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13

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 ...


7

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

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 ...


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

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

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

Yeah, mileages do vary, and your friend might just be an oddball reader. Don't worry about it too much. Just write your story the way you want to write it, and see if it works. That said, it's quite possible that you could get even your friend interested in the story without having to "Watsinate" it. What your friend is expressing concern about is that, ...


5

It is like writing English. Obviously people in a fantasy world or the far future won't speak English, yet you present their dialogue in English (or whatever language you write in). Does that put readers off? Certainly not. Writing in a fantasy language is what would put readers off! Terms are the same. If you use the current (in your language) general term ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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

You first described it as "set in the late 1920s", and then later said you were "writing pseudo-historically in an alternate universe". I'm not bringing this up to nit-pick your question but, rather, to point out that these are two different things. There is historical fiction, where authors try to remain accurate, and there is alternate history, where ...


3

An excellent question, and a permanent source of controversy and disagreement in fantasy and science fiction. Let's try to break this down: Basics of worldbuilding. You cannot construct an entire world out of whole cloth. It's simply not possible, primarily because the world is much larger than most of us tend to notice on a day-to-day basis. If your ...


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

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

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

He'll have been carefully searched, sure, but that might not be enough to find everything. And a good idea when hiding something, is never do - always hide two things, because when one gets found, they usually stop looking. A character of mine (with a reputation for low cunning, but not exactly intelligence) was captured. Before leaving, his captor gloated ...


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 ...


2

I won't try to describe it, but here's how I would go about it: Put myself deep inside Brave's viewpoint. Notice what details she is taking in through her senses (see, hear, smell, touch, taste). Especially focus on her opinions of those sensory details. Whatever she has an opinion about, write that. Stay with her senses and opinions.



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