February 18, 2019, 02:24:48 AM

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Messages - Neveesandeh

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1
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« on: February 16, 2019, 12:55:39 PM »
I should probably clarify I don't have a problem with dark or violent books, but that the only example I could think of for a more recent cliche is often found in poorly written grimdark where the writer is just trying to be edgy rather than use the violence to serve the themes and story. But I'm on relatively familiar ground with overused grimdark tropes, Terrible Writing Advice did a fantastic video and article on the subject. I'm more interested in tropes from across the fantasy genre as a whole that have only become prevalent more recently.

One is the world being post-apocalyptic, or having been post-apocalyptic at some time in the past. The Broken Empire, The Demon Cycle and The Broken Earth a;; come to mind. I enjoyed all three of those series, but often setting the story in a post-apocalyptic world doesn't really add anything to it.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / New Tropes and Cliches
« on: February 15, 2019, 11:18:32 AM »
It's long been an ambition of mine to write something subverting fantasy cliches, but I've noticed something. A lot of the traditional fantasy tropes, even if they are still overused in games and films, aren't really seen in books that much anymore. There are still lots of chosen one stories, for example, but the authors now nearly always know to do something creative with it.

This is excellent, but I can't help but wondering if there are any new cliches and overused tropes in more recent works. I haven't had the chance to read more recent fantasy for a while and I was curious as to whether anyone who has might have noticed a few reoccurring themes.

The only one I can think of off the top of my head is grimdark stories throwing in gratuitous violence and misery for pure shock value.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Painted Man / The Warded Man
« on: February 08, 2019, 06:34:28 PM »
I read these books a few years back and loved them, but as I look back now I'm a little less forgiving of their flaws. The 'rape as character development' thing doesn't end with Leesha, and is just as unnecessary in book two.

As for the portrayal of Krasia, I've spent three years at university learning about Islamic cultures and it does recycle the same (inaccurate) orientalist tropes. To his credit, Brett does portray a lot of Krasians as sympathetic in the later books, but even so, it's uncomfortable. I've often checked the map on his website of all the countries where the first book is available, and there aren't too many predominantly Islamic countries on it. I think it's available in Turkey, though. I'm curious as to what people there think of it.

If you didn't like the soap-drama-ish elements of the first book I wouldn't recommend reading the others. That kind of thing pretty much becomes the story. I still quite liked them, but if you're after the demon slaying bits alone then I wouldn't bother.

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I feel a little guilty confessing that the only characters that instantly spring to mind are those I detest.

Caul Shivers, especially in 'Best Served Cold'. I thought Abercrombie ended up letting him off far too lightly in the later books.

Marith from 'The Court of Broken Knives'. I liked pretty much everything about that book, but the guy is pure evil of the worst kind with absolutely no redeeming qualities and somehow we're supposed to root for him.

Micah from the YA 'Wormweald' books. He wanders around like a lovesick puppy obsessing over his love interest when I just want to read about dragons and scavengers attacking each other. Then he stumbles across her when she's traumatised and barely aware of what she's doing and thinks it's a good time to get laid. What a creep.

And of course almost every character in the 'Inheritance Cycle'.

As for my favourite, I like Jorg Ancrath. I liked Tyrion in the first few 'Song of Ice and Fire' books. There's probably a fair few others I'm forgetting.

I guess I just like to rant.

5
I can't remember who wrote it, but I remember reading that the plot of 'The Dinosaur Knights' is based on one of the crusades.

I think it's inevitable that any work of literature will reflect the time it's written in. I like the idea of 'death of the author' in theory, but I don't really believe it's much use in practice.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see a lot more books about charismatic leaders brainwashing large groups of people to take over places in the coming years. In fact, I look forward to it.

I started out wanting to write fun adventure novels, but ever since 2011 all I've wanted to write about is how evil dictatorships are, how they ruin countless innocent lives and how it is a moral imperative to destroy them.

6
I often claim to hate 'Chosen One' stories, and I've never intended to write one, but there are actually several I like, and there are many ways to put a unique spin on it. And I guess if I really hated medieval Europe settings I wouldn't have spent hours on end gushing about 'Dark Souls' to anyone who will listen.

The tropes that tend to annoy me are more technical than anything else. I hate bland protagonists the reader is supposed to project his or her self onto. And I hate the hero's journey. If someone does a unique or subversive twist on it, I would be interested, but I have yet to come across too many of those.

Having a fantasy race, usually elves or vampires, who are flawless and perfect in every way is another thing that gets on my nerves. One of the things I really liked about 'Skyrim' was taking this to the logical extreme and not so subtly portraying the high elf group as fantasy Nazis.

My favourite tropes are probably weird creatures and monsters. They're the main reason why fantasy is my favourite genre. I really appreciate it when an author lets their imagination run wild, even if the resulting story doesn't make much sense.

7
I'm not currently playing it, as I'm back at uni now and don't have access to my consoles, but Dark Souls is constantly on my mind.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:27:49 PM »
Apparently Britain is brexiting brexit?  ;D

I've been trying not to pay attention to what's happening, as my solution to this whole mess is just to leave the country and get back into Europe by myself, but from what I can gather, May managed to agree on a deal with the EU which they decided is the only deal that they will accept, and that they will not negotiate any further. The problem is our own parliament has rejected this deal. So we won't implement May's deal, and we won't get another one. So either we cancel it, go for no deal or somehow find some other way out of this mess.

I myself am very pro-European, and I think just holding the referendum in the first place is a source of national shame, so even if this moronic process is cancelled, I still want to get out of here. I don't see much of a future for me in Britain, certainly not with its pathetically limited job market and soaring house prices.

A lot of people blame May for the current fiasco. I don't support her party or agree with her policies, but it isn't her fault. Leaving the EU (I try to avoid using the term 'Brexit' because I think the word sounds stupid) is never going to work regardless of who you put in charge.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Opinions on Fantasy Trope Races
« on: January 06, 2019, 05:49:15 PM »
I usually prefer to read stories with fantasy races in them especially if they have a unique or distinctive spin to them. I'm not really as drawn to worlds where they are completely absent. Weird creatures are a bigger selling point of fantasy for me than magic systems.

Really it comes down to imagination and creativity. Using generic fantasy races without a memorable take on them, or omitting them altogether both fail to live up to the genre's potential as far as I'm concerned.

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Writers' Corner / Re: How to Write Epic Style Novels
« on: December 12, 2018, 09:26:41 AM »
Another thing to take into account is how many POVs there are. I remember planning out a massive series once with POV's all over the place. Reading back through 'A Game of Thrones' made me realise that book starts out with about eight POVs, and many of them are very close together and know each over. As the series progresses and they move apart, we get new POVs, gradually reaching a ridiculous amount, but we usually already know the characters.

If its a first book in a series, I wouldn't recommend going above eight. Even eight might be a little high.

Another interesting idea I've come across is that each plot should be an exploration of the same theme, as it helps tie the story together and also gives it a deeper meaning.

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Writers' Corner / Re: What do you call a group of dragons?
« on: December 04, 2018, 02:13:18 PM »
For some reason the first word that came to me was 'armada'.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: November 07, 2018, 07:44:28 AM »
http://www.picturesofengland.com/England/West_Midlands/Quarry_Bank/Saltwells_Local_Nature_Reserve/pictures/1163856

This is Saltwells nature reserve, it’s going to be destroyed to make nine  luxury 5 house bedrooms , as we need more houses according to Dudley council to help first time buyers.

This nature reserve is home to various animals like bats and badgers.

I bet the houses will be completely unaffordable as well.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: November 02, 2018, 07:45:57 PM »
I'm just completely sick of Trump. I'm sick of seeing his face. I'm sick of hearing his voice. I'm sick of looking at the news and seeing yet another article about him doing something stupid. If the Democrats do well in the midterms, I am hoping against hope they start impeachment immediately. But I have a feeling they won't, and that's even assuming they do well enough to be able to pull it off in the first place. It's entirely plausible we'll end up with another six years of this moron. Add to that Bolsonaro, Orban, Erdogan, Duterte, Modi, Babis and the rest of them, it will be a very long time before the democracies of the world recover from these years of complete insanity. And the worst thing is, in a few decades people will probably forget all about it and then we'll get a fresh round of them all over again.

I just don't understand the appeal of these people.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: November 02, 2018, 12:40:52 PM »
To go back to the subject of misogyny as a hate crime in the UK from a few posts back.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46053069

This is a call to focus on core policing from former Chief Constable Sara Thornton and her comments were described as shameful by sue Fish whose Nottinghamshire force have recorded misogyny but not misandry a hate crime for the past 2 years.

My thoughts for what they are worth. A man could not have made the statement Sara Thornton made without being called on to resign. The law in the UK is not gender specific but looks alarmingly close to becoming so. Sue Fish has attacked a colleagues statement without addressing the how or why her own viewpoint is valid.

If a woman is assaulted or subjected to violence she has no less protection within the law than a man, which is as it should be. Nobody for any reason should be treated as a priority or entitled to special treatment by the police. Everybody should have access to protection and help as required.

My perception of policing over the last 20 years is police are no longer interested in serving the public and are solely used as an ever more ineffectual deterrent to committing crime. The reason is the ever more political nature of policing strategy and the diversion of resources to pet projects. Crime against property goes largely un-investigated and barely recorded. I have 2 serving police officers within my family.

Years of needless budget cuts have gutted our police service and left them close to worthless. Pretty every day I've read another article about knife crime in London, or residents in Manchester banding together to stop bike muggings because the police won't do it. I have a friend who lived in Torquay and he claimed vigilante groups would try and protect children from abusers because the police weren't there. It also seems that the government likes to excuse itself by claiming that the rise in crime is due to an increase in reporting so that they can get away with more cuts.

I don't know enough about economics to say that austerity is definitely a bad thing, but even if austerity is a valid approach to our economic problems, there are probably a million more superfluous institutions you can make cuts to before the police force.

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General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: October 27, 2018, 11:43:46 AM »
It's disheartening to feel like a country you want to feel pride in has soured and turned violently stupid. Hopefully other countries with sane officials (and areas of the US that are leading the way in progressive thinking, like California) can hold the line and offer somewhere for people who aren't crazy to gather and help each other. As to where those countries will be? That's yet to be seen.

I think many of the countries that have suffered the worst from this upsurge in stupidity are usually those with two party systems. In Germany and Sweden people still voted for these people, but the impact was lessened by them having a proportional representative system with lots of parties.

Then again, I think a lot of countries with these systems went the same way, so maybe that's too much to hope for. I keep wondering when things will change and people will come to their senses and so far it hasn't happened. Orban got reelected, Erdogan had the constitution changed, Bolsonaro will almost certainly win in Brazil. The world has gone insane.

I'm not in the least surprised that a fanatical Trump supporter would try to blow up the people he's attacked. The more stupid things Trump says and does, the more his supporters continue to stand by him, the more he reminds me of a cult leader.

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