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Re: Here there be Monsters
I'm not a fan of fight scenes in general, and the same goes for monster. The most interesting parts about a fight is what happens before and after. Once the fight starts, things are already pretty clear. One of them will die. If the monster fights the hero, it will be the monster. If the monster fights anyone else, that other guy dies.

Unless you're in game of thrones. In which case, the most wicked survives.

All the interesting stuff about a monster is what happens before the fight. When will they fight, where will they fight? Who will be ambushed? Which weapons will the character have? How many monsters will it be? Writing good monsters is much more about those things than what it can do with its teeth and claws.
Really? I came back to this thread to say that I was beginning a story starring a proper "monster", but in my case there will be no direct fight.
Some examples come to my mind of monsters making some serious damages and where the fights aren't so much the main interesting points.
Like in the B.P.R.D. comics, derived from hellboy. One character has been turned into some sort of evil were-jaguar by a forest jaguar spirit. He feels it in himself, but turns involuntarily and keeps no memory of the mess he makes. When the tension builds and the character actually lashes out in that form, he makes some damages (destroys the physical body of a medium, kills several 'red shirts', kills his own doctor and the assassin who came after him) but the real point of interest is how he deals with the realisation that he's responsible of deaths and lost control, is a monster and yet wishes he would keep his friends from harm.
His final battle against another monster is mint. Hand to hand combat.

Comes with amazing art too :

April 26, 2015, 04:52:08 PM
Re: Paper, Pad or PC?
Also, I could never have my computer with 12pt font, that is *huge* for me!
All my files, mails, settings, etc, have it at 10 (except on Calibri because it's smaller than the others, I go to 11pt hehe)
That's funny, the current standard on the web is now meant to be 16pt. That'll be like twice the size you're used to!  :o
Yes, I hate new sites with a passion.
And I can't really then change the whole laptop settings to 'very small' because some old ones are still ok and then I wouldn't be able to read them.

Marc, don't EVER change F-F, it's all lovely and tiny :D :D

April 29, 2015, 06:45:21 PM
Re: The Future of Fantasy
sometimes I do forget about the big wide world out there ;D

Forgetting about the wide world out there is often the best policy.

May 02, 2015, 11:35:58 AM
Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place? I like a bit of creativity in a title, but I think you've also got to have a title that fits the work. The thing about The X of Y format is that you can be pretty sure it's going to be a fantasy novel with all the usual stuff. Despite how much I love the series, I don't think the titles of The First Law trilogy work well at all, in that regard. The Blade Itself is nothing to do with a blade, and that's probably the least misleading.

And yes, Eddings broke prophecies forever.

May 10, 2015, 10:15:28 AM
Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place? Not picking it up in the first place

1 Title is generic, of is Somthing's Daughter/Wife

2 Blurb mentions destiny. Or orphans who discover they are secretly....

3 I am not a fan of hooded men on the cover. It just (and perhaps unfairly) seems like it'll be a clone book

Putting it down (and I have specific examples for each of these)

So much description I can't recall what the story line is.
Glacial pacing. If we get to page 100 and nothing happened yet....
Characters I don't care about
All the women are just set dressing and/or prizes for Our Hero to win
If you have a graphic rape, it'd better damn well be necessary (and so rarely they are tbh) and also not written in loving, glorious technicolour detail - especially when the consensual sex scenes are all coy and "OMG it's a boob! fade to black" 

May 10, 2015, 11:02:47 AM
Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place? I know they say never judge a book by a cover but if I see a cover is just a live-action male model, possibly shirtless, and/or female model looking at each other or the reader then I'm going to overlook that book.
May 10, 2015, 02:31:01 PM
Re: Races in fantasy?
So, I'm going to go against the tide here. I think that, not including the genetics issues, the magic race being of a different color is a brilliant idea. People talk about how some might view this as racist and white saviors and things like that. But, wouldn't that also be considered racist as well? When a person reads your story, if they're so focused on the races that they can't get focused on the main plot, I think that says more about them than it does about you. I'm going to use Peter V. Brett as an example here. Lots of people get so mad over him over the Krasian culture because it mimics the arabic culture in a lot of ways. Ok, so it does. Why does it matter? It may mimic, but they're not actually arabic. They're a made up culture. Some people put the book down over this, while others love it. I fall into the latter category.
So, in the end, do what you feel is right. If you think there are advantages to having another race, and in later books exploring their culture from the inside so we can understand why they do certain things, do it. You're the writer. The story makes sense in your head.
On a side note, despite some people being mad about Krasians, The Skull Throne made number 5 on the New Yourk Times Bestseller list. That proves that race, even though people are crazy sensetive about it, isn't as big of a deal as it's made out to be.

I don't know if my being french, of mixed origins (I'm in decreasing order, french, algerian, spanish, lebanese, russian mongrel!) used to live in multicultural capitals, or anything else, but I honest to god don't give a rat's ass about politics and races in fantasy books.
I mean, in our world different types of people got advantages over other types (sometimes amongst the same cultures) and skin colour appears in those differences often. Anyone can get a very sound, non-racist explanation of the world-wide history of civilisations by Jared Diamond, Germs, guns and steel.
So why not in Fantasy!?

But that is what gets me truly! If you want a realistic world with a realistic pre-history and human migrations, with equatorial regions and a yellow star like ours, ect, ect, then why on earth would only one type of people be of one skin colour?
In a fantasy world were mortal humans evolved and sprawled around, living alongside another race, what prevents your mortals from spreading across the world and getting different skin colour?
Having an all white race and an all black race is illogical because it doesn't hold up for anyone having had a mild interest in science and evolution.

This being said, your mages aren't like other humans. They could always have dark skin, and the way to distinguish from normal mortals could be eye colour, as you said, maybe always purple, or maybe slanted irises? Or ash coloured hair, or totally hairless, ect. Some sort of distinguishing feature beyond skin colour, would make the whole race-related worry totally moot.

May 11, 2015, 03:47:50 PM
Re: Sword & Sorcery - Recommendations and Opinions I'm a huge fan of the sword and sorcery style of stories.  In fact, it was the reading of the Conan stories that marked the turning point when I dumped epic fantasy and the bloat that was accompanying it and started reading short fiction and sword and sorcery.  Less on the world threatening dooms and more on action and adventure.

I've also been working on a series of s&s short fiction stories of my own which will one day get to be seen.  They do owe a lot to Howard and Leiber admittedly at times.  So far I've written 16 stories totalling over 166000 words.

May 16, 2015, 03:05:39 AM
Re: The Dinosaur Lords WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!!

This is coming out VERY soon, and I am VERY excited! For all who don't know about it, please read the blurb in first post, and check out the cover, as posted by Overlord...

May 18, 2015, 03:25:00 AM
Re: What's the problem with omniscient point of view? There are two things that tend to irritate when done badly in omniscient:
1) going inside the head of a different character without proper signposting.
2) invasive narration that pulls the reader out of the story. Sometimes this can be done to good effect in humor (doug adams, terry pratchett), but it should be done seldom in a more serious work.  I tend to only make many value judgements that come from the narrator before or after the action of a scene.

May 22, 2015, 07:11:06 AM