History SoYouWantTo / BeTheNextJRRTolkien

8th Oct '17 11:59:04 AM ThomasProofreader
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Alternatively go for moral ambiguity. Make the Big Bad understandable, reasonalble or even sympathetic. If you world is dark enough even make your hero the [[VillainProtagonist real villain]]. It's traditional to use fiction to demonstrate morality, but you don't have to. [[ValuesDissonance Resist the urge to make the values of the heroes sympathetic to the audience]] and get them excited in [[MagnificentBastard other ways]]. To some, [[AuthorTract doing]] [[UnfortunateImplications this]] [[WhatTheHellHero will]] [[CluelessAesop invite]] [[LostAesop certain]] [[WarpedAesop accusations]]. [[MisaimedFandom Maybe people will even agree.]]

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Alternatively go for moral ambiguity. Make the Big Bad understandable, reasonalble reasonable or even sympathetic. If you world is dark enough even make your hero the [[VillainProtagonist real villain]]. It's traditional to use fiction to demonstrate morality, but you don't have to. [[ValuesDissonance Resist the urge to make the values of the heroes sympathetic to the audience]] and get them excited in [[MagnificentBastard other ways]]. To some, [[AuthorTract doing]] [[UnfortunateImplications this]] [[WhatTheHellHero will]] [[CluelessAesop invite]] [[LostAesop certain]] [[WarpedAesop [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop accusations]]. [[MisaimedFandom Maybe people will even agree.]]



If you're going to include Elves, [[CantArgueWithElves don't make them perfect]]. If they are beautiful, superstrong, immortal, intelligent, magically and technologically advanced, and also morally superior, then they're effectively minor Gods, with all the story-construction difficulties that implies. They would be an entire race of {{God Mode Sue}}s.

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If you're going to include Elves, [[CantArgueWithElves don't make them perfect]]. If they are beautiful, superstrong, super-strong, immortal, intelligent, magically and technologically advanced, and also morally superior, then they're effectively minor Gods, with all the story-construction difficulties that implies. They would be an entire race of {{God Mode Sue}}s.



To be more general -- if you include multiple races or sentient species in the setting, be sure to give all of them balanced qualities. A high race of perfect, superstrong, magical, hyperintelligent catgirls is just as bad as a Mary Suetopia of elves. On the other coin, the race of piggish, bestial, always chaotic, dark-skinned, stupid, evildoing people has UnfortunateImplications as well. (Tolkien himself fell prey to that one, although he at least tried to fix that once he realized it.)

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To be more general -- if you include multiple races or sentient species in the setting, be sure to give all of them balanced qualities. A high race of perfect, superstrong, super-strong, magical, hyperintelligent catgirls hyper-intelligent cat-girls is just as bad as a Mary Suetopia of elves. On the other coin, the race of piggish, bestial, always chaotic, dark-skinned, stupid, evildoing people has UnfortunateImplications as well. (Tolkien himself fell prey to that one, although he at least tried to fix that once he realized it.)



Give the BigBad a symbol, and wrap it in dread. It doesn't have to be black; almost any colour can be given negative associations. Red, of course, is the colour of blood and fire. Green is the colour of rot and decay, of fetid swamps and gangrenous flesh. White is the colour of sun-bleached bones, and the blinding light of the desert sun. Blue is the color of ice and frozen wastes. If you want a real challenge, try pink (hey, [[Creator/JKRowling Rowling]] pulled it off... at least with an [[SmugSnake underling]] - although if you want a truly horrific pink villain, who can forget [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Ramsay Bolton]]?)

For the good guys, pick something to match your aesops. Tolkien had the stars, and moments of beauty in the dark places, which symbolize and inspire hope in the face of adversity.

to:

Give the BigBad a symbol, and wrap it in dread. It doesn't have to be black; almost any colour color can be given negative associations. Red, of course, is the colour color of blood and fire. Green is the colour color of rot and decay, of fetid swamps and gangrenous flesh. White is the colour color of sun-bleached bones, and the blinding light of the desert sun. Blue is the color of ice and frozen wastes. If you want a real challenge, try pink (hey, [[Creator/JKRowling Rowling]] pulled it off... at least with an [[SmugSnake underling]] - although if you want a truly horrific pink villain, who can forget [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Ramsay Bolton]]?)

For the good guys, pick something to match your aesops.morals. Tolkien had the stars, and moments of beauty in the dark places, which symbolize and inspire hope in the face of adversity.
16th Jun '17 10:48:32 AM nombretomado
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Tolkien's fellowship was all male, but a few women may increase the appeal. Bear in mind, ''there's nothing wrong with an all-male cast''... so long as you're aware of the fact that the [[ExecutiveMeddling people]] who [[AdaptationDecay update]] your masterpiece will invariably believe it's a flaw no matter ''how'' [[WatershipDown crucial it is to the plot]]. But if you're going for an all-male team of heroes, avoid the trap of making any female supporting characters [[TokenGirl token]] and lifeless. Female relatives of the cast, female mentors (and wise women), and the like should be well developed even if they're only around for a chapter before the team moves on.

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Tolkien's fellowship was all male, but a few women may increase the appeal. Bear in mind, ''there's nothing wrong with an all-male cast''... so long as you're aware of the fact that the [[ExecutiveMeddling people]] who [[AdaptationDecay update]] your masterpiece will invariably believe it's a flaw no matter ''how'' [[WatershipDown [[Literature/WatershipDown crucial it is to the plot]]. But if you're going for an all-male team of heroes, avoid the trap of making any female supporting characters [[TokenGirl token]] and lifeless. Female relatives of the cast, female mentors (and wise women), and the like should be well developed even if they're only around for a chapter before the team moves on.
20th Nov '16 9:40:45 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Literature/TheDeedOfPaksenarrion'' by ElizabethMoon. A strong, vital sense of realistic detail in how the world works, along with memorable characters and a well-wrought CharacterArc as the sheepherder's daughter Paks goes from military recruit to war veteran to Paladin recruit to Christ figure. With a bit of Joan of Arc somewhere in there. Moon doesn't pull any punches, so this trilogy is for mature readers only - but not a single intense moment is gratuitous or pointless, as each moment, good or bad, carefully shapes Paks into the person she needs to be.

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* ''Literature/TheDeedOfPaksenarrion'' by ElizabethMoon.Creator/ElizabethMoon. A strong, vital sense of realistic detail in how the world works, along with memorable characters and a well-wrought CharacterArc as the sheepherder's daughter Paks goes from military recruit to war veteran to Paladin recruit to Christ figure. With a bit of Joan of Arc somewhere in there. Moon doesn't pull any punches, so this trilogy is for mature readers only - but not a single intense moment is gratuitous or pointless, as each moment, good or bad, carefully shapes Paks into the person she needs to be.



* The ''Dune'' series by Frank Herbert. It is the best-selling science fiction series of all time, with a world spanning over 20,000 years of history. Themes range from politics, economics, ecology, religion, sociology, linguistics, and philosophy. Many compare it to ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'', matching it in scope and world building, and commonly said to be the science fiction equivalent of Tolkien's work.

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* The ''Dune'' ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' series by Frank Herbert. It is the best-selling science fiction series of all time, with a world spanning over 20,000 years of history. Themes range from politics, economics, ecology, religion, sociology, linguistics, and philosophy. Many compare it to ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'', matching it in scope and world building, and commonly said to be the science fiction equivalent of Tolkien's work.
14th Sep '16 8:35:16 PM CaptEquinox
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Like Creator/JRRTolkien himself, you could teach yourself dead languages at the age of seven, go fight in [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI the biggest and bloodiest war ever fought in your time]] and watch your friends die, begin writing of a better world on a battlefield where death is the only victor, return home to find your childhood ideals ruined in the name of progress, spend twenty years immersed in the dusty recesses of academe, then finally set pen to paper and make the words sing...

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Like Creator/JRRTolkien himself, you could teach yourself dead languages at the age of seven, live in an idyllic rural setting with your mom until she died and you had to go live in a bleak industrial town, be forbidden to see the love of your life for years until you could barely relate to each other anymore, go fight in [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI the biggest and bloodiest war ever fought in your time]] and watch your friends die, begin writing of a better world die on a battlefield where death is the only victor, fall ill and while in hospital begin writing of a better world, return home to find your childhood ideals ruined in the name of progress, spend twenty years immersed in the dusty recesses of academe, then finally set pen to paper and make the words sing...
10th Aug '16 4:03:41 AM CommanderBLAARGH
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Give the BigBad a symbol, and wrap it in dread. It doesn't have to be black; almost any colour can be given negative associations. Red, of course, is the colour of blood and fire. Green is the colour of rot and decay, of fetid swamps and gangrenous flesh. White is the colour of sun-bleached bones, and the blinding light of the desert sun. Blue is the color of ice and frozen wastes. If you want a real challenge, try pink (hey, [[Creator/JKRowling Rowling]] pulled it off... at least with an [[SmugSnake underling]] - although if you want a truly horrific pink villain, who can forget [Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Ramsay Bolton]]?)

to:

Give the BigBad a symbol, and wrap it in dread. It doesn't have to be black; almost any colour can be given negative associations. Red, of course, is the colour of blood and fire. Green is the colour of rot and decay, of fetid swamps and gangrenous flesh. White is the colour of sun-bleached bones, and the blinding light of the desert sun. Blue is the color of ice and frozen wastes. If you want a real challenge, try pink (hey, [[Creator/JKRowling Rowling]] pulled it off... at least with an [[SmugSnake underling]] - although if you want a truly horrific pink villain, who can forget [Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Ramsay Bolton]]?)
10th Aug '16 4:02:05 AM CommanderBLAARGH
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Give the BigBad a symbol, and wrap it in dread. It doesn't have to be black; almost any colour can be given negative associations. Red, of course, is the colour of blood and fire. Green is the colour of rot and decay, of fetid swamps and gangrenous flesh. White is the colour of sun-bleached bones, and the blinding light of the desert sun. Blue is the color of ice and frozen wastes. If you want a real challenge, try pink (hey, [[Creator/JKRowling Rowling]] pulled it off... at least with an [[SmugSnake underling]]).

to:

Give the BigBad a symbol, and wrap it in dread. It doesn't have to be black; almost any colour can be given negative associations. Red, of course, is the colour of blood and fire. Green is the colour of rot and decay, of fetid swamps and gangrenous flesh. White is the colour of sun-bleached bones, and the blinding light of the desert sun. Blue is the color of ice and frozen wastes. If you want a real challenge, try pink (hey, [[Creator/JKRowling Rowling]] pulled it off... at least with an [[SmugSnake underling]]).
underling]] - although if you want a truly horrific pink villain, who can forget [Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Ramsay Bolton]]?)
20th Mar '16 7:39:49 PM Goldfritha
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!!'''Sources'''

Tolkien was ''deeply'' versed in Germanic, English, and Scandinavian lore and drew on them heavily for his inspiration. You want similar familiarity not only with the common fantasy tropes but with their roots in myth, legend, and folktale.
18th Dec '15 8:55:41 PM nombretomado
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Give some thoughts to the various archetypal plots: Start with TheHerosJourney by Campbell, then move into StructuralArchetypes by Walker and TheSevenBasicPlots by Booker. Any of these plots can serve as the backbone of your story, or you could mix-and-match the elements until you get what you want. But sticking by a classical structure can definitely help you achieve the epic feel of a true masterpiece.

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Give some thoughts to the various archetypal plots: Start with TheHerosJourney by Campbell, then move into StructuralArchetypes by Walker and TheSevenBasicPlots Literature/TheSevenBasicPlots by Booker. Any of these plots can serve as the backbone of your story, or you could mix-and-match the elements until you get what you want. But sticking by a classical structure can definitely help you achieve the epic feel of a true masterpiece.
12th Sep '15 9:54:46 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Literature/TheFionavarTapestry'' by GuyGavrielKay has been explicitly written as close as possible to the pattern set by Tolkien, while retaining its own originality.

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* ''Literature/TheFionavarTapestry'' by GuyGavrielKay Creator/GuyGavrielKay has been explicitly written as close as possible to the pattern set by Tolkien, while retaining its own originality.
10th Sep '15 8:03:58 AM Morgenthaler
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* Since GeorgeRRMartin has been hailed by some as the 'American Tolkien', you might want to check out the work that earned him that title: ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. It is fantasy with a deeply cynical and gritty edge.
* TheWheelOfTime, by Robert Jordan. LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, all of whom are memorable. The plot is intricate and complex, and the battles are awesome.

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* Since GeorgeRRMartin Creator/GeorgeRRMartin has been hailed by some as the 'American Tolkien', you might want to check out the work that earned him that title: ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. It is fantasy with a deeply cynical and gritty edge.
* TheWheelOfTime, Literature/TheWheelOfTime, by Robert Jordan. LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, all of whom are memorable. The plot is intricate and complex, and the battles are awesome.



* ''TheFionavarTapestry'' by GuyGavrielKay has been explicitly written as close as possible to the pattern set by Tolkien, while retaining its own originality.

to:

* ''TheFionavarTapestry'' ''Literature/TheFionavarTapestry'' by GuyGavrielKay has been explicitly written as close as possible to the pattern set by Tolkien, while retaining its own originality.
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