You know you're a fantasy writer when...

Submitted by Kayleen on Thu, 04/18/2013 - 20:13

1. …you spend countless hours inventing an Elvish alphabet.
2. …you have an ongoing debate with a friend over whether dragons are irredeemably evil or not. *cough cough*
3. …you’re worried that the FBI might investigate you because you keep Googling things like combat strategy, defenses, fortifications, weaponry, explosives…
4. mutter nonsense syllables to yourself, trying to decide if they sound Elvish or not.
5. …you interview an EMT and one of your questions involves a stabbed character in a subterranean environment.
6. …you’re playing capture-the-flag on horseback and think, “Huh, I could use these sensory details for a cavalry battle scene…”
7. …you wear a sword all day just to see what it would be like (annoying, FYI).
8. …you own a long black cloak with a big hood that makes you look like a Nazgul.
9. …you know that it’s really hard to swordfight or run around in the woods while wearing the above cloak.
10. …you are visiting Hawaii and buy a necklace with a pendant that—to you—resembles a dragon’s tooth.
11. …your desk is covered with plush dragons.
12. …your friend gives you a necklace for your birthday and you thank her and exclaim, “It looks so Elvish!”
13. …your friend knows that’s a compliment.
14. …you own both Dragonology and Monsterology and poor over them as if they were ancient texts.
15. …you study other cultures so you can use them as inspiration for your invented ones.
16. …you study history to look for fodder for your books.
17. …your friends tell you that your ears are getting pointier.
18. …you study biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, medicine, and just about every other aspect of science, mining for interesting tidbits of information to use.
19. …you know the definition of words like “ramparts,” “battlements,” “crenellations,” and “portcullis.”
20. own a book titled Knives and Swords: A Visual History and regularly flip through it for reference and ideas.
21. have a collection of miscellaneous trinkets such as a shiny blue stone, a “dragon’s fang” on a leather chord, and a vial of random herbs.
22. …you pretend that the above items have magical properties.
23. …you build models of palaces on Google Sketch-Up.
24. …someone asks if you can speak in tongues and you want to know if Elvish counts.
25. …cold, misty nights give you wonderful scene ideas.
26. …tombs give you the chills, but in a good way.
27. …someone asks what your favorite animal is and you immediately answer “dragons,” “phoenixes,” or “gryphons” without a second thought.
28. …you have been known to use invented swear words as exclamations.
29. …you’re driving through the desert and envision an army on the ridge above you and decide that this would be a perfect location for an ambush.
30. …also in the desert, you spend several minutes taking pictures of a canyon, trying to figure out how your characters can cross it.
31. …you always have a camera on hand for field trips and vacations because you never know when you’ll find some inspiring scenery or architecture.
32. …the boyfriend/girlfriend of your dreams has pointed ears.
33. …you are convinced that Santa’s “elves” are imposters and are actually gnomes.
34.'re taking notes in the middle of church that have nothing to do with the sermon.
35. ...your siblings know that your notes have nothing to do with the sermon.
36. …you never, ever go anywhere without a notepad and pen.
37. …you can describe what a dragon smells like.

Author's age when written

I'll probably think of more later :). Enjoy!


I know what dragons smell like; Sulfur!!!

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

Item number 33. I entirely agree. In fact, I've debated this topic.

Item number 37. I also know how dragons smell: they smell evil, atrocious, flagitious, grievous, monstrous, sinister, corruptive, perverse, pestiferous, demonic, diabolic, fiendish, hellish, infernal, satanic, unholy, despicable, ugly, vile, slimy, worthless, wretched, devilish, mephistophelian, evil-minded, immoral, offensive, unrighteous, wicked, wrong, and totally and irredeemably depraved.

“D’ye know what Calvary was? What? What? What? It was damnation; and he took it lovingly.”
~John Duncan

Actually, dragons have a scent similar to ferrets-- sort of a spicy-musky smell. It's not very strong, so it's only noticeable when you're very close to one or if you're in a place where a bunch of them have been living for a while. ; )

And yes, Santa's "elves" are totally gnomes. Someone needs to prosecute them for identity theft.

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." -- Herman Melville
"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." -- Anton Chekhov

Ha! This was funny. :) I'm not a fantasy writer myself, but I enjoyed reading it. I especially enjoyed #3 (because I have googled some odd things, indeed), 12 & 13, 34 & 35.

Great job!

I know nothing about Googling weird and random things *cough, cough*... do I Homey? Haha.
I really liked the one about inventing swear words :P LOL! Sooo true.

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
Write On!

Maybe it's because I was smelling the dragons' blood...
It really smells bad; very much like sulfur.
So, maybe they do smell not quite as bad on the outside, (but really? Ferrets? they smell pretty bad too!) but on the inside, you will find their real colors.

Benjamin, Santa's elves are 100\% Elvish. That's the main reason I can't stand Santa Claus...

"My greatest wish for my writing is that it would point you to the Savior."

A few notes, though.

6) Not many people are ever able to play CTF on horseback. Plus, if you're a fantasy writer and you have a horse, why have you not invented a medieval game yet?

14) It's 'pore' not 'poor'. I also really want all of those books.

27) As a solid fantasy writer, I should tell you it's 'phoenices'. It's similar to how matrix becomes matrices.

36) I should really start carrying a notebook. Also, I may write my own version of this.

Music I created

6) Alas, I actually don't own a horse-- I have just attended an awesome horse summer camp. The point wasn't necessarily about playing CTF on horseback, but that a writer is always looking for circumstances and sensory details that they can apply to their book. : )
14) I originally wrote "poor," but my writing teacher/mentor corrected it to "pore." I think it should actually be "pour," but I could be wrong. And yes, those books are awesome.
27) Really? I'd never seen that. Microsoft Word recognizes "phoenixes" but not "phoenices," but you can't always trust Word's dictionary (I could have also added "phoenixes" to my dictionary at some point to get it to stop complaining at me ; )). Thanks for the tip!

Thank you for the feedback, everyone! I wrote this more for fun than as a "serious" piece of writing, but it's fun to see what you guys think of it. : )

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." -- Herman Melville
"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." -- Anton Chekhov