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Fantasy Novelist's Exam

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ladyeclectic

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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
#31 - August 05, 2007, 10:36 AM

amberzak

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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.
#32 - August 13, 2007, 03:24 PM

smichel

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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.
#33 - August 19, 2007, 05:04 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
#34 - September 09, 2007, 12:28 PM

BettRest

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This link is funny, and it cracked Tom up.

No wonder I can't write fantasy  :faint:
#35 - September 09, 2007, 06:06 PM

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust
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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
#36 - October 27, 2007, 10:06 PM

Skyvale

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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?
#37 - November 28, 2007, 11:57 PM

DeirdreK

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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.......

#38 - January 16, 2008, 06:21 PM

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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
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#39 - January 16, 2008, 08:59 PM
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shalin

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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.

#40 - January 18, 2008, 07:36 AM

gt6

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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!
#41 - January 19, 2008, 06:34 AM

Kate

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Nice. All the rpg references were hilarious. I was definitely chuckling my way through this. And <phew!> could only say yes to two questions.
#42 - February 22, 2008, 11:00 AM

Adrian

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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...  ;)
#43 - March 07, 2008, 10:48 AM

Parzival

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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.
#44 - August 12, 2008, 02:25 PM

justJoan

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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
#45 - August 15, 2008, 09:17 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
#46 - August 15, 2008, 09:59 AM

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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?
#47 - October 10, 2008, 06:29 PM

mswatkins

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Lucky me.  My fantasy passed the very long test with an A++++. 
#48 - October 12, 2008, 07:56 PM

marina

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Hi all, I'm new around here.  Just thought I'd let you know, my fantasies failed question 26--and failed miserably!!!  :hiding
#49 - December 04, 2008, 06:51 AM

Hey, what's wrong with fairies and unicorns????
#50 - August 01, 2009, 07:16 PM
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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.
#51 - August 01, 2009, 08:49 PM
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myriad_of_colors

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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
#52 - November 18, 2010, 09:00 AM

Nita9

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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.
#53 - April 05, 2011, 08:32 PM

Saul Tanpepper

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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.
#54 - April 06, 2011, 08:36 AM

I make sure Brittney Spears stays out of movies. So yeah, you're welcome.
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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.
#55 - August 22, 2011, 12:06 PM

Brad, your only error -- and this will render the ms unpublishable-- is that 3 and 14 are *not* scary numbers. Work harder.

eab
#56 - August 22, 2011, 12:36 PM

I make sure Brittney Spears stays out of movies. So yeah, you're welcome.
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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.
#57 - August 23, 2011, 09:44 AM

KenH

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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?
#58 - August 23, 2011, 09:51 AM

I make sure Brittney Spears stays out of movies. So yeah, you're welcome.
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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).
#59 - September 06, 2011, 11:35 AM

jeffman

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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.
#60 - September 06, 2011, 12:32 PM

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