June 27th, 2012

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20 Things Fantasy Characters Should Do More Often

This is an interesting list. Let's see ...

1. Forget things, for no reason.

Some of my characters are notably absent-minded, others not. Alex from Schrodinger's Heroes is a good example of one who is.

3. Read other fantasy novels.

That's a meta trait, it only works in characters who are going from an ordinary life into extraordinary experiences.

5. Meet a woman who’s not a witch, a healer or a princess and not remark upon how extraordinary it is that she’s not a witch or a healer or a princess.

There is no shortage of ordinary people in my stories.

6. Meet a non-white person and not subsequently discover they’re from the Burning Lands Far to the South or something like that.

In my main fantasy world of Hallelaine, the Southern Continent has a bunch of different non-white races. The Central Continent and Northern Continent have some, along the lines of Native American styling. And the Changu elves and Hunnar centaurs are sort of Asian, from another continent.

7. Suffer chafing issues

If they're not used to riding horses, oh yes, this happens. Or certain other activities.

8. Change diapers.

If you're telling a story in conventional time, with an infant in it, and there is no diaper change then that gets implausible pretty quickly. So for instance, there's one at the end of "Brought to Bed."

9. Meet an orphan whose parents just turn out to be just as random and ordinary as his or her adoptive parents.

I think this is actually the majority for mine.

10. Drink non-alcoholic beverages.

Hmm, probably water is the most common for my characters.

11. Meet an orc who actually isn’t an asshole.

Hicket, put your hand down, you're a quarter-orc.

12. Hear ominous noises that then turn out to be nothing.

*laugh* I can barely resist the temptation to do this, it drives characters nuts. We actually had a character in a gaming party once with a knack for mimicking monster noises. She drove everyone nuts.

13. Die of natural causes.

Pretty common for mine.

16. Have guard duty and not bicker with the other person who has guard duty.

Anyone who can't manage this has a very short life expectancy in my stories. I can't abide stupidity.

17. Meet a dwarf who’s actually pretty good with a bow.

Huh ... don't think I have a dwarven archer yet. They're rare, and I don't write dwarves often, so I keep getting the more usual sorts of dwarves. Well, okay, Druga is traff, but that's different.

20. Get eaten by a dragon. Come on, if dragons were real they would eat _everybody_.

My dragons that like to eat people usually do get to eat somebody.