Attitudes towards killing and violence.

Since this deals with attitudes, I won’t be addressing strategy and tactics here; it’s mostly about the social and cultural associations of battles, duels, and other methods of killing. Also, it has few separate points; most of the ideas I wanted to present are gathered together under general ones.

You can’t swing that sword that wayCollapse )

Class/caste systems is next, according to the poll.


There are two questions here, but that's just because one question can only include 15 options; the rants that are most popular will come first no matter which question they're listed on. I tried to respond to people in the suggestion post itself when I didn't think I had enough knowledge to talk about a subject or when the suggestion fit a rant I've already done, so if this poll is missing your suggestion and you didn't get a reply, try checking the thread you posted in on the last entry. Thank you to everyone who made suggestions.

Poll!Collapse )
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Suggestion post

I've been trying to come up with new ideas for rants so I could do a poll, but unfortunately my brain seems to run best on prompts at the moment. If you'd like to see a particular rant, go ahead and suggest it here, and it'll probably make it into the poll. (Feel free to second/third/etc. someone else's idea that you like).

I may not do rants just because I don't feel I have enough knowledge in the area. I may also not do them because I've covered the subject before. If you want to know whether it's been ranted about, here's the list of all of them.

Suggest away!
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Characterizing animals

This is meant to apply as broadly as possible—to normal animals, telcoms (telepathic companions), shapeshifters, and author-created fantasy animals. Some of it does assume that you’re writing from the animal’s point-of-view, but it could also be useful for describing them from the outside.

So here we goCollapse )

Writing fantasy about oppression

All right then.

Frankly, this rant was difficult to write. Part of it is simply that I’m afraid I’ll leave something important out. The other part is that I’m white, middle-class, and American, and so I’m approaching a lot of this in theory, not in the experience of living with it. Given the time period I live in, I don’t even have to deal with some things that would have been de rigeur for an American white, middle-class woman a few decades ago. So, if you see something in the rant you think is biased, ill-chosen, wrongly-worded, or offensive, please correct me. The nice thing about using an LJ post as a format for this rant is that I can clearly show the correction of mistakes by strikeouts.

So here we goCollapse )

All right. After all, I am hardly immune from criticism, either.

Tell me what you think.

PSA: The list of rants

If you want to find all the fantasy rants I've done, you can look in my memories or at Coyotecult's Handydandy Reference Index. If you want smaller numbers of rants at a time, I've also tagged them. (I'll be linking this post in my profile).

Rant tags belowCollapse )

And now, it will be a much simpler process just to tag and memory them as I write them.

Looking through the older rants was...an experience. I would no longer state some of the things I said then in the exact same way, and some rants overlap. But, in the interests of leaving in various wordings that might aid someone more than a more recent rant, I won't be revising them. According to the memories count, there are 372 of the damn things, and if I started revising them, I'd never write a new one.
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Moments When the Protagonist Awes Other Characters, Curing the Addiction To

As threatened promised hinted at.

Sure, sometimes it’s cool, but the problem is the frequencyCollapse )

The next one might be on oppression, though the Invisible Pink Unicorn knows it’s a rant I’m wary of writing.

Non-villain rant

Both digoraccoon and marumae asked for a rant like this. And, after all, there’s no reason that you need to assume a villain in order to have a story. Mainstream fiction and many “classic” novels get away quite handily with having no villain, or only one truly despicable character in a populated world where many other shades of morality exist.

The only thing I do assume for this rant is that your non-villain is a fairly important character, and therefore you’ll be thinking about how his or her activities matter to the story as a whole; obviously, if they appear onstage in only one scene, your concerns in developing them will be different.

Beyond good and evilCollapse )

The next rant will probably be on ways to focus and tighten stories.