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12

Unless your hero's enemies are all intensely stupid, he and his companions will be totally unarmed, and will have been carefully searched for anything valuable. Really, unless your goblins are nobler than those in most stories, readers will expect goblins to take everything from their captives. Your hero can't pull a lockpick or a poisoned pin from the ...


10

Novice: Master, if I understand correctly, it looks to me like if we do [insert loop hole] that we could eventually gain unlimited power. Master: Yes, that would be the case and in the early times of magical exploration many magic users tried this. All of them disintegrated. You see, because of the [insert closure of loophole] that means that beings in ...


7

Consequences. That something is possible within a system doesn't mean it's a good idea. You can drive your car 180MPH on public roads (if the speedometer labeling is accurate), but if you do you'll soon be getting used to a bicycle. You can subsist on nothing but Big Macs and Coke for a year, but you may face medical problems. You can make a deal with ...


6

The name of historical people or places is public domain(Our history is a shared one after all!) and no harm comes from involving any aspect of history in published fiction. Having said that, using real companies(or their products) who have trademarks and copyrights will run you into complications that might just be best to avoid all together. If you are ...


6

To start with, you have too many invented terms without definition all in a row. Hearthsoul, assassin pouches, luck fairy? You also have enough mistakes that I really can't tell if some of these things are typos or more jargon. His enemies tailed? The land drifted? What does that even mean? You "recite" something which is repeated or often said; it's not ...


6

What strengths does he have? What weaknesses do they have? Especially, hidden, non-obvious, difficult to trigger. That's all up to you, foreshadowing given strengths and weaknesses, and letting them shine when the time comes. There are countless. What weaknesses can be exploited? Gambling? Ambition? Greed? Gluttony? Stupidity? Arrogance? What strengths can ...


5

In a situation like this, I'd probably use what's often called a "lampshade," which is where you make an unusual or strange event more acceptable to your audience by pointing it out. For example, if a character with money problems suddenly wins the lottery, it seems like lazy writing; but if a character with money problems suddenly wins the lottery and then ...


5

The first thing I'd ask myself if writing this is whether the reader would find the story interesting. In order for the note to work, it seems to me you'd have to have told them the story before your protagonist receives the note (otherwise it would lose its impact). But before they receive the note, there's no obvious reason why they would be interested ...


5

What if your barmaid doesn't know that he is a member of the inner circle until the guard arrives? she can demand his arrest, make blunders, etc. and become polite, deferential, and apologetic. this sets up a minor mystery in the mind of the reader: what is the inner circle. Now that you have a minor mystery Your reader is primed for a history lesson after a ...


5

Possible routes to escape (they can be combined): Luck - the captors make a mistake, or something completely unexpected happens that the hero can exploit. Preparation - the hero, knowing that capture was possible or imminent, prepared something (a tool, spell or ally) that would help him escape. Knowledge - the hero knows what the captors want, need or ...


4

The same solution as every decent DM has to Pun Pun. You Are Not The First Who Thought Of It. And the one who did think of it first really doesn't like competition. They are a background god, one who avoids spotlight and acts following own motives, rarely heard of. You rarely hear of them in particular, because the moment you think of a viable way of ...


4

how can I help the reader understand at the beginning of the story that I am not writing fanfic? Unless it's published on a fan-fiction website or otherwise marked as a fanfic, I would generally assume that a work put before me was 'original'. I think this is the case for most people. The problem is likely down to one of two things: either your friends ...


4

You've gotten a good start with the name. Part of humor comes from confounding expectations. So you have this big snarly demon... named Bob. Maybe the damsel in distress is a guy in drag who was just trying to avoid the draft, and couldn't get out of his lie fast enough. Maybe the hero reveals he's bi, and that he's entirely cool with a male damsel. Maybe ...


4

I would disagree on this. I believe that the showing and not telling rule is followed mostly on the facts that are directly relevant to the story. Indirect relevance of facts are given by the back story. Jamie's swordsmanship is important to A Song of Fire and Ice. But it's not directly relevant to A Game of Thrones. However, it is directly relevant to A ...


4

An author cannot demonstrate in action every trait of every character. It's all about separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Jaime Lannister is probably not an example of telling instead of showing, and here's why: The problem with "telling" is that it alienates readers from the characters. Another problem is that it creates characters that are ...


3

Hooking lines make the reader ask one or more of the following questions: What? Why? How? When? Where? A good example are the stories of Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami (yes, I'm sick of the "Call me Ishmael", and the "they shot the white girl first" examples). "Man-Eating Cats" I bought a newspaper at the harbor and came across an ...


3

This question made me think of the Goblins webcomic that has a very cartoony/silly approach to D&D-style fantasy, while still allowing for some interesting story-telling and character development. Having said that, I feel that in order to find humor in the fantastical I would say finding how far you want to take that humor would be a big part of it. ...


3

Myths, fables, fairy tales, classics are incorporated, remixed and reused over and over in all kinds of media. See a related question. The repercussions will be that people will notice, and will expect some twist, something to make the old story new. If you fail to deliver that, you will disappoint them. Your story will be shoehorned by critics as a ...


3

Alexander has a good point. Another possible approach is to get back to basics. The original meaning of the word demon was 'functionary spirit', that is a minor spirit that performed a single particular task e.g. guarding someone's hearth in their home. Some joker who knew this etymological tidbit at the dawning of the email protocol decided to call the ...


3

There are two potential categories of issues to using real people and organizations in a fiction story: legal and literary. On the legal side, let me give the standard disclaimer, I am not a lawyer. Casual references are no problem. Authors are always writing, "Bob drank a Coke" or "The old Ford had broken down again." Occasionally companies get picky ...


3

Do you think actual myths in the real world each sprang out of nothing? Everyone copied everyone else. Go read The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campell, or at least The Power of Myth since Campbell is pretty dense. You will very quickly see that most myths nicked from previous mythologies, added new names, tweaked the setting, and maybe mixed in ...


2

Characters appeal to us because of the element of personification. Emotions, human-like actions and thoughts is what makes them relate to us. Well, it isn't just about humans, but characters resembling things which we can relate too.. e.g. dogs, cats, sheep, etc. It's really difficult to create characters which can't be related to humans as such. But then, ...


2

The podcast 'Writing Excuses' talked about this in an episode (season 3, episode 3) They got a question on how to make aliens convincingly alien in regards to personality and behavior as opposed to biology. Their guest, Eric James Stone, answered the following: "One of the most difficult things to do in writing science fiction is to write from an alien ...


2

The best, most climactic climax is when it seems every single route of escape seems blocked and there is no hope, only to fire a well-hidden Chekov gun. First, give the protagonist a geis. A weakness, a lasting, recurring problem, a burden to struggle against, that gradually becomes such an ingrained part of the character we just forget about it. It can be ...


2

The classic method is to have the villain over-gloat. Written badly, it will fail, unless you are being purposely campy. But it can be done believably -- at least, believably enough to not destroy suspension-of-disbelief. Example: Lord of the Rings (books, not movie). [spoilers] At the Black Gate, Sauron can't help but gloat, via his emissary, the Mouth ...


2

Several thoughts: In general, adapting a myth or a classic story is something that is done all the time. Many, many stories are described as "an updated version of Romeo and Juliet" or "the myth of Odysseus set on a starship" etc etc. I'm a little curious when you say that the link between your version and the original is "obvious". Do you mean "obvious to ...


2

One easy way to go about portioning humor is picking a comical character (or two) and peppering the story with their wit, ineptitude, craziness, grave pessimism, or whichever other approach that makes them humorous that you like. In D&D settings that character would traditionally be some kind of bard, a person whose job was to be funny - making all the ...


2

There are hugely different types of books. There is fiction written with no regard of possible readers, merely to experiment with language and style and literary conventions, to express the inner truth of the author, to analyse society, to create art, etc. And there is fiction written to sell as many books as possible and to make a lot of money with this ...


2

I'm assuming you're referring only to the main protagonist or narrator. I think it depends on whether or not you are writing in first person. If you are, it's going to be a lot easier to do without having to say 'the boy in the ragged shirt' or 'the youth' every two sentences or so. If used correctly, it could add an element of mystery to the entire novel. ...


2

In his book Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (by Roy Peter Clark). He mentions a couple of ways that you can add suspense and tension: By delaying the main subject and verb His example: Before the prayer warriors massed outside her window, before gavels pounded in six courts, before the Vatican issues a statement, before ...



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