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Writer's Room => Kidlit Genres => Topic started by: Jenny Moss on April 28, 2006, 01:51 PM

Title: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Jenny Moss on April 28, 2006, 01:51 PM
Did y'all see this?  http://rinkworks.com/fnovel/

Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: els on April 28, 2006, 03:38 PM
Hey, I think I "scored" pretty good... only one question, and it was only kinda like what I have...
I feel original.
 :n

That had me laughing out loud.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: andracill on April 28, 2006, 04:31 PM
if you want to see some heated responses, check out Kristin Nelson's blog -- Pub Rants.  A couple of people got pretty upset about that test and how others reacted to it...very amusing (probably only because I didn't think it was anything but tongue-in-cheek)....
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: rbt on April 28, 2006, 05:27 PM
   :) Very informal quiz. But I think that some of the elements listed in it, one cant help but use because they're partial foundations of epic fantasy. Ex- A hero goes on a quest to find a artifact to save the world. But I will admit that some of them could use a fresher approach. :writing:
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Karen K on April 28, 2006, 07:43 PM
I smirked at a lot of the questions. This is why I don't read epic fantasy... My novel Ravelda passed unscathed. Except maybe this question: "Do any of your female characters exist solely to embody feminist ideals?" No, they don't exist *solely* for that purpose, but I am a raving feminist. ;D

Oh, and I'm glad Kristin Nelson agrees with the exam. I hope she likes my query!
Karen
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Jenny Moss on April 28, 2006, 08:00 PM
if you want to see some heated responses, check out Kristin Nelson's blog -- Pub Rants. A couple of people got pretty upset about that test and how others reacted to it...very amusing (probably only because I didn't think it was anything but tongue-in-cheek)....

Oh, no, Robin!  I hope no one feels insulted.  I didn't take it too seriously; I just thought it was funny. 
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: els on April 28, 2006, 08:53 PM
I think the one that REALLY cracked me up was this one: #33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far?
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: rbt on April 28, 2006, 11:13 PM
 ??? Um . . . I'm not sure what that one exactly means Els. You know, the one about Robert Jordan. I dont know much about him other than the fact there are about fifty Wheel of Time books. (just kidding, but there are a lot for that series) Can you fill me in? Did he really lie? Thanks. Also, what happened to your other picture? The one of the elf?
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: els on April 29, 2006, 09:09 PM
hehe- Jordan didn't lie, that question was a joke, because the first 32 questions pretty much sum up his books.  I'm a fan, but I can still laugh, because he does... well...  he is a *wee* bit formulaic and rambly without getting anywhere much.  His latest book was huge and only seemed to cover about a day, and no one actually managed to get anything at all done.

I changed my pic.  I was going to do it again in a few weeks to something different. 
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: ecb on April 30, 2006, 02:53 PM
This is pretty funny.  I remember seeing it on the NaNoWriMo boards--and talk about people who are RABID about "fantasy cliches..." but the thing is, if that's all you're reading, you have no real idea what's out there in the world of current fantasy--especially fantasy for kids (YA/mg).  I remember I finally got fed up and spewed forth a list of some 35 books with NONE of those elements, because somebody was complaining that "all fantasy about girls has fairies and unicorns."

AS IF! :!
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Karen K on April 30, 2006, 11:54 PM
I remember I finally got fed up and spewed forth a list of some 35 books with NONE of those elements, because somebody was complaining that "all fantasy about girls has fairies and unicorns."
AS IF! :!

Yeah, all fantasy about girls has fairies and unicorns except the ones involving buttkicking werewolf girls.  ;D Honestly, I have to see this NaNoWriMo fantasy cliches thread... Where is it?

Karen
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: ecb on May 01, 2006, 02:13 PM
You know, I haven't been to the boards since mid-November... but I'll bet if you went and started one up, you could *really* have some fun....  :evil:
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Karen K on May 02, 2006, 02:35 PM
You know, I haven't been to the boards since mid-November... but I'll bet if you went and started one up, you could *really* have some fun....  :evil:

I must resist the temptation. One too many forums! I've already gone from Newbie to Big Poster here in about two weeks. (!)

Karen
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Jeff_S on May 12, 2006, 12:17 PM
"45. # Are you writing a work-for-hire for Wizards of the Coast?"

Well, darn.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Jaina on May 12, 2006, 12:39 PM
Hee hee.  I thought of you when I saw that, Jeff.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: eniola on May 12, 2006, 01:48 PM
I wonder, would using this exam as a guide for a GOOD fantasy novel be tantamount to blasphemy?

I'm a HUGE Terry Brooks Fan, who freely admits that watching LOTR was like watching one of Terry's books come to life...
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Christine Norris on June 11, 2006, 06:17 AM
:hiding in shame:

Yes, my first book had a girl protaganist AND fairies AND unicorns. But it also had Dragons, elves, mermaids, flying horses and an evil witch. It entailed the search for an object. And yet, it got a great reviews  :horse

So it can't be all bad, right?

My next book has NO fairies or unicorns. Just a quartet of girls who are gonna kick butt.

Oops, sorry, didn't introduce myself. Hi, I'm Christine and I write fantasy... (wow, is there a FWA - Fantasy writers anon?)  for middle grade kids. I just found this board - yay!
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Jenny Moss on June 11, 2006, 06:21 AM
Welcome, Christine!
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: AooH on June 11, 2006, 06:24 PM
yay! Another fantasy writer!
Welcome, Christine!
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Pippa on August 16, 2006, 07:22 AM
I'm not sure if I should do this exam. I'm crushed already by the lack of interest in my wacky protagonist who doesn't give two hoots about saving the world, but accidentally does anyway. Do you think this is exam is any indication of my skill? Will I fail, fail, fail?  :spaz
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: AooH on August 16, 2006, 06:06 PM
exams like this aren't any indication of skill.  They are just fun.  They don't take into account all the zillions of other factors that come into play in creating a book and its characters.  At best it might show where you might lean too heavily on some cliches, but it isn't anything to worry too much about.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Pippa on August 24, 2006, 08:07 AM
Thanx Aooh!   :angel

Pippa
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Brad White on September 04, 2006, 09:03 PM
Ooh, ooh, do me next.  I only hit a few yes's and did find some of the Dungeons and Dragons shots funny, but...

This quiz was laughable.  I have another question to add to it, do you want your book to sell and make money?  You answered yes?  Oh, then sorry, you must not be a "real artist."

Considering I'm a product of Shakespeare and pop culture, including X-Men, Matrix, LOTR, Potter, Farscape, Star Wars, Family Guy, and South Park, my novel can only aim to be the greatest rip off of all time. 

Everyone, give me three hips for pseudo-intellectualism!  Maybe one day I'll write about teen suicide's effect on Mars's orbit from the sun, that would be great fantasy.  They might even call me avant-garde, hip, and edgy. :toilet
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: lizlane on September 10, 2006, 08:11 AM
Umm...I answered about 6 of the questions with a yes!  I hang my head in shame! But truthfully I think that there are certain motifs that are just that motifs central to the way we approach the world.  And children are fortunately still receptive to them.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Aspasia on February 13, 2007, 03:03 PM
Oh, this is funny! #9 gave me some good ideas.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Michelle DP on June 22, 2007, 08:11 PM
Very, very funny. I read it aloud to my husband who likes fantasy and used to play D & D, and he had to sit down he laughed to far. I think I answered yes on two of them. Both of my books are about people who get transported to a different place/time. I can't help it; I love books like that.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: ahsitan on July 06, 2007, 02:38 PM
I came up with a no for every question regarding my tween fantasy / adventure. My hubby thought the questions were funny too.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: pixydust on July 12, 2007, 11:17 AM
Quote
Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?

Crap!

 ;D

Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Cuttlequeep on August 04, 2007, 09:49 AM
My one and only fantasy story passed with flying colors, but then, it's urban fantasy, so there were no elves, dwarves, ect.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: MaudeStephany on August 04, 2007, 12:56 PM
As a former fantasy fiction addict, I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the questions. Yep, they describe every fantasy story I have ever read (which is why I have absolutely no interest in writing one).

Maude  :jump
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: ladyeclectic on August 05, 2007, 10:36 AM
It's not difficult to have fantasy without having all these cliches. Read above where someone mentioned butt-kicking werewolf girls. ;)

The YA fantasy I'm writing now passed with flying colors (no unicorns, although that's a close call) but I was zinged for a fanfic I'm writing by #9. #28 made me laugh a bit too as I used to think of all my works as the "first of three", and being a WoW player numbers 51-53 really cracked me up. Actually, okay, I think the whole list is funny, probably more so since I passed the test. ;)

Sarah
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: amberzak on August 13, 2007, 03:24 PM
I assume when it asks about Elves, Dwaves etc, they are talking about the commonly seen sense. Actually, if you do your research properly, Knomes are te Earth Spirits, as Salamanders are the fire etc. and Elves, Dwaves etc are types of faeries or spirits, which in my story are caretakers of the earth.

Also, I do have a relic (or rather a few) which will change the world, but they are true relics from mythology.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: smichel on August 19, 2007, 05:04 PM
Has anybody read Diana Wynne Jones's book, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland?  It'a an alphabetical guide to fantasy cliches.  Funny stuff.  For instance, Wynne Jones says that in Fantasyland, landlords are called "Innkeepers" and that coats don't exist in Fantasyland, "cloaks being universally preferred".  Socks aren't worn in Fantasyland either.  "People  thrust their feet, usually unwashed, straight into boots." Just a few examples.  Quite amusing, even if you don't write fantasy.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Duskydawn on September 09, 2007, 12:28 PM
Hi, my name is Duskydawn, and...and... I am a fantasy writer! (cue Goon Show-type sobbing and wailing in background)

It's frightening and hilarious to read that quiz -- both for things I read & things I've written! -- I hope my stuff's gotten more sophisticated over time. (So, yes, I'm old enough to know better, too.)

Yes, I am a gamer. Yes, I played D&D. Heck, I was the only female GM for a table full of boys and wasn't THAT fun?!  ;D  I LARP, I go to Ren faires, I have a basement full of costuming "just because" and nearly everything I have written that is longer than an article is speculative fiction if not just straight fantasy. However, due to circumstances thoroughly within my control, I also have a heaping helping of Monty Python, Phil Foglio, Robert Aspirin, black French comedy and Gaiman-Pratchett dark goofiness that can offset my system. Thus, I very rarely write things with unicorns or twinkly fairies...unless they have sharp, pointy teeth or a penchant for sneezing themselves invisible or something equally ludicrous.

Then again, isn't being ludicrous all part of the fun?  ;) :D
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: BettRest on September 09, 2007, 06:06 PM
This link is funny, and it cracked Tom up.

No wonder I can't write fantasy  :faint:
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: PJV on October 27, 2007, 10:06 PM
I read this a while back and just found it again. Hilarious! Yes, I failed. I don't mind and like everyone else (probably), I think once people read my book it won't matter. What would we have all done if JK Rowling had taken that test while writing Harry Potter and decided to stop? (Can anyone tell I'm an HP fan yet?)  :x
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Skyvale on November 28, 2007, 11:57 PM
Hello, I'm Skyvale.  I'm new to this board, and I am, indeed, a fantasy writer.  :P  Albeit one who's just started taking herself seriously.  I actually passed the test, and I can't believe it!  There was one that I failed miserably at, one that actually scored your characters.  It really bugged me until I tested Harry Potter and some of my other favorites, and saw that they did three times worse than my own, lol!

I laughed when I read this quiz; it's SO true!  I write fantasy but I have the hardest time reading it.  I really don't have a problem with cliches, though, just how they're executed.  I wouldn't mind if you had elves, dwarves, etc., but I'd like to see them handled differently.  Not mindblowingly different, just not predictable, you know?
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: DeirdreK on January 16, 2008, 06:21 PM
This was great!  Though did it tempt anyone else to write a truly horrible novel that could answer yes to EVERY question?  Or am I just nuts.....

Also reminds me of Tad Williams.  I started to read "The Dragonbone Chair" and never got into it...  The friend who reccomended it said something like "you just have to make it through the first 300 pages--then it gets good.......

Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: SMozer on January 16, 2008, 08:59 PM
I thought the funniest ones were the ones that I answered no and then had to think harder and admit yes.  I only answered yes to 12 though so I don't feel so bad.  All of my favorite books fail by a lot more than that.

Stacy
http://lowerfairfieldwriters.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: shalin on January 18, 2008, 07:36 AM
Hello All,

Just joined yesterday and this is my first post here  :yippee

I'd taken this test awhile back and answered a sort of yes to 8 of the questions but not a definite yes to most. Like my MC defeats an awfully bad guy but not the supreme bad guy (and she didn’t plan to even meet him and she really doesn't defeat him in the first book(yeah, series was my one real yes)). Also, I handle elves and dwarves differently… to the point it could blow someone’s mind (sorry, Skyvale, but you might still like it).

I think the exam helps you examine your story for clichés and hopefully correct them.

Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: gt6 on January 19, 2008, 06:34 AM
My novel is realyy more scifi/historical than fantasy so I only had 3 questions with a clear yes and a couple that were kinda/sorta.  The embarassment comes in on 16.  Not only a clear yes, but she does it TWICE!
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Kate on February 22, 2008, 11:00 AM
Nice. All the rpg references were hilarious. I was definitely chuckling my way through this. And <phew!> could only say yes to two questions.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Adrian on March 07, 2008, 10:48 AM
I laughed all the way through the list. I've read a mountain of books that would never have passed that test and enjoyed most of them. But now I do look for original slants when reading, rather than the same old thing. "Write original fantasy epic" is now #38 on my to do list...  ;)
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Parzival on August 12, 2008, 02:25 PM
I looked at this the first time, but decided to give it second look, as I couldn't quite recall whether I had any "yes" responses or not.

Okay, so I don't know how long it takes to make a good stew, but no one in my novel makes stew at any point, so that's a wash. Otherwise, "no" all the way through. Well, it might wind up being the first in a series, but I haven't planned beyond a tentative sequel. "Maybe?" I don't think that counts as a strike.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: justJoan on August 15, 2008, 09:17 AM
I've read it before, but it's so much fun to go back and read it again. Still have some "sort of" answers, but don't feel terrible about it and don't plan to overhaul my manuscript . . . not today anyway.  :whistle
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Sarah_Erber on August 15, 2008, 09:59 AM
I believe I pass with flying colors.  :yay

I wrote a YA (High) Fantasy novel, but tried to steer clear of all the stereotypes you see in Fantasy novels.  :smile
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: rab on October 10, 2008, 06:29 PM
I'm depressed. My WIP has 3 of the first ten characteristics. If I call them archetypes instead of cliches, does that mean it's a better book?

Seriously, though: I really do feel like this novel is a 50,000-word cliche. But when I think about many of the fantasy novels I adore, they're full of cliches, too. What to do, what to do? Can excellent characterization make up for overused plot points? And if so, will somebody let me in on the trick for excellent characterization?
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: mswatkins on October 12, 2008, 07:56 PM
Lucky me.  My fantasy passed the very long test with an A++++. 
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: marina on December 04, 2008, 06:51 AM
Hi all, I'm new around here.  Just thought I'd let you know, my fantasies failed question 26--and failed miserably!!!  :hiding
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Ellie Terry on August 01, 2009, 07:16 PM
Hey, what's wrong with fairies and unicorns????
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Wendy Martin on August 01, 2009, 08:49 PM
One MG novel passed with flying colors. The other one got clobbered by #35. Transported from the real world into a fantasy world. However, the entire premise is based on this travel, so I can't change it. Oh, and I have a dwarf type creature and an elf type one but don't actually call them that.

Funny test.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: myriad_of_colors on November 18, 2010, 09:00 AM
LOVED this exam, laughed all the way through it. Some ironic part of me wants to write an entire novel based on all of those questions. But current book missed #21 and #39. Shoot! :P
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Nita9 on April 05, 2011, 08:32 PM
SO funny! I write very mild fantasy, but it was a fun read! The one that says "is it thicker than the NY phone book" made me laugh. It's almost been a goal of mine to write a very FAT book. I love reading books that don't end! LOL.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on April 06, 2011, 08:36 AM
26.Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"?

Oh dear. Thankfully we have "Find and Replace" so I can change all my Desert of Desolation references to Desert of Despair.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Brad White on August 22, 2011, 12:06 PM
26.Did you draw a map for your novel which includes places named things like "The Blasted Lands" or "The Forest of Fear" or "The Desert of Desolation" or absolutely anything "of Doom"?

Oh dear. Thankfully we have "Find and Replace" so I can change all my Desert of Desolation references to Desert of Despair.
My villain lives in the Midnight Shadow Hills of Blackened Nightly Doom, 3rd Forest of the 14 Ominously-Clouded Desolate Destinations for the Dastardly

But I'm not sure that gets the point across. A few more adjectives maybe. And hyphens. God I love my hyphens.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: AuntyBooks on August 22, 2011, 12:36 PM
Brad, your only error -- and this will render the ms unpublishable-- is that 3 and 14 are *not* scary numbers. Work harder.

eab
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Brad White on August 23, 2011, 09:44 AM
Brad, your only error -- and this will render the ms unpublishable-- is that 3 and 14 are *not* scary numbers. Work harder.

eab

Wait, wait, wait.

14=The Bieber Fever DVD was released on March 14th.

3=the Number of secret dragon heads Steve Jobs is hiding under his right shoulder.

That's pretty scary stuff.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: KenH on August 23, 2011, 09:51 AM
Wait, wait, wait.

14=The Bieber Fever DVD was released on March 14th.

3=the Number of secret dragon heads Steve Jobs is hiding under his right shoulder.

That's pretty scary stuff.

Anyone know the best way to clean coffee off a screen?
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Brad White on September 06, 2011, 11:35 AM
Anyone know the best way to clean coffee off a screen?
Ants. A whole mess of ants. Won't even leave a streak.




(and thanks).
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: jeffman on September 06, 2011, 12:32 PM
Thanks for digging up this thread. I teach creative writing at a community college, and you would not believe how often I see this kind of stuff -- especially since the LOTR movies and Harry Potter gave epic fantasy such a huge breath of life.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: Brad White on July 02, 2013, 06:30 AM
I busted up laughing!! I write MG fantasy, but I'm not really into the high fantasy. Just can't get into a book if I can't read the name or need a map for the journey. If I read a book blurb, MG or adult, with a THE ONE premise...I put it back : (

So even if there's a book, a complete and total fantasy, where the premise is about THE ONE person on Earth who thinks the World War Z movie made even a middling attempt to capture the essence of the book, you wouldn't read that?

I say, where is your sense of wonder, good lady? Where is it, indeed.
Title: Re: Fantasy Novelist's Exam
Post by: W.E. Larson on September 13, 2013, 10:07 AM
Heh.

I have one finished and one in-progress kidlit fantasy novels. The first one clears the list, but it's basically steampunk so that's no surprise. My high fantasy got one yes because there are elves, and you could make an argument for another one. Having the villain be a well-intentioned hero helped me out  ;)