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Someone to Shame Us

My previously-enjoyed LJ friend, marshallpayne1 seems to think we're being too serious. This deeply offends me. Furthermore, he's given a list of phoney rules to follow, as if this is funny. Well, I don't think it's funny at all. Instead, I'll give some rules that I always try to follow in every one of my pieces of fiction. Especially NaNoWriMo fiction. So there, Marshall! Have at yer!


  1. Even though you know you are making a world where people don't actually speak English, AND because you have them speaking in English so that your reader can follow along, and EVERYONE who reads it understands this, that it's just a convention of the genre, DON'T FORGET to add in some play on words that only works in English. Bonus points if you make it rhyme. Poetry that rhymes and derived from folk custom is looked on with special favour in this context. (Sing: "There is an inn, a merry old inn...")
  2. Use of modern slang and social conventions is always welcome in traditional fantasy. Particular care should be taken to use socially accepted terminology for gender and race that have only recently become the norm. Try to find authors who have failed to follow this rule and be sure to point out their mistake. Bonus points for doing this on a work that is several decades old while writing a story that derives from that story, but IMPROVED by these corrections.
  3. After you have painstakingly established how social norms and conventional behaviour exist in this world, be sure to make every single one of your protagonist or sympathetic characters an exception to this rule. See if you can achieve this in a way that makes your main characters pure, noble, good, and modest while showing up every hypocricy and failing of your unsympathetic characters. Bonus if you can saddle your unsympathetic characters with the same socially unacceptable behaviours as your sympathetic characters, but somehow perverted by a Hollywood understanding of freudian repression. If you can combine this with a Hoyllywood understanding of psychosis and violent tendencies, more's the better!
  4. Don't forget to shift between alternate spellings multiple times in the same work. In the same chapter is favourite, but for real skill, favor these usages in the same sentence.
  5. As with alternate spellings, be sure to use alternate dialects. If one of your cultures is derivative of, say, Essex, and another is derivative of, say, Saxony, be sure that their dialog goes something like this: "Vot Khind of Hafflink are you, mein setzling?" "The best kind, gov'. The kind what nicks your monacle after giving yer a ding around the ear'ole." "Ach du, I will break your kniegelenk, hafflink!" "Got's to catch me, mate. Ta!" When substituting non-english words, be sure to use an online dictionary which does not give accurate usage. For english dialects, make sure you mix them thoroughly with other ones that are distinguishable only by native speakers to give a more "general feel" to the dialect.
  6. Make a bunch of lists instead of writing. Remember, opinion is always more important than fiction. And who knows, with the perfect set of rules, you can write the perfect masterpiece.
  7. Always begin and end your writing with tags that seem important and relevant to a publisher. That's how they know you're serious. Bonus if you make them up yourself.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 5th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'm SERIOUS about being serious. See this necktie? Now that's a serious necktie! You could cut yourself on that necktie.

Nov. 5th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
Ha! I'll work hard at offending you deeply again next Friday. It's my new calling. ;-)

Edited at 2010-11-05 09:49 pm (UTC)
Nov. 5th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
NEW Calling? You call that a NEW calling? Listen, "friend". That's a previously-owned calling with a paint-job and a new odometer shoved in!
Nov. 5th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
Ahem. This is the serious police. There is far too much jocularity on this blog and if you keep it up, it will be locked against any further frivolous postings or comments.
Nov. 5th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
Forget it, Copper! You can have my jocularity when you pry it out of my cold, shallow regret!!!

Bwahahaha! <>Mrf!!! Mrf? Mrrrrfff!</>
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )