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blog Make It Awesome — Three Tips for Impressing Your Readers

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Black Dragon, May 4, 2020.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Svrtnsse submitted a new blog post:

    Make It Awesome — Three Tips for Impressing Your Readers
    by Nils Ödlund


    You're a fantasy writer. You've created an amazing and original world, full of wondrous magic, mind-blowing monsters, and fascinating new cultures. You've got powerful heroes, menacing villains, and mysterious mentors. There's just the right amount of romance.

    In short, you've got all that good stuff you'd expect to find in a fantasy novel.

    Only, somehow it's still not coming out quite as awe-inspiring as you'd envisioned it.

    Today, I've got three tips for you on how to make your awesome stuff seem more awesome.

    Establish the Norm

    “When everything is awesome, awesome becomes average.”

    Every now and then, I come across a book that begins with the writer very obviously trying to impress me with how cool their main character is, and what an amazing world they have created, and how scary the villain is. All at once. In the first chapter.

    It rarely works.

    Let's say there's a ballroom full of ultra-rich and mega-powerful vampires, and then someone flies in on a golden unicorn and starts shooting fireballs the shape of grinning skulls.

    That would probably look rather spectacular as an introduction to a movie, but does it work in a book?

    Sure, there are vampires and fireballs and unicorns, but I'm probably not going to be as impressed as the author wants me to be. It's just a bunch of special effects that I don't have any attachment to, and no reason to care...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2020
  2. Malik

    Malik Archmage

    It grinds my gears that I have an English degree while Nils speaks English as a second language and goddammit I wish I could capture an authorial voice the way he can.

    Great article, my friend, and as always, a joy to read. I'm gonna go do writing exercises for a month or two. I'll be back in July.
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  3. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Thank you. :D
  4. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Troubadour

    I was a bit wary about typing a reply, given that I sincerely like the blog post and am kind of bad at expressing gratitude. My pissed-off looking avatar doesn't help much, I gather. I consider changing that one. But I did like it, the blog-post. Not that it turned my world upside down. It was more that it fits pretty much exactly with my general idea of things.

    To expand upon the idea of building up the awesomeness, here's one trope I noticed in various media, such as the comic Bone and in the novel The Scar by China Miéville. For lack of a better term, I call the trope Leveling Up. It goes like this: We are being made aware of a really overpowered boss that our hero might have to face. Then, we are told that this boss is peanuts compared to boss #2. At a later time, we see Boss #2 tremble at the mere mention of Boss #3. When done poorly, it has an artificial feel of RPG-mechanics to it. But I think it is a pretty good hack.
    Svrtnsse and Nighty_Knight like this.
  5. Nighty_Knight

    Nighty_Knight Scribe

    Dragonball series had this issue badly.
  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Thank you for replying. I really appreciate it, and I'm glad you liked the article. :)

    Aye, this is also a good tip. It requires a bit of time and planning, but the payoff when done right is likely to be worth it.
    The way I see it, anything that lets the reader become familiar enough with the world that they're able to make their own judgements is a good thing - as long as it doesn't drag out too long and the reader gets bored. :p

    One series where this happens quite a bit is Dresden Files, where the main character grows, little by little with each book, and where it gets easier to understand the power of the villains too. I think there's a risk of power-creep, but it still makes for a good story.
  7. Vicki27

    Vicki27 New Member

    Thanks for the fascinating read, I have just spent the last 3 hours reading some of the posted articles and found the information and tips most helpful. Yours I found the most thought inducing and they have guided me up a few different paths. Thank you

  8. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Thank you. :D
    That makes me really happy to read. Welcome to Mythic Scribes, and best of luck with your own writing. :)
  9. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    Once again you hit the nail on the head. Great stuff!

    Also, cats are a requirement. ;) I think it's in our contract or something.
  10. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Thanks. :) I'm glad you like it.

    ...and yes, I do believe cats are part of the requirements - don't tell the boss.
    A. E. Lowan likes this.

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