Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Magna Carta Two

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

As I mentioned in a previous post, here’s my Magna Carta II.

Okay, again, just in case you jumpped in here at the last minute and haven’t read anything else, Chris Baty talked about two Magna Cartas of noveling in his NaNoWriMo primer No Plot No Problem. The first is all the things I think go into a good novel. (That’s what the last post was.) And the second is the list of all the things that I think should be definately left out of a good novel. (That’s what this one is.)

So, without further ado, here’s my Magna Carta II, Elements of “Bad” Fiction:

  • Trick, “O’Henry” endings
  • Characters who do consistently stupid things and never learn
  • Info dumps
  • Characters who preach
  • No action or plot movement
  • Wooden characters without any background or substance
  • Mysteries that can only be solved with information/clues not given in the story ala “Murder She Wrote”
  • Not enough description
  • Too much description, especially with florid prose
  • No one working or trying to make a living
  • No conflict based in responsibility to a real life
  • Magic that doesn’t follow rules or has too many loopholes
  • Not enough explanation of how magic works
  • Inconsistent characters

Sadly, with so few days left and so many words to catch up, I doubt this will ever shape up into an actual novel, especially since I’m so strapped for time, that I’m stealing posts from my other blog, Diary of a Network Geek. Still, it’s been a good exercise and, as I’ve mentioned before, it has gotten me writing more than I’ve written all year long.
Ah, well, maybe next year!

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