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  1. #1
    rock doctor

    Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    I am creating a new world here and would categorize this piece as fantasy/adventure. However, as it is a "new" world, may I still use familiar naming of flora and fauna? For example: marigolds, oaks, ivy etc.?

    If I could not, I do not know how to get around describing the environment of my characters, changing seasons etc., without using familiar terms. If I were to invent a whole naming scheme of plants, critters, and shrubs it would probably either bore the reader or annoy the crud out of them. With that said, it just may be that my crude and novice skills are getting in the way and I just don't know how to write this ;-)


  2. #2
    Michael Blumental

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    You are creating your own world so it's entirely up to you. It can be as similar to the real world as you want it to be.

    I would personally find it boring to read excessive descriptions of non-essential scenery items unless they were exceptionally interesting and unusual.

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    I'm with Michael; I wouldn't bother making up all sorts of plants and such unless it really mattered. It just confuses the hell out of people otherwise.

  4. #4
    Andrew Smith

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    Hey RD,
    I wouldn't bother with a whole new naming scheme. Just go with what works for you.

    A friend of mine, author Brian James, recently wrote a pretty clever blog on Tor's website about the <a href = "http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=33107#35 123">"Genre Police"</a>, and he got some good comments on it. too.

    The thing is, a lot of fantasy readers are very picky about the manner in which certain things are handled.

  5. #5
    Andrew Smith

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    (written while Rogue was posting)

    Jeez... that's practically plagiarism. Sorry, RM.

  6. #6
    rock doctor

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    at RM and MB- Indeed, I would like to agree with you, however...I see the battle Andrew brings up.

    BTW Andrew, I appreciated the web article. Thanks. When it comes down to it, you can't please everyone so I guess I hope to write something that will please enough of the majority to get some representation and a pub.


  7. #7
    Sam Fletcher

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    I'm writing a fantasy novel and, for the most part, I'm using common names of things. I throw in something new and different on occasion just to make it feel alien. But if you do that all the time then you end up writing a book that's unreadable. For example.

    Endor of Scrimshaw sat underneath the Helf drinking his Grauvine. He looked over at his Hemthorian companion. "Do you think the Scarlane will attack using their Folthorps like they did last year. I shudder to think of such violence and if they do then King Wintop is sure to send out his Gimvores against them."

    So, yeah use familiar names for almost everything and when you don't give a non-intrusive description like this.

    The winged Sauvines looked down hungrily in anticipation of a meal. Honestly, they were worse than vultures and the king shouldn't tolerate their presence.

    That's not a complete description but it does give the reader some idea of what you're talking about.

  8. #8
    nancy drew

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    I can see why fantastic names of obscure, nonexistent, mythical creatures would be annoying.

    Nonetheless, I do love momewraths, jubjub birds and bandersnatches.

    Love the way those names roll off my slithy tongue -- all snicker snack-like.

  9. #9
    Joe Zeff

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    That's "mome rath," Nancy, not momewrath; mome is an adjective, modifying rath, not part of the bird's name. Don't you remember Humpty Dumpty's explanation?

  10. #10
    Sam Fletcher

    Re: Fantasy Fiction "rules"

    Nancy, that reminds me of a poem I wrote titled "Slumber."


    In the ragged, hoary autumn
    When the leaves so oft entwine,
    I fell deep into the rapids
    Carving dreams within my mind.

    And they carried me far yonder
    To a place where feeboths roam,
    Where the varbeast speaks in thunder,
    And the figgets make their home.

    It is a fierce and grandy place,
    This land within the soul.
    But I know that dawn is coming,
    And with it I must go

    To a realm not so magic,
    And a vista not so wide,
    To a place free from Varbeasts
    where no figgets peep and hide.

    And with cold and stony visage,
    I unwilling make my way,
    To the land of morning waking,
    And the toil of another day.

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