Posted by: Matt Y | 12/06/2014


I came across two different fantasy stories I wrote, neither finished (a trend in these notebooks). One I actually workshopped with the class, meaning read aloud and invited criticism. It’s the opening to what was supposed to be a longer story about these various heroes getting contacted to go after a McGuffin that was a large magic crystal with a terrible power. These heroes get contracted to find and destroy it, however when they reach it they find out that their employer was the bad guy the whole time.

While reading it I see that I created some interesting characters, a trio of heroes: two half elven children adopted by an older adventurer who travel around fighting evil for example, but most of the rest are obvious rip offs of various Dragonlance and LotR characters. While not totally the same I can see that the story was heavily inspired by a Shadowrun book (Never Trust a Dragon) as the story is essentially a Shadowrun for a Mr. Johnson only completely set in a fantasy land. I wasn’t well read in fantasy at that time. I thought of a cool system of magic though, though I didn’t call it magic in the story it was called Crafting. One fun thing about this is that I started a fantasy story a couple years ago and got pretty far in it though it spiraled out of control, and some of the ideas from this must’ve laid eggs in various parts of my brain. While they might not appear similar to each other I can see that the roots were the same when reading back.

The other was a story called The Phoenix Shaman. Set also in a fantasy land with wild barbarian tribes living in a proto-American Southwest. The whole story was that there was a girl who was kind of an outcast because she was marked from birth to be spiritually connected to the Phoenix spirit, which is a blessing and curse as it marks the person as someone whom tragedy will happen to. The mark fades and no one tells her but she grows up being trained just in case. Then one day an outside Kingdom rolls through and tramples and burns their village to the ground as they’re expanding their borders. She literally rises from the ashes of her burned village saved by her connection to the spirit and then goes on a path of revenge. I had a lot of revenge stories.

I’d forgotten all about that one. There’s some Drizzt influence in there, she carries twin curved swords for example. It reads like a weird pulp/fantasy story though.

Those were the only two times I played with that genre in high school before deciding I was no good at it and moving on. Now I think it’s great, it’s just hard not to get carried away. When you get to build the world, the rules, and so on, it’s almost difficult to just not play and have fun with it instead of sticking to a narrative. I do plan on finishing up my more recent fantasy work as soon as I go through and burn most of the excess off. There’s wandering off the path and then there’s going so deep into the forest you can’t even see what the plot is anymore without binoculars.


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