I want to post today, but I don't have much time. The Penguins of Madagascar are about to come on and I have to go!
So, I want to pose a question to all of you...kind of like a discussion board, if you're willing to participate. Perhaps you can give me some advice and suggestions that will improve my writing.
The question is this: What makes a good fantasy? (No dirty stuff please! Well, not too dirty:)
I've been wrestling with this issue for a while. You see, there's so many great fantasies that I absolutely love (Tolkien for example), and so many that I just can't get into. I literally read the first page and can't force myself to go on.
So I'm wondering...why? What makes the great stories great? And what makes the bad ones stink like a month old dead fish?
Yes, yes... we can talk about one has a good story and engaging characters and so forth while the others don't.
But my question is ... what SPECIFIC stuff makes the story and characters and so forth good??? And what makes them bad??
For example, I tend to get bogged down by the strange names people give their characters and places...names that are so complicated that I can't pronounce or remember (Sir Rogotheraen from Xyegenorax. I mean, come on! Why not Tim? Or Becky?)
Also, I get bothered when characters are all manly men, with muscles and tattoos and long, flowing hair.
And then there's magic. I hate it when fantasy authors have systems of magic with no counter point. Everybody can cast ridiculously powerful spells with no downsides or repercussions. Every point of confrontation or conflict can be settled with a magic spell that the main characters JUST HAPPEN to have! (They’re trapped in a room. Water is pouring in, threatening to drown Sir Rogotheraen. Then, all of a sudden, he remembers his “water be gone” spell!!! Ugh! Kill me!)
I like it when magic takes a backseat to the story and that the best attributes a character has is their brain and heart.
But this is just me.
What do all of you think? What makes a good fantasy story? What makes a bad one?
Ooops! The Penguins are on! Gotta run!
Thanks for stopping by (and the help)!