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 Laws of Fantasy

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RetiredName
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PostSubject: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptySun Feb 08, 2009 3:14 pm

Lawrence Watt-Evans' Laws of Fantasy. Nice tips on fantasy writing here.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptySun Feb 08, 2009 5:02 pm

No they aren't "Nice tips". They are moronic over-simplifications of fairly obvious principles anybody but you is certainly aware of.

That is, the ones that aren't quickly demonstrable as false.
For instance that fantasy is about people.
Well, not necessarily. Watership Down doesn't have people in it. Most of the main characters in Lord of the Rings are not "people". Many entire series of fantasy have been written about dragons and fairies and such.

And speaking of LOTR, it's enjoyed a modest success despite having some characters who are absolutely and entirely evil, as have MANY other successful fantasies.


Then the guy fumbles all over the place about what fantasy is, changing his mind with each paragraph and saying nothing that the average person doesn't already know and could probably state more coherently.

And ends up with this piece of idiocy:
Quote :
Watt-Evans' Sixth Law of Fantasy: If a story can be written without a fantasy element, then don't bother with the fantasy element.
Obviously untrue. You can take "The Magnificent Seven" or "High Noon" and retell it as fantasy or scifi (just as th Seven was originally Japanese) and have a whole new story that people will like because they are fantasy fans and get a bigger kick out of heroes rushing around fighting ogres with swords than fighting bandits with sixguns.
That's what fantasy is all about, really. Trappings. The idea that you can get a story by just tossing in something that depends on witchcraft or whatever is absurd.


The web is full of this sort of self-important rule-making nonsense. What are you doing, just thrashing around the net to find stuff to post here for attention or something?
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptySun Feb 08, 2009 5:15 pm

lin wrote:

Quote :
What are you doing, just thrashing around the net to find stuff to post here for attention or something?

Looks like he's getting it.

Ann
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptySun Feb 08, 2009 5:42 pm

It's odd.

I write fantasy.

But it is MY story and MY fantasy world and MY fantasy characters.

I've never gone to any fantasy writing website to seek advice. Why? I already know what I am going to write. What the story and characters in my head want written.

Elves don't follow human rules.
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RetiredName
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptySun Feb 08, 2009 6:53 pm

alj wrote:
lin wrote:

Quote :
What are you doing, just thrashing around the net to find stuff to post here for attention or something?

Looks like he's getting it.

Ann

No. I am posting useful info. If any of you have a personal problem with me, send me a private message. I will not respond to cowardly personal attacks in a public forum.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptySun Feb 08, 2009 8:08 pm

No, you are posting useless drivel. There is nothing cowardly about saying that.

I post her under my own name, with a link to my site.

As opposed to you who have been deceitful and misreprented your identity from your first appearance here.
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RetiredName
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyMon Feb 09, 2009 10:22 am

Like I said, I will not respond to you in a public forum. Private message me if you want to talk this over.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyMon Feb 09, 2009 12:30 pm

The fact that the guy writes successful fantasy doesn't mean that any "laws" about he dreams up are of any use to you.

What I'd suggest is that you examine the "laws" and see if you, yourself see any value to them.

cTurkey, I'm not going to send you any messages. WHy the hell would I. I'm not discussing this with you, I'm posting to other readers.

I can post here if I want and you have nothing to say in the matter.
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RetiredName
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyMon Feb 09, 2009 4:12 pm

Lawrence Watt-Evans has been writing fantasy for thirty years. The guy knows what he's talking about. Check out his homepage:
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He also has advice for writers there. Worth your time, imo.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyMon Feb 09, 2009 6:32 pm

I think you over simplify fantasy, at least by my understanding of the genre.

How the HELL would you come to that conclusion????? I haven't SAID anything about fantasy.

What are you, Turkel's secret identity or something.

I don't care if the guy is the Muse himself, those "laws" are moronic.

I notice you haven't dealt with that at all, just chimed in with cturkey over how qualified the guy is.

What he's doing these days, posting stuff by somebody else so he can say it's great because look, they're on wikipidia.

That article was stupid. You're either capable of figuring that out or you aren't.

If you want to discuss the points made, fine. There is little point in the feeble argumentum (known in logic and propoganda as the "testimonial fallacy") by going about how the guy had a book out or the chick is narcoleptic or whatever.

But my guess is, you won't. You're not here for that, you're trying to make some obscure point in cturkle's barrage of linkbait posts.

Well, gosh, have a fun time.
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyMon Feb 09, 2009 6:49 pm

My posts are not linkbait (whatever that is).

And I do not use or trust wikipedia.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyMon Feb 09, 2009 9:09 pm

Like I give a rat's ass.

Nobody said you did use wikipedia. As if it matters. As if any of this crap matters.

You are a fake poser. Trying to fake a pose as something other than a fake poser (which is kind of funny)

Good example: "I have nothing to hide: here's my website" The one that says nothing except "No".

You're ringmaster over a tiny private circus in your own mind and trying and failing to take it on the road.
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 4:59 am

Lin is just a bastard, no way around it. I don't understand it, nor do I care to. Whatever.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 7:47 am

Ah, I see what you were talking about now, Marie. You are mistaking a quick phrase describe the pertinent aspects of something for an attempt to define it. We almost have to talk this way, without footnotes and in the hope that people realize that. It's not over-simplification, it's what would be formally called "optimum ignorance of detail". I can cite some reference to that sort of study, but doubt you are all that interested.

But when your posts to people continually start out with lines like "You just don't grasp what I'm saying" or "You are over-simplifying', you can expect some rebuttal to the idea that the people just aren't smart or perceptive enough to follow you. I find that unlikely, and many others also will.

But in point of fact, your definition has some problems with it. How many successful fantasy novels contain speculative elements, but are set in midtown accounting firms or spaceships?

If you read fantasy forums and blogs you continually run into fans and practioners complaining that "all fantasy these days is just warmed-over Tolkein". Writers complain that their historical fantasies set in Japan or Africa can't compete with those set in the typical mideivalesque settings.

People like trappings. Westerns aren't genred by plot or style, but by hosses and sixguns. Romance novels are fracturing up into smaller and smaller sub-genres and what defines those divisions tends to be trappings. Edwardian romances aren't about history, they are about clothing styles. The motorcycle badboy romances aren't predicated on that kind of lifesytle, they are essentially the same shirtless nobel or Deppish pirate now wearing leather and driving a chrome horse/corsair.

If you want to be a fantasy author you might give that a thought (if you aren't cranking out another mid/middle/centerEarth novel already).
It's a good idea to have a good idea about what you're doing.

Personally, I would say that you'd be better off keeping the trappings in mind (fantasy writing forums are LOADED DOWN with people asking how to cook up cool names or prop/set/worldbuilding advice) and learn how to write (which is the same task no matter what you're writing, really) rather than get involved with some knucklehead posting some other nobody's "rules".

As usual, I don't appeal to authority: I appeal to common sense. Try this experiment. Go on some forums where fantasy writing is the main show. Post a quick version of those rules and see what people say.
Then bring up the question of how important "trappings" are to the genre.

See what you find out.


Or not.... sit here and copy down whatever nonsense the cat drags in tomorrow.



BTW, I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I will argue points out though. And since I tend to take postitions based on thinking them out beforehand, rather than jumping to whatever offers itself, I tend to have solid arguments. You can't seem to tolerage disagreement with your disagreement, is what it looks like from here.
But any discussion at all is more useful and seemly than just calling somebody names when you can't defend a position.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 7:53 am

BTW, if you'd read the whole linked article you would have run into this "rule" at the end of it:


Quote :
Debra Doyle's Rule: If it has horses and swords in it, it's a fantasy, unless it also has a rocketship in it, in which case it becomes science fiction. The only thing that'll turn a story with a rocketship in it back into fantasy is the Holy Grail. (Reprinted by permission of Debra Doyle)
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 7:54 am

She evidently didn't hear about "Dune", by the way.
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 8:16 am

Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine is pure fantasy and Dell and Emmelisa Planemaker fly in a space module (PH1) attached to a rocket. Of course, they have to learn how to become astronauts at the Manned Spaceflight Centre in Hardwareland before they can take on the mission in space to follow their father's TRAIL OF LIGHT.

Just in case there is any doubt about the book being a fantasy, John C. Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, did say in his review: "physics defying" to assure readers that this book is not science fiction, which, I believe, is required to be scientifically accurate.

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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 8:26 am

So you've gone from flouting the Rules of Fantasy to breaking the laws of Physics? Where will this career of intemperance end?


Seriously, I don't think children's books count as "fantasy" in the common understanding of the genre word. Maybe ALL children's books are fantasy. Or maybe just all the good ones.
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 8:31 am

lin wrote:
So you've gone from flouting the Rules of Fantasy to breaking the laws of Physics? Where will this career of intemperance end?


Seriously, I don't think children's books count as "fantasy" in the common understanding of the genre word. Maybe ALL children's books are fantasy. Or maybe just all the good ones.
Mine's a good one. Laws of Fantasy 573627

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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 11:36 am

Jeez, I'm glad that when it comes to fiction I stick to mysteries and you don't have to worry about horses and swords although you can have somebody ride a horse or kill somebody with a sword or even kill a horse and then put its head in somebody's bed. Come to think of it this even happens in real life because back in the 1920s a horse threw its rider who happend to be a member of the Northside Gang in Chicago and this did not set well with the other members of the gang so the next day they executed the horse and it is possible they did it with a sword although I believe guns were their weapons of choice. I'm not sure that this clarifies anything but I hope it has that effect.
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 11:50 am

Quote :
I'm going to respond because you made an effort to respond seriously (I think. I'm still reserving judgment on that.)

Oh THANK YOU, Miz Daisy! Ah feels ever so much more validated now
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyTue Feb 10, 2009 2:42 pm

Okay, I wrote a little fantasy, a story that could not have happened and has magic in it. Here it is:

The Red Convertible

It had been a long day of Christmas shopping. One gift for a friend was a bottle of wine, but since a bed time drink of wine had seemed a good idea after a long tiring day, I decided to open it and have some with my husband and buy my friend another bottle the following day. Sleep came quickly, but dreams were active and vivid.

In the night the dream began, or was it a dream? I heard a noise in the kitchen and when going out there, I noticed a distinguished man in a tuxedo sitting on my kitchen cabinet.

“Who are you? Why are you sitting on my kitchen cabinet?” It is strange sometimes how in dreams one just doesn’t have quite the same feelings as when awake. I did not fear this intrusion. The conversation continued something like that below.

“I’m the genie from your wine bottle.”

“The genie? Aren’t you supposed to be big and blue or something?"

“No that’s the way they do things in the movies. I am here to grant you three wishes, however.”

“Three wishes? Do you think you could do something about world peace?”

“Now you sound like Miss America. You have to pick an easier wish. That one is impossible.”

“I’ll have to think this over.”

I sat as the genie sampled one of the Christmas cookies I had made the previous evening. “Nice tree,” commented the genie.

“Thank you. Okay how about something like my family and friends never having any difficulties in their lives.”

“Nope, not possible, but close.”

“Okay, how about that they will be able to handle whatever comes their way with the support of others?”

“You’ve already got that wish. I’m ready for number two.”

“How about my knowing my ancestors, their lives, feelings and beliefs.”

“You’ve got that wish, but you’ll have to write about them in some books.”

“I can do that.”

“Now you’ve got one more wish. What will it be?”

“How about a red convertible? Right now. Right here.”

“Can’t do it.”

“You seem to have a lot of restrictions on your wish list. This is Christmas you know.”

“Well, a red convertible right here would make a wreck of your kitchen.”

“Okay, what about in the driveway?”

“Done.”

“Just a thought. Do you really live in that bottle? It must be rather claustrophobic and there was wine in there.”

“Living in a bottle was rather claustrophobic. Well, I’ll be going now.”

The genie suddenly disappeared. I heard a car start up, and when I ran to look out, a red convertible drove out of the driveway.
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyWed Feb 11, 2009 4:02 am

... and when the same thing happens to a man:

"This guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished for a million dollars, and poof! there was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! there was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women... poof! he turned into a box of chocolates."

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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyWed Feb 11, 2009 5:46 am

I heard a genie story. Guy wished for a major foreign car dealership in a major metropolitan city.

Genie gave him a Ford dealership in Tokyo.

The lesson was to be specific about your wishes.
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PostSubject: Re: Laws of Fantasy   Laws of Fantasy EmptyWed Feb 11, 2009 5:56 am

Laughing Laughing Laughing

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