Week 3 and Respect the Lore

18 Sep

 Third Week Round Up – This week is the last week to enter the draw to win a GC. Thank you so much to everyone who’s hosted, reviewed, and did a girl a solid sharing.


Westveil Publishing

Read your Writes Book Reviews

The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

Long and Short Reviews

This week was a lot of fun because I got to pick my own topics quite a bit.

About that Lore Thing

I’m listening to a lot of people go on and on about Galadriel in the RoP show, and there’s a substantial deviation about what people are griping about and what people are pretending they’re griping about.

My nephew was telling me on Saturday, among other hilarious things (it was a really, really fun conversation on our way to the bookstore), that people don’t like RoP because of racism, so I’m letting him watch and decide for himself if he likes the show and I told him elves can have short hair or be black or whatever, but people should like or not like something and be okay with it for better reasons than that, but also to respect that other people will or will not like things he feels the opposite way about, and that’s okay too. (Also coming up was that I needed to write books that don’t suck so much – he’s not really a fan of Mermaids or Unicorns, give ‘im a few years and he’ll be ready for my other books). When we got to the bookstore the conversation turned to Lego, which both my nephew and older niece have grown out of, but his younger sister, is still quite excited for.

There’s always going to be people complaining that Waif-Fu is a thing. I’m not here to argue; the more removed your movie is from reality, the less I care. I’m more than cool with tiny little Yoda being the most badass character on one ‘Verse and pointing out Hobbits are kind of adorable little mascots in another who also saved Middle-Earth and helped take down the Witch King.

The real problem is that fantasy is treated by outsiders where anything can happen and so they completely forget what the established rules of the universe they’re entering are. People have compared Oz to Wonderland, and while there are similarities, I was telling my niece that my problem with “Heartless” by Marissa Mayer is that the plot would have worked better in a world like Oz; so Heartless as its own book is fine but Heartless as part of Wonderland, just isn’t wacky or odd for me. Now, I’m not saying authors can’t look at a work and change things (Wide Sargassio Sea), the real problem is saying, “It’s fantasy we can do whatever we want HAHAHAHAHA why does everyone hate these creative choices?”

Lore is whatever you did to establish what the rules of your world are. Is it basically our world with one or two things off? How would these things fundamentally change the world from our own? For instance, let’s pretend some people have abilities other’s don’t, like X-Men or Avatar: The Last Airbender. How do the non-powered people deal with people who can easily overpower them? How might our culture and change if human beings became immortal? Science fiction and fantasy is not just a setting, it asks questions such as these and runs with them.

Wheel of Time’s  world is all about if human beings got to use magic, split between the biological sexes, and suddenly only one gender can use it safely. Not every culture embraces the use of magic, in many cultures it became taboo but, in just about every culture, gender lines became more rigid because this was a fundamentally important no matter if you embraced or feared the use of the One Power.

One problem is when you establish something and then you go out of your way to pretend that never happened. I complained about FFVII last week, so here I am whining about Tinkerbelle this week

Tinkerbelle’s Origin. Then they decided like three movies later to give her a twin sister

Leia, what do you care about Tinkerbelle?

I don’t get summoned to the basement to defeat the boss during holidays much anymore, but I have zero qualms watching a movie with the kids, and so I’m asking those of you who make content for children nicely Don’t treat kids like they’re stupid, my nieces noticed dagnabbit. I don’t expect a lot of depth, but this sort of stuff makes the franchise look sloppy.

What if it improves the lore?

This is a Your Mileage may vary thing.

I was getting my butt beat in chess by the same medic a few years ago so I was looking up chess openings and I learned a move called En Passant. It came up in conversation, but I didn’t like the rule because that’s not how my grandpa taught me. The other medic went home and looked it up because, he didn’t learn that move growing up either. We agreed it was legit but neither of us ever played it because that’s maybe a thing in France, but not our neck of the woods.

That’s what it’s like going into an established universe and changing stuff. When you enter a house of cards, you need to find out what the house rules are, and can’t claim half way through the night, hey I’m playing by another set of rules for this round. If you want to play a variant, you establish it ahead of time. That’s why it’s okay that dragons in this movie are mindless monsters and in this other one it’s voiced by Sean Connery and quite pleasant. And I don’t mind that my family technically cheats all the time in Scrabble, it’s in house and we let anyone entering from outside read the dictionary to their heart’s content but, if I were invited to play Scrabble at your house I’m going to play by the same rules as everyone else.

The real problem here isn’t that Galadriel is too powerful. Glorfindel (Sir Not Appearing in The Film) killed a Balrog so there are very, very powerful characters.

Galadriel shouldn’t be acting like a human teenager reamed out by Elendil. “We need to have these forges done by spring” makes no sense for immortal beings. Having a festival singing, “Everyone sticks together, and nobody’s left behind” and immediately having an event that’s almost for surely condemning a family with an injured family member being left behind?

Be consistent, yo.

The minute anything can happen, because it’s fantasy and elves aren’t real LOL the stakes are no longer there and your audience can’t engage the same way. The story becomes inconsistent and can quickly become nonsense. The odd rule break here or there, depending on how it’s handled might be okay, but to me that’s like me wanting to break a fundamental rule of grammar before I understand what I’m doing. A really, really good author might be able to pull it off but, me, more specifically me when I was just starting to write? I’m going to annoy readers and, unless I prove that I know what I’m doing, they’re probably not going to tolerate what looks like a fundamental misunderstanding of the source material.

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