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DragonMaci

Book: Nature Of Freedom And Rights

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This is about a mid-fantasy (a cross beteen low and high fantasy) book of mine that I am working on.

It covers the nature of rights and freedom as I see them. It achieves this by having an evil empire that invades the homeland of the heroes among other nations. Also the main characters, Fortis (a half-human/half-dragon) and his dragon mount and lover Teleris (a full dragon) are trying to point out to people that intelligent non-humans like themselves have the same rights as humans. It also covers many other areas of my philosophy (Objectivism philosophy).

Fortis and Teleris are trying to unite the nations so that they can oppose th evil Vescan Empire.

The book will be about 500 pages long, though I will not stop it from getting larger if neccessary.

As more details imerge I will post them here.

If you have any questions relating to the book please fell free to ask them of me. Note: I would prefer them to be here as opposed to other threads or in a private message if possible.

Edited by DragonMaci

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This is about a mid-fantasy (a cross beteen low and high fantasy) book of mine that covers the nature of rights and freedom as I see it.

It achievs this by having an evil empire that invades the homeland of the heroes among other nations. Also the main characters, Fortis (a half-human/half-dragon) and his dragon mount and lover Teleris (a full dragon) are trying to point out to people that intelligent non-humans like themselves have the sam rights as humans. It also covers many areas of Objectivism philosophy.

As more dtails imerge I will post them here.

If you have any questions please fell free to ask them of me. Note: I would prefer thm to be here as apposed to other threads or in a private message if possible.

By the way...im pretty sure you are supposed to put essays etc in here, not threads about your projects.someone correct me if I am wrong.

But as I have said before, I like your ideas.

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By the way...im pretty sure you are supposed to put essays etc in here, not threads about your projects.someone correct me if I am wrong.

But as I have said before, I like your ideas.

Well I could this was the only logical place I could see to post this thread and if anyone has a problem they can tell me themselves.

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This is about a mid-fantasy (a cross beteen low and high fantasy) book of mine that I am working on.

What's the difference between low and high fantasy?

It covers the nature of rights and freedom as I see them.

Theme.

It achieves this by having an evil empire that invades the homeland of the heroes among other nations.

Plot.

Also the main characters, Fortis (a half-human/half-dragon) and his dragon mount and lover Teleris (a full dragon) are trying to point out to people that intelligent non-humans like themselves have the same rights as humans.

Characters. So far, so good. How are the rights of non-humans important? Is this your way of illustrating the derivation of rights?

Fortis and Teleris are trying to unite the nations so that they can oppose th evil Vescan Empire.

How does unification between nations relate to your theme? Is unity necessary for freedom? For rights? Or is it simply that a willingness to fight is?

Have you got a title, at least a working one?

I have moved this thread to the Aesthetics forum because that appears to be where other threads of this type are stashed.

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This is about a mid-fantasy (a cross beteen low and high fantasy) book of mine that I am working on.

What's the difference between low and high fantasy?

It covers the nature of rights and freedom as I see them.

How does unification between nations relate to your theme? Is unity necessary for freedom? For rights? Or is it simply that a willingness to fight is?

Have you got a title, at least a working one?

I have moved this thread to the Aesthetics forum because that appears to be where other threads of this type are stashed.

Low fantasy is Terry Goodkind's style. High fantasy is David Edding's style.roles.

My style combines the two.

As for how to the corrolate, the Vescan Empire has worse opinions of monster rights than the other nations. Also the theme of the book is also about freedom in general and the nature of freedom as I see it.

Also the working title for the book is Freedom, although it used to be Dragon Friends.

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Low fantasy is Terry Goodkind's style. High fantasy is David Edding's style.roles.

My style combines the two.

As for how to the corrolate, the Vescan Empire has worse opinions of monster rights than the other nations. Also the theme of the book is also about freedom in general and the nature of freedom as I see it.

Also the working title for the book is Freedom, although it used to be Dragon Friends.

I think this thread might get a little further if you gave us some more detail. I know a fair bit more than what is posted here (or I can at least figure out a bit more of the sort of thing you might be thinking of), but remember the other forum members are not in this position :kiss: .

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I think this thread might get a little further if you gave us some more detail. I know a fair bit more than what is posted here (or I can at least figure out a bit more of the sort of thing you might be thinking of), but remember the other forum members are not in this position :lol: .

I know. That is why I will soon be posting more detail.

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I have completed a first draft of the prologue for the book. I will soon begin work on a second draft. Is anyone interested in reading it? The prologue is intended to set the story up, not to introduce or cover the philosophy of the book, which will start in Chapter One and continue on throughout the story.

Here is a brief outline of what I have planned for the prologue and the first few of Chapters.

Prologue: Introduces the characters and sets the scene for Chapter One.

Chapter One: Has Fortis and Teleris' best friend pretend to try to steal their freedom so that he can test weither or not they truely understand freedom. At the end of the chapter it is discovered that the Vescan Empire is about to invade the Free Lands.

Chapter Two: Fortis and teleris try to convince the leaders of the nations that the Empire is more the Idiological Saints they claim to be and that they are evil by way of their beliefs and that only by beeing united can they stand up against the Empire. Not all of the nations are willing to listen

Chapter Three: The exact details of the Alliance of Free Nations is formed.

Chapter Four: The invasion begins.

Edited by DragonMaci

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The only information that should be in the prologue of a book, if one is necessary, is setting information. If you're introducing the main characters that's your exposition and it should be part of the main story, not an addendum at the beginning.

What is the difference between Terry Goodkind and David Eddings that makes them belong to entirely different literary sub-genres? Gods in their writing? Both. Dramatic sword fights? Both again. World-saving? Both. Incredibly powerful magic wielded only by a handful of elites? Fiend-like enemies with no subtlety whatsoever that torture people for the heck of it? Both again. If I were to get persnickety (as well as accepting your categories), I'd say Eddings was the High Fantasy because he sticks more with the thematic stuff like mounted knights, jousts etc. Heck, they even deal with some of the same PLOT POINTS: Eddings did that plague that happened in The Temple of Winds, and Goodkind's female sorceresses remind me a lot of Polgara and Ce'Nedra (They look a lot like Aes Sedai, too) . . . they even both have a mysterious seer appear. (Nathan and what's-her-name that falls in love with Zakath . . . starts with a K I think.)

Differences in style are not enough to put a work into a different genre, as the genre is dictated by setting and literary conventions such as (for fantasy) how magic is used and presented. Your reliance on the names of two authors to define the difference indicates to me that you have no idea what the actual difference is. So, I'll rattle off a few authors and you tell me whether they belong to High or Low Fantasy, what the difference is, and how it is consistent with your idea that David Eddings and Terry Goodkind are definitive examples of these two sub-genres.

Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffery, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Robert Heinlein (yes, he wrote fantasy), J.K. Rowling, Eric Flint, David Drake, John Ringo, J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, R.A. Salvatore, Celia Dart-Thornton, Roger Zelazny, Stephen R. Donaldson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey

Some of these you probably haven't read, though.

Edited by JMeganSnow

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The only information that should be in the prologue of a book, if one is necessary, is setting information. If you're introducing the main characters that's your exposition and it should be part of the main story, not an addendum at the beginning.

What is the difference between Terry Goodkind and David Eddings that makes them belong to entirely different literary sub-genres? Gods in their writing? Both. Dramatic sword fights? Both again. World-saving? Both. Incredibly powerful magic wielded only by a handful of elites? Fiend-like enemies with no subtlety whatsoever that torture people for the heck of it? Both again. If I were to get persnickety (as well as accepting your categories), I'd say Eddings was the High Fantasy because he sticks more with the thematic stuff like mounted knights, jousts etc. Heck, they even deal with some of the same PLOT POINTS: Eddings did that plague that happened in The Temple of Winds, and Goodkind's female sorceresses remind me a lot of Polgara and Ce'Nedra (They look a lot like Aes Sedai, too) . . . they even both have a mysterious seer appear. (Nathan and what's-her-name that falls in love with Zakath . . . starts with a K I think.)

Differences in style are not enough to put a work into a different genre, as the genre is dictated by setting and literary conventions such as (for fantasy) how magic is used and presented. Your reliance on the names of two authors to define the difference indicates to me that you have no idea what the actual difference is. So, I'll rattle off a few authors and you tell me whether they belong to High or Low Fantasy, what the difference is, and how it is consistent with your idea that David Eddings and Terry Goodkind are definitive examples of these two sub-genres.

Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffery, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Robert Heinlein (yes, he wrote fantasy), J.K. Rowling, Eric Flint, David Drake, John Ringo, J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, R.A. Salvatore, Celia Dart-Thornton, Roger Zelazny, Stephen R. Donaldson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey

Some of these you probably haven't read, though.

Firstly high and low fantasy are subgenres, so the differences don't have to be all that great. Sometimes subgenres have only a small variation between each other.

Secondly it is not the use of the things you mentioned that determines it. I never said it was. I said it was the way they were presented.

As for your list of authors, I don't know most of them or haven't read them. I tried a bit of Donaldson, Rowling and McCaffrey but just didn't like them. As for Pratchett he is neither, he's Comic Fantasy. Tolkien is High Fantasy. David Eddings actually considers himself a Contemporary Fantasy author, though that just isn't true.

Here are the descriptions and examples of High, Low, Comic and Contemporary Fantasy according to Wikipedia:

Comic Fantasy

This sub-genre parodies the above ideas as well as ideas outside the genre, often in a postmodern manner. A peculiarly early example of this genre is the aforementioned Gulliver's Travels. It might also include the so-called "worst science fiction story ever published" The Eye of Argon.

Examples: Bored of the Rings, The Eye of Argon, Discworld.

Contemporary Fantasy

This fantasy comprises stories set in the putative real world or consensus reality in contemporary times, in which, the story reveals, magic or magical creatures exist, such as vampires or, as in the Highlander films and television series, immortals.

Examples: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, Neverwhere.

High Fantasy

Perhaps more than any other subgenre, high fantasy is criticized for borrowing too many of its themes and ideas from previous works, most notably those of J. R. R. Tolkien. Others defend this, citing that most of Tolkien's themes and ideas were taken from mythology and folklore with only superficial modifications. Nevertheless, the fact that most authors in this subgenre tend to limit themselves to those aspects of mythology and folklore that Tolkien used, and often combine them in similar ways, is one that cannot be ignored. As a result, many fans of the fantasy genre have grown exceedingly weary of the repetitious manner in which this subgenre's once most beloved characteristics recur.

However, it appears that the use of such particular themes and ideas is the very thing that distinguishes high fantasy from its fellow subgenres, and that a sufficiently unique example of high fantasy would be more likely to be placed in a different subgenre altogether, thus rendering accusations of unoriginality somewhat circular. (Similar arguments have been made for the Western, an entire genre perceivedly based around a narrow set of themes and concepts.)

Examples: The Lord of the Rings, the Shannara books, the Wheel of Time.

Low fantasy

Low fantasy is not a proper subgenre as such, but a catch-all term employed to describe works of fantasy literature that tries not to emphasise magic. It is almost always placed in an antagonistic relationship with the more well-defined high fantasy genre, emphasising realism and a more cynical worldview. As such, it mostly tend to overlap with Dark fantasy. It often questions the way traditional fantasy deals with good and evil, making it even more closely connected with dark fantasy.

Examples: Wikipedia doesn't supply any.

Edited by DragonMaci

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Low fantasy

Low fantasy is not a proper subgenre as such, but a catch-all term employed to describe works of fantasy literature that tries not to emphasise magic. It is almost always placed in an antagonistic relationship with the more well-defined high fantasy genre, emphasising realism and a more cynical worldview. As such, it mostly tend to overlap with Dark fantasy. It often questions the way traditional fantasy deals with good and evil, making it even more closely connected with dark fantasy.

Examples: Wikipedia doesn't supply any.

Well, why don't you try to provide us with some examples then?

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Well, why don't you try to provide us with some examples then?

Because I don't feel like it and because I was trying to post what wikipedia had to say about it not what i had to say about it...

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Because I don't feel like it and because I was trying to post what wikipedia had to say about it not what i had to say about it...

Umm.... OK then. By the way, it might have been prefferable if you just linked to all that information.

It definetely should have been posted as a quote though...

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The only information that should be in the prologue of a book, if one is necessary, is setting information. If you're introducing the main characters that's your exposition and it should be part of the main story, not an addendum at the beginning.

By "introducing the characters" I meant introducing the people not who the people are personality wise. It covers a bit of their past that happens before the actual story, so it suits the purpose of a proloue (a prologue is for events that occur before the story. I will gradually introduce the characters personality throughout the book since I think this is the most effective and best method of doing so.

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By those definitions Goodkind and Eddings are both High Fantasy. You can't possibly say that Eddings' books don't emphasize magic, almost every single one of his characters is a magician!

Low fantasy would be stuff like, say, the move Hero, where there are some fantastic elements (the candles that know when someone is an enemy, say) but the fact that these elements are magic isn't even alluded-to in the movie. Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders books would be low fantasy, as well. (Those books weren't originally intended to be Science Fiction, that aspect got thrown in at the request of the publisher and developed later.) So would the Wizard of Oz books, I believe.

I prefer the subgenres set out in the book I have on fantasy writing, they seem altogether better-defined and deliniated.

By "introducing the characters" I meant introducing the people not who the people are personality wise. It covers a bit of their past that happens before the actual story.

I would avoid doing this. A prologue is okay if you need to explain about a war that happened 300 years ago, but if the personal past of the actual characters in the story is important you should introduce it through flashbacks, dialogue, etc. (If it isn't important, dispense with it altogether no matter HOW much you love it.) Even doing a Dramatis Personae at the beginning of the book (or an appendix at the end) is unprofessional: it should be obvious within the context of the book who people are and what you're talking about. Engaging in world-building for the sake of world-building (i.e. creating an entire new language, eating habits, and marriage customs for a foreign race just because you want to be "detailed", or map features that are never visited, etc. etc.) means you ought to be writing role-playing games, not novels.

I'm not ragging on you, I'm explaining this because I did all of this and more with my first two books and OH GOODNESS were they awful. :) If you can avoid turning out some real trash before settling into your authorial groove, please do.

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By those definitions Goodkind and Eddings are both High Fantasy. You can't possibly say that Eddings' books don't emphasize magic, almost every single one of his characters is a magician!

Low fantasy would be stuff like, say, the move Hero, where there are some fantastic elements (the candles that know when someone is an enemy, say) but the fact that these elements are magic isn't even alluded-to in the movie. Anne McCaffery's Dragonriders books would be low fantasy, as well. (Those books weren't originally intended to be Science Fiction, that aspect got thrown in at the request of the publisher and developed later.) So would the Wizard of Oz books, I believe.

I prefer the subgenres set out in the book I have on fantasy writing, they seem altogether better-defined and deliniated.

Of course, I was trying to think of some good examples of this myself the other day, Wizards of Oz should have sprung to mind straight away! I thought ot the Dragonriders stuff, but I wanted a few more examples than just the one. Does you book mention any other examples ?

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I would avoid doing this. A prologue is okay if you need to explain about a war that happened 300 years ago, but if the personal past of the actual characters in the story is important you should introduce it through flashbacks, dialogue, etc. (If it isn't important, dispense with it altogether no matter HOW much you love it.) Even doing a Dramatis Personae at the beginning of the book (or an appendix at the end) is unprofessional: it should be obvious within the context of the book who people are and what you're talking about. Engaging in world-building for the sake of world-building (i.e. creating an entire new language, eating habits, and marriage customs for a foreign race just because you want to be "detailed", or map features that are never visited, etc. etc.) means you ought to be writing role-playing games, not novels.

I'm not ragging on you, I'm explaining this because I did all of this and more with my first two books and OH GOODNESS were they awful. :P If you can avoid turning out some real trash before settling into your authorial groove, please do.

The whole point of a prologue is to cover events that happen before the story, which is exactly what I am doing. And I hate flashbacks. They are a cheap and cheesy method. As for dispenses of something... I think perhaps I may be too good at that... I'm probably over fussy with my own material. besides Eddings managed it in The Redemptiom of Althalus and I think he would know more about what is a good thing for fantasy books and books in general than you. Oh and trust me the stuff in the prologue is important. Part of my reason for doing it is that I want to start into the troubles of the story immediately in Chapter One and never let off, whichg flashbacks and such are not compatible with. As for your comment "it should be obvious within the context of the book who people are and what you're talking about" I thought my comment that who they are will get revealed throughout the book not in the prologue.

As for your comment "Engaging in world-building for the sake of world-building (i.e. creating an entire new language, eating habits, and marriage customs for a foreign race just because you want to be "detailed", or map features that are never visited, etc. etc.) means you ought to be writing role-playing games, not novels." Eddings says in his book The Rivan Codex that those things (minus the language) is what gets fantasy worlds off the ground. He calls his ones his "Preliminary Studies".

And unless you can explain why you think what you do with rational explanations I have no idea reason to ignore my 13 years of writing experience and Edding's 40 or more years of it in favour of your opinion.

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Eddings says in his book The Rivan Codex that those things (minus the language) is what gets fantasy worlds off the ground. He calls his ones his "Preliminary Studies".

Are you trying to play God and create a world, or are you trying to write a book?!

Art is "a selective recreation of reality in accordance with the artist's value-judgements." By including something in your art work, e.g. your novel, you are declaring, implicitly, that you consider it to be important. There are two kinds of important in a story: important (i.e. relevant) to the story (meaning the plot would not be able to move without this element being included) and important to the theme (meaning it conveys the central idea of your artwork). In a good work of art these are thoroughly integrated, meaning that anything important to the story conveys the theme, and vice-versa. The setting of the work has no relevance or value except in respect to either the plot or the theme. Imagine reading a novel set during the French and Indian war that spends endless pages detailing skirmishes that don't affect the plot or any of the characters simply because they happened. You would either be bored to death or go mad trying to dredge some sort of significance out of these elements. But the joke would be on you: the only possible significance is that life is some realm of blind chance and accident.

This is what's known as the Naturalist school of art . . . as opposed fundamentally by the Romantic school, which seeks to portray the functioning, not of blind chance and circumstance, but of man's volition and power of choice. As such, it applies that choice to every aspect of what is included in the artwork, including the setting. Fantasy world building is Naturalism as applied to fantasy literature. I recommend that you read The Romantic Manifesto for a further explanation of just what sort of ideas Naturalism advocates.

The only thing that ties Fantasy literature to reality, i.e. the only thing that makes it meaningful as art, are the ideas it contains. Unlike Science Fiction, which portrays the world (or universe) as it might be, eventually, or normal fiction, which portrays the world as it could be and ought to be (at least implicitly) today, the elements of fantastic literature have nothing to do with anyone's real life.

If the ideas in a fantasy novel are an afterthought, thrown in because you have to have some reason for these characters to go tooling around in your imaginary world, it's not good art . . . it's a drug for people that have no use whatsoever for reality.

As for Mr. Edding's experience: since his two main series of books had THE SAME PLOT, I think he's a hack. So, unless YOU want to be a hack, I'd dispense with his advice. Sure, his books were enjoyable . . . as something to do with your brain on a long, boring flight, or similar. Not as spiritual fuel.

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Of course, I was trying to think of some good examples of this myself the other day, Wizards of Oz should have sprung to mind straight away! I thought ot the Dragonriders stuff, but I wanted a few more examples than just the one. Does you book mention any other examples ?

Those were examples I pulled out of the air: my book uses a different classification method for fantasy literature. There are potentially many different classification methods, of course. The value of any particular classification method is whether it serves some cognitive purpose, i.e. whether it identifies some central, fundamental, unifying factor in what it classifies.

Here's the one from The Writer's Guide to Fantasy Literature, edited by Philip Martin:

High Fantasy

In general, High fantasy is rooted in classical mythology and medieval European legends. It reflects the idiom of Crusade and Quest. With a sense of grand destiny, this ring of fantasy tackles head-on the question of Good and Evil.

The setting of high fantasy is generaly feudal landscapes, castles, baronial manors, peasant cottages.

Examples: The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave. David Eddings, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, and J.K. Rowling belong in this sub-genre as well.

Adventure Fantasy

Unlike high fantasy, which tends to elevate the story to a Crusade or Quest, Adventure Fantasy accepts the notion of adventure for its own sake. The purpose of such books is to seek adventures, small and large, and to have a rollicking good time doing it.

The escapades in Adventure fantasy are shaped mostly by the internal desires of their protagonists, rather than epic struggles between Good and Evil.

Examples: Robert E. Howard's Conan, Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, The Wizard of Oz, most American Tall Tales, anything classified as "Sword and Sorcery", Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books, Arthur Conan Doyle's tales of lost worlds, and Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan. Michael Moorcock's Elric. Beyond the "Sword and Sorcery" style, adventure fantasy also includes diminutive adventures such as Winnie the Pooh or The Wind in the Willows, or Watership Down.

Fairy Tales

These stories tend to deal with personal transformation: in fairy tales people (or creatures) change in dramatic, often miraculous ways, and this is at the heart of the story.

Examples: some Robin McKinley's books, including Deerskin, Spindle's End, Rose Daughter, and Beauty, etc. This genre lends itself well to short stories, so there are many collections, such as Red As Blood by Tanith Lee.

Magic Realism

Stories in which magical things happen, often unexpectedly, in the midst of very realistic, everyday settings and events. These marvelous occurences may be mysterious, but often they are very clear in what they portend. In these stories, magic is more likely to act as an independant character than as a tool to be used by the other characters. It's also the story form of ancient mythic tales, the literature especially of Trickster, known to different cultures as Coyote, Anansi, Loki, Hermes, and so on.

Examples: One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabrial Garcia Marquez, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich, American Gods and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Dark Fantasy

Horror and Gothic fantasy go in this sub-genre, as well as more modern themes like sharp satire, urban decay, erotic fiction, and other edgy, marginal topics.

Examples: Anne Rice, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelly, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe

Note: I said J.K. Rowling was High Fantasy, but on later thought she probably belongs in the Adventure Fantasy sub-genre.

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Are you trying to play God and create a world, or are you trying to write a book?!

No I am not trying to play God. You are totally miscontrueing what I am saying. I am saying that if set a book on an imiginary world you need to populate it. The you need to give the people cultures then you need to create a history for it. If you fail to do this the noone will suspend their disbelief since the characters will not be realistic. Name me one suuccesful fantasy author that did not do those things. Tolkien did it, Eddings did it and clearly Goodkind did it.

And you're wrong setting is VERY important. If the characters are in a setting that does not make sense and is inconstent (as would be the case without what Eddings calls "Preliminary Studies") then no one will want to read it. You HAVE to have a realistic setting for your fantasy world or the readers will not suspend their disbelief and then noone will read it. The only way to do that is with "Preliminary Studies", which are simply notes about the setting. The fantasy authors who have not done that have not been published because the editors could not get engroused in the book because they could not suspend their disbelief.

That French and Indian war thing you mentioned is simply a case of putting the wrong sort of setting details.

I never said anything about the ideas in fantasy being an after thought. I don't know where you got the idea that i meant that from.

Oh and The Belgarion and Sparhawk sereies had similar themes not the same plot. what is wrong with recycling a few themes? Especially if they are handled in a different way like they were in those two series. If you think they were the same plot then you clearly misunderstood them. they were similar yes but not the same. Eddings is no hack but rather a master of manipulating the English language to say exactly what he wants it to say.

Oh and I intend to write more a Terry Goodkind style book than a David eddings style book by the way. Surely you don't think HE is a hack? So knowing that do you still think of me as a hack?

Eddings said he drew the map for the world as a doodle at first, but then decided to nake a book series of it. He then says:

"I realized that since I'd created this world, I was going to have to populate it, and that meant that I'd have to create the assorted 'ologies' as well before I could even begin to put together an outline. I reasoned that each culture had to have a different mythology, a different theology, different costumes, different forms of address, different national character, and even even different coinage and slightly different weights and measures. I might never come out and use them in the books, but they had to be there."

In other words "Preliminary Studies" or world building is simply notes that are done to make the characters of a fantasy world more realistic. What is wrong with that?

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I don't know if anyone cares, but I just came up with a good plot twist for the end of the book that is highly unlikely to be expected because of the way I am handling and writing the book.

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Oh and The Belgarion and Sparhawk sereies had similar themes not the same plot. what is wrong with recycling a few themes? Especially if they are handled in a different way like they were in those two series. If you think they were the same plot then you clearly misunderstood them. they were similar yes but not the same. Eddings is no hack but rather a master of manipulating the English language to say exactly what he wants it to say.

Recycling ideas between your books makes you a hack, especially if those ideas are characters and story. Eddings is a hack that can't portray a realistic female human to save his life. Almost as bad as Robert Jordan, whose characters in the Wheel of Time series have been getting progressively more and more one-dimensional.

Both series had exactly the same plot. Both worlds were created by a mythical force embodied in a rock, both had another, opposed mythical force that they were battling, both had the prophecied hero that would solve the problem. They even had roughly the same character sets. Sephrenia = Polgara the Sorceress. Ehlana = Ce'nedra. Sparhawk = Belgarion (although Belgarion has a softer character in the initial books, because he's a kid.)

Both series had gods that kicked out one of their brothers who was misbehaving and who serves as the villian in the first half of the series.

The first half of each series starts in a rough approximation of feudal England, and by the end they've traveled to the Eastern side of the current map where they defeat the Big Evil Guy, thus bringing an end to his Big Evil Empire. Then, in the second series they discover that the Big Evil Guy was just a little sidekick of the REALLY Big Evil Guy, and they have to travel to the Distant and Foreign Empire (bring on the new map!), meet up with the Emperor (who turns out to be a pretty helpful guy, albeit totally confused about this Prophetic Hero stuff, so they wind up leading him around by the nose). Hmm . . . in the first series Belgarion's SON is kidnapped to force him to follow, but in the second one it's Sparhawk's WIFE . . . probably because his daughter is a goddess.

It's the same plot given a few touches of paint, like a car in a chop shop.

Oh and I intend to write more a Terry Goodkind style book than a David eddings style book by the way. Surely you don't think HE is a hack? So knowing that do you still think of me as a hack?

I don't like Terry Goodkind at all, and I'm one of the few people on the forum that doesn't. Maybe if I'd read his books 8 or 10 years ago when I was into series fantasy, I might have enjoyed them. As it is, I can maybe stand to wade through one a year. Really, he bores me. I'm having more fun right now reading Les Miserables, which I find I have great difficulty putting down.

I didn't say you were a hack, I said you could become one. How could I possibly know either way without reading your writing?

Yes, if you're going to create a fantasy world you need to give it the semblance of a living world. But you don't need to do the miserable things that were done in a book I recently read, Elantris, where completely pointless elements were introduced essentially at random. I.e. the book is 3/4 of the way over, the climax is just over the horizon, and you discover for no apparent reason that one of the characters has retired from being a mythical Dread-Pirate-Roberts. WHY?! It bore absolutely no connection to the rest of the story, it was FLAVOR. The problem was that it didn't make the world seem MORE realistic, but LESS, because I, at least, was sitting there going, "Huh?" It was QUITE obvious that the author was intending to set up for a series of related books. (Either that or he was really rushed at the end.)

Note that Eddings doesn't indulge in this in his books: He mentions that the Styrics have 100 gods (IIRC), but he only ever names like 4 of them . . . the ones that actually show up in and are important to the story. For that I applaud him, who wants to try and remember the names of 100 gods!? You come up with the name and the details of the city/god/mythology/etc. when you decide to include it in the story. (Whether when you're doing initial notes or whatever.) If you sit down and actually make up names for all 100 gods, you'll start feeling that you have to use them in the book somehow, and you will go nuts and just wind up having to cut it anyway.

That's what I meant by world-building for the sake of world-building.

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