but he's certainly not going to be saving the world.
    6.) Not necessarily destroy the world, no.
    8.) Nope, but a few characters point Rick in the direction they want him to go, depending on the will of the gods.
    9.) Nobody is a god in disguise, they're merely followers.
    16.) No, but Rick would say otherwise.
    28.) After much thought, yes.

    Some of those questions made me shudder.
  8. Jess A

    Jess A Archmage

    True - even my feline shape-shifter has trouble catching things - because in the real world, not very hunt/trap is successful.

    A thread compiling an on-road menu might be fun.
  9. Rantz

    Rantz Acolyte

    This was very funny, and I was happy to note that I had VERY few "yes" answers. Thank goodness!
  10. ArthurWalterson

    ArthurWalterson Dreamer

    Kind of a mixed bag for me. Just to let you all know, these answers are decided by a few of my stories:
    1. Of course it does!
    2. Yes.
    3. I don't think so.
    4. Yeah.
    5. Nope.
    6. Yes.
    9. Actually, it has many.
    10. No.
    12. Yes. Well, he can be at times.
    14. Yup.
    24. Well, those and shipping things. And people.
    25. Not really, but I could guess.
    29. Probably.
    30. The omnibus will probably be.
    36. Lots of them, in fact.
    37. A few.
    38. Yes, I do see a problem in that.
    41. Nope.
    48. Yes, but I like the journey scenes.
    49. Yes.
    50. Only one.
    51. No. Certainly not.
    52. Not that either.
    54. Yes, I do.
    55. No, I don't.
    56. Not really.
    60. No, but they can feel like that after holding them for a while. I speak from experience.
    61. Not yet, anyway.
    62. No.
    64. It doesn't, though it can help his death come faster.
    65. It doesn't take that long. I made a huge pot the other day in about 1 1/2 hours.
    67. I know it's much different, but I'm not entirely sure how.
    68. A few are like that, but not all.
    74. No.
    75. Still no.

    For most of the ones I left out, the answer was the less-cliche answer.
    I think I've seen an automated version of this quiz somewhere before... Don't remember where, though.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  11. ScipioSmith

    ScipioSmith Sage

    3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn't know it? I was going to answer yes to this, before I realised that it's actually his younger brother who's the heir.
    4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy? Yes.
    9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise? The disguise only ever fools one person.
    19. Would "a fearless warrioress more comfortable with a sword than a frying pan" aptly describe any of your female characters? She's a knight in training, when would she have learned how to cook.
    50. Do any of the magic users in your novel cast spells easily identifiable as "fireball" or "lightning bolt"? Yes.
  12. Etna

    Etna Acolyte

    Great list to keep in mind.
  13. Trick

    Trick Auror

    I could hedge and say that my answers to all the qustions were no but the below got me:

    4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?

    Yes, in its simplist form, I have to say yes. I am just left hoping that I'll avoid cliche because the MC knows nothing about the bad guy until he meets him in person and only decides to try and kill him out of a personal vendetta, without considering that it's the right thing to do. Basically, if the MC was never on any kind of mission involving the bad guy but ends up trying to defeat him in the end, does that avoid the cliche?

    To be honest though, I wouldn't change it even if everyone thought it was a cliche. So far it's the only one so, SCORE!
  14. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Failed on the first question. Nothing really happens in my story. ;)
  15. Renos

    Renos Minstrel

    Damn, I got one yes. I have to abandon my novel now!
  16. Julius

    Julius Acolyte

    To be honest I do not think that this list is very helpful. A reminder of course that one should try to avoid to many cliches when it comes to fantasy writing or any writing for that manner. That does not however mean that if you answered yes to one, five our 10 of those questions that your novel is absolute crap. Of course the vast majority of first attempts for fantasy writers are going to be slightly cliche, not particularly good and greatly influenced by series like LOTR. That does not mean that they are bad things. Writing through an entire novel is the best learning process for any writer- and the purpose of writing is not always to strive to be as original as humanly possible. That being said of course one should try to refrain from writing something that is a much too worn out concept. I think the list is more intended as a joke, really.
  17. Shanatos

    Shanatos Dreamer

    The really good advice though is the "nothing happens" one. That's the main one to avoid.

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