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Limyaael, also known as Lightning on the Wave for her online fiction, was an English graduate student studying for her Ph.D. In 2003, she decided to express her views on fantasy literature in a rant entitled Why I get impatient with clichéd fantasy. Since then, she has written more rants on her online journal.

Despite the name, Limyaael's rants are not just for fantasy writers. She also has covered topics that are not limited to fantasy, like dialogue and romance, as well as more general topics like plotting and characterization. One of the features of the journal format is that Limyaael’s commenters also have much to say, from additional facts to opposing viewpoints.


The Rants used to be posted on LiveJournal, but Limyaael has moved to InsaneJournal. The Rants originally posted on LJ can still be accessed there, though.

Limyaael's Fantasy Rants were updated here. The archive of Rants can be accessed here, and here.

A repository was created here to collect the scattered articles, but take note that the comments (not found here) are an important part of the original message.

Limyaael's rants were scarcely updated for a while starting around April 2008. In this post she explained the reasons, and the Rants were not updated until she had more free time. They started back up for a little while, then stopped again in May 2010.

It was mentioned early in 2013, on her Facebook Fan page, that she is doing well and that whilst she does appreciate her fans and their support over the years, she has put her online literary life behind her.


Tropes Limyaael has specifically ranted about:

Tropes that have been mentioned or discussed on the side while ranting about any of the above topics:

  • Alternate History: She gave a couple small ideas in "More things Limyaael thinks would be really cool," with some questions to ponder when answering "what if the South had won the Civil War?"
  • Chekhov's Gun: Though she didn't use the term, her rant on subtle foreshadowing favors elements that aren't supposed to be noticed the first time around.
  • Cliffhanger: A large part of the transition rant.
  • Commonality Connection: In the Less Represented Relationships rant, Limyaael argues that relationships between characters who have things in common can be more entertaining and believable to read about than characters who are complete opposites.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Limyaael's rant on dragons notes that if your dragon can breathe fire hot enough to melt solid rock, it's probably going to do more than just "make a hero's jacket smolder" in the process.
  • Diseased Name: In her rant on names, Limyaael mentions that she named one of her characters in her 2003 story Golden Heresy "Teridona", unaware of its meaning, and that a reader who spoke Greek helpfully informed her that it's Greek for "tooth decay". Whoops.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Limyaael's rant on D&D gameplay mechanics has her claiming that while many of those rules made perfect sense in a gaming environment, they don't translate well into a narrative environment, if at all.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Almost any rant about elves, demi-humans, non-humans, etc. will invoke a comparison of the non-human species being in complete and utter harmony with their environment while the humans are hell-bent on destroying it.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action/Shapeshifting Squick: During her rant about half-human heroes, she says that as much as an author wants to just say "don't think about it" when asked how the "mechanics" of it work, the author is the one person who should be putting more thought into it than anyone else.
  • Language Equals Thought: In her rants on conlangs, she makes her opinion clear: language influences thought, but doesn't equal thought.
  • Magitek: Her limitations on magic rant says that this would be the natural consequence in a setting with cheap magic. "If the world has magic, why isn't it that world's technology?"
  • No Periods, Period: When discussing full-moon-bound werewolves, Limyaael notes that even a woman's monthly period gets better care than full moon werewolf angst. Assuming the author even bothered to think about that, of course.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Discussed and ultimately averted. invoked
    I prefer strong female characters anyway, by which I mean “female characters who have their own minds and do not spend the whole time obsessed with men, either pining for them or putting them down.” They don’t have to be warriors for me to empathize with them. They can certainly be mothers who love their children fiercely. The most important relationships in their lives can certainly be with men.
  • Said Bookism: Discussed in the third grammar rant above. She especially has a problem with tags that don't make sense, like "smiled" and "nodded".
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The limitations on magic rant explains what it really takes for magic to be called scientific.
  • Tail Slap: When discussing dragons, Limyaael notes that the whip of a crocodile's tail packs enough brute force to kill an average human being. So what would a dragon's tail do? "Probably not cause light wounds."
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: She tends to call it the "Great Misunderstanding Plot."
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: During her rant about "telcoms", Limyaael wonders how a character can just waltz into a town with a telepathic wolf/dragon/whatever by their side and nobody even bats an eye at it, much less try to chase it out of town or kill it. Especially when the creature being a telepathic companion is kept secret, and "the hunters have no reason not to shoot a dangerous beast who shows little fear of humans and is lurking around the village."
  • You Did Everything You Could: Limyaael argues against the idea. While conceding that characters expressing this sentiment to another character to cheer them up or comfort them is fine, if an author constantly makes it so that the protagonist's failures have no consequence ("It doesn't matter that you couldn't/didn't save him from the housefire, he would have died that day from Lethal Disease #9567 anyway!") the protagonist verges into Mary Sue / Boring Invincible Hero territory, and the story loses realism and depth.

Tropes that manifest in the rants themselves


Example of: