4.26.2007

A little quiz

This is hilarious!

And I learned something!

Can you guess what it was?



(Tip of the feathered chaeau to Nick for the link)

30 comments:

Katie said...

My novel is about Bertusolethian O'Neil, the Half-Squirrel/Half-Poodle farmdogsquirrel, who has mysterious parentage and eventually takes up with a cooking wench who carries him around in a burlap sack between swordfights. While wielding his ten-pound sword and joking with his pet dwarf, he makes a lot of quips like, "Talk to the paw!" and "I wouldn't trade you for a pint of Snausage-flavored mead, babycakes."

So, uh, NO, my novel is NOT a LOTR rip-off.

And my word verf even gave me the perfect pen name: Tukiau.

JRR Tukiau.

WordVixen said...

33. Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far?

Darn. I fail.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's what I learned--mead is not beer?

Jana Oliver said...

#56 - "Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day?"

Sure. Doesn't everyone?

A Paperback Writer said...

When I was 14, I slammed down my copy of the Sword of Shannara in disgust -- and I was obsessed with Tolkien and I played D&D (I was 14, okay? deal with it). Once again I recall why I don't like Eragon (although it is impressively done for a teenager) and why I stopped reading Xanth stuff.
Miss Snark, I will understand if this is too slanderous and you don't allow it to be posted.

Brady Westwater said...

Weight of the sword?

Anonymous said...

Along with the hay baler, people need to know when doorknobs were invented, if they want to write faux-medieval fare.

Anonymous said...

You learned about the true weight of swords, of course. Either that or it's not OK in some circles to re-write Tokien for the umpteenth time.

But instead of "rip-of tip-offs," why didn't the editors give us a list of "rip-off piss-offs"?

Chris said...

aww man. My book failed the test. Two questions wrong.

I'll start burning my copies ASAP.

Anonymous said...

I am laughing my swords off right now..

Dave said...

That was FUN!
Now I get to purge my stories of all those elements. arghh!
The wages of sin are ;)
thanks.

PerpetualBeginner said...

I don't know the date of the invention of a hay-baler - but since my protagonist never comes within a mile of a field of hay (mostly tromping around forests), it doesn't seem to be a fatal flaw.

Does unknown heir to the throne count if the heir isn't chosen by blood?

BenPanced said...

*pfft!* My first chapter is the size of the Manhattan White AND Yellow Pages combined. Amateurs.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Oh, I just about DIED when I read the Robert Jordan one . . . a friend recommended Jordan to me. Too late, I found out said friend played D & D or Elvenquest or Magicrune or whatever the hell they call those online games for people who wish they were fairies with unpronouncable names and big jugs.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Snark learned mead is not gin, or there are only 87 universal plots and folks love to read those plots again and again. gjb

alternatefish said...

well, since everyone knows mead is a honey-based alcoholic beverage, I'm going to guess that Miss Snark's new knowledge is the bit about stew. Since she subsists entirely on gin, she cannot be expected to know how many hours it takes to make stew.

Anna said...

You learned that someone has an even worse slushpile than yours?

pdblake said...

I learend that in a fantasy world feudalism might well work differently to how it really worked and that the hay baler may or not have been invented at all.

In other words, don't confuse history with fantasy.

Cynthia Bronco said...

Very, very funny! I have to admit I'm relieved: not guilty on all counts except #37, but it's a good Catholic name.
I had my share of mead back in the day when I used to frequent medeival events, but I've lost touch with the local brewers guild. It's not vastly different than beer.

December Quinn said...

I guess the stew thing, too, since everyone knows Miss Snark uses her kitchen exclusively to store gin, ice, and take-out menus.

The mead I've had is pretty different from beer, though...since there's no barley or hops in it at all and it is rather sweet and full-bodied.

Anonymous said...

LMAO!! Bless him, my husband loves fantasy novels where absolutely nothing happens for the first 50 pages. I don't know how he does it. I'd forward him the link, but I don't think he'd find it funny.

(Frosted Flakes and milk comes off keyboards, right?)

Elissa Abbott said...

They forgot my favorite:

Does your big evil live in a wasteland (often the frozen north) just waiting for the right moment to take over the world?

Kameron said...

You need to quit reading so many queries/ARCs and catch up on your Googling, Ms. Snark. That ol' quiz has been around the block more times than Granny. ;)

Elektra said...

Oh, goodness. Mine isn't even fantasy (I prefer to think of it as patronized history--something I strictly avoid mentioning in query letters, or at all, really) and I commit numbers:

5, 9, [*counts out Po-ly-dec-tes on her fingers*] 37, and 50

Michele Lee said...

Haha! I only have one of those, and it's not something that comes out and completely changes everything. It's never answered, just suspected!

S.F. said...

Umm... If you answered yes to a couple of questions, but you did it as deliberate satire on the novels who do it without thinking, do you still fail? What if your wizard is forgetful, but so is the rest of the population of the novel? What if everyone over four feet tall also only exists for comic relief? What if your female warrior is happier with a sword than a frying pan, but is also a damned good gardener and a great dancer? What if she tries too hard to embody feminist ideals and screws up relationships by being oversensitive? Does trying to cast a fireball spell count if it a: doesn't succeed and, b: Causes unexpected destruction and almost hideously injures innocent people?
Fantasy lover and satirist. I fail, but I beg for dispensation...

Anonymous said...

I wish I'd seen number 35 three years ago . . .

Fortunately the offending manuscript is finished and hidden under the bed, where it rightfully belongs, and will never again see the light of day. That should probably be the fate of all first fantasy novels.

Crystal King said...

Sooooo Miss Snark, what did you learn?

Miss Snark said...

sword weight

Anonymous said...

One thing I don't like about "don't do" lists like this is that they, snarkily (no pun intended), attempt to assert, point by point, that there is nothing in the universe anyone can do to write a "insert genre here" novel.

What incredible chutzpah.

It's nothing less than a statement of, "The business will only publish something that does not resemble anything else ever done in history."

It's patently false, since all Fantasy publishers are currently printing books that resemble past works and all of the 50 elements in the list appear somewhere in those books! This includes books by new authors.

Any prospective author who quit writing based on this list definitely wasn't cut out to be a writer.

Tolkien did things that resembled things done in existing stories going back millennia. Asserting that anyone who uses any similar plot or character element that ever appeared somewhere in LotR in their own book is "ripping" Tolkien is ridiculous.

No, Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shanara did not rip off Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

No, Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule did not rip off Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shanara.

Frankly, all claims of "ripping off" make me roll my eyes, because almost all of these claims are false.

"51. Do you ever use the term 'mana' in your novel."

Earlier in the list it snarks at invented names for characters, and then encourages authors to abandon the use of a word that is nearly a universal standard for magical power? Shall we all switch to using vis/viz, instead? Oops, no, no, we're ripping Ars Magica, now! Oh me! Oh my!

Shall we just say "magical power" for all attempts to describe the energy behind magic (even though a society may call it something other than magic because, unlike in the real world, supernatural powers actually work in the novel's fictional milieu)?

What, are they recommending the creation of neologisms that no one has ever heard of before? Shall it be Galkazookia, or some similar nonsense then?

Or perhaps all reference to magic should be deleted. Hey, we can dispense will all of Fantasy that way. Quite convenient. All novels redacted under this brave new standard can be submitted under the banner of historical fiction in an alternate universe.

The second to last question was:

"74. Is your book basically a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings?"

The last question should have been:

"75. Was this list a piece of general humor poking fun at Fantasy cliches seen too often in the slush pile?"

I would like to be able to yes to that, but the header paragraph calling for people to abandon their work based on this list dispells that notion as far as I am conerned.