Writing Prompts, Writing Tropes: THE SEER

Let’s write up a character study today. The only caveat is that this character is a seer, an oracle, a soothsayer, a psychic, a sage, a clairvoyant, a ????.  They could be believed by others or they could be ignored by others. They could believe in their own powers, or they could be the most skeptical of their powers. However, they need to use one of the ten powers of divination listed. How do their powers affect how they see the world? Go as literal or as figurative as you want. Funny or serious. Whatever genre you please. Go write a character today.

  1. Cybermancy – Divination through computer
  2. Geloscopy – Divination through laughter
  3. Hydromancy – Divination through water
  4. Moleosophy – Divination through moles on the body
  5. Phyllorhodomancy – Divination through rose petals
  6. Pyroscopy – Divination through burning paper
  7. Tyromancy – Divination through cheese coagulation
  8. Ailuromancy – Divination through observing cats
  9. Alectryomancy – Divination through chickens pecking through grain
  10. Crithomancy – Divination through food, often bread
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Wherein I Ramble About The Shannara Chronicles

I come at this with a lot of love. I grew up on 70s and 80s fantasy. Our bookshelves weighed heavy with Jordan and Feist and Eddings and, of course more apropos to today’s post, Brooks. I went from picture books to epic fantasy in not very many steps. From the Pokey Little Puppy to the Flaming Sword of Justice and Fate. As you do.  So when it was announced they were making a Shannara series I was filled with equal parts hope and apprehension. (And maybe a tiny part of me wants to fill the hole in my heart that formed after Merlin stopped airing.)

Let’s get this out of the way early on. I am glad that the pronunciation of Shannara is not like how I have been pronouncing it in my head for years. There is Book!Shannara that lives in my head untouched by TV!Shannara. TV!Shannara can do a retelling and a reimagining without touching the characters that live in my head.  Really it’s for the best. That doesn’t mean I am not going to compare them. Not in the least.

I took twenty two pages of notes while watching this show. I will admit they are small pages. But still… twenty two pages.  Here they are in all their glory. Note: I watched this with Sister Number Three, so there are  some interjections by her.


Episode 1

WAIT, IS THAT ANDER?

Ander is a baby!

Wait, there was no trial… Amberle was just… chosen. And gender wasn’t this big of a deal, right?

I am into this music.

Why was that credit scene red, white, and black? Why is that a thing right now? The elfstones are blue. I guess the tree is red?

Hi Gimli, nice tree.

Why is Ander the most dashing person in the room? Yes, we see his eyes are blue. You can stop flashing light on them.

ANDER IS STOIC. WHAT IS HAPPENING?

Ahhh yesss, Mount Doom.

ALLANON.

We already know far too much about Allanon.

Why does he have Fandral’s sword?

*Enter the Farm Boy*

Always kill the parents. Just murder a bunch of people and call it good narrative.

THAT IS A BETTER ALLANON ENTRANCE.

LEAVE YOUR HOOD UP!

Eretria!

Well, clearly don’t accept drinks from sexy women.

Wil, look up the definition of “honey trap.”

Why is evil always ugly?  It’s not that easy to determine.

Episode 2

Wil, no.

You did not actually say “Your destiny awaits.”

I need Colin Morgan to give lessons to anyone who has to act magical abilities.

Note: I’ve started leveling characters up in Hyrule Warriors while getting Three’s description of this scene: “HE IS LITERALLY CRUSHING HIS FACE. FACE SMOSH.”

You are not witches.

I MISS MERLIN.

Real line: “The dagda–what?”

This is now the plot to Thor. Which is a classic, I suppose. Brother vs Brother.

I do not remember this much brother-angst.

Woman can leave home without being pregnant.

Well, aren’t all problems related to women’s love life choices?

SHEA WAS NOT A DRUNKARD. I can get over you making him Wil’s dad. Weird timeline wise, but ok. BUT NOT MAKING HIM A DRUNKARD. NO.

I am offended for Shea.

Allanon, you’ve met Arrow, you know how to put YOUR HOOD UP.

WHY IS SHE NAKED?

Allanon, you’ve talked more in five minutes than in two books.

Of course she was made up for the show, she calls Allanon out.

Note: We’ve referred to any character who randomly shows up, dispenses relevant plot knowledge, and disappears into the ether as having an “Allanon Complex” for years.

And now… she’s dead. Obviously.

Episode 3

I still miss Merlin.

How many shirtless scenes are we going to see?

Are the women really cowering at Wil’s feet right now? They are both fighters. No.

The music is once again the best part of this.

I am bored.

Still bored.

Bored.

Episode 4

I’ve worn Wil’s outfit in real life.

I’m EVIL= Dressed in black.

This dialogue is cringy.

Three: “We can’t compare things to Merlin and Sanctuary, it’s not fair. But Christopher Heyerdahl would make an excellent cloaked, hooded, and very tall Allanon.”

This is a fine Allanon for this show. However, I don’t get the creepy factor of Book!Allanon.

And we are back to the plot of Thor.

There is no recognition of time passing. I don’t understand their great, meaningful relationship. Especially when it feels like they are always arguing and have barely been together.

You should never wear an outfit that Scorpius would be proud of.  However, Tilton is cool. Even if this outfit is… ridiculous.  She will also probably end up dead.

Yes, you definitely killed this evil monster by snapping it’s neck.

Chop of it’s head at the very least, this is a magical being.

NO GENRE SAVVY.

Yep, you didn’t cut of it’s head. This is what you get. Murdered.

Episode 5

Flashback. I only care if it is about Shea.

It’s not about Shea.

Already shirtless. Ahem, I mean: Plot.

I am so tired of ugly bad guys.

This would be more interesting if we didn’t assume he was about to die.

I am into this battle theme. I LIKE THIS MUSIC.

Yep, dead.

They have significantly Shakespeared up the brothers’ relationship.

“Boy!” said with disdain– the mark of The Farm Boy.

Villains: Ugly men + gorgeous scantily clad women.

THIS IS NOT BOOK!CRISPIN.

Was anyone this racist in the books? I do not remember this.

Oh right, I haven’t actually talked about Bandon yet.

He is so going evil.

Starting to practice your seer powers on an ancient druid seems like a bad idea.

That tourniquet was on the wrong side.

Why is there an attempted rape? Why does it always go there?

I wish I would have been counting gratuitous bathing scenes.

Why does it look like a pig?

Writers room scene:

Writer 1: Hey guys, how do we make this dude not look like the balrog?

Writer 2: Dual axes…

Writer 3: …and slow mo.

Writes chorus: Nailed it.

It looks like the lego Balrog. I can’t help giggling at it and I am not sure why.

“Prince,” said with disdain.

Confirmed: Plot of Thor. Shapeshifter on the throne.

Episode 6

I now have ice cream.

Your sword is very far away.

A playground? No.

I am in physical pain, but I have mint ice cream.

Amberle, you will actually be happier as a tree. I can almost guarantee you.

FROLICKING.

Seriously, just turn into a tree already.

Has any episode not had a shirtless scene in the first five minutes?

I just snorted at the phrase “There’s a storm coming.”

SWORD TWIRL.

Three: “Mal might have been Captain Tightpants, but Ander is Prince Tightpants.”

AND THEY CALL IT A MINE. A MINE.

HOW IS THERE ANOTHER BATHING SCENE?

Wil, you occasionally have moments of genre savvy, then you turn into a complete fool. Own it. Learn something from listening to Shea’s stories. OH WAIT, HE WAS A DRUNKARD.

Is he really being framed by one streak of light?

EVERYONE’S EARS ARE THE SAME SIZE. I LEGITIMATELY CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH OF A DIFFERENCE.

Speaking of ears, I do like that one of Arion’s is slightly crooked. It’s a nice touch.  Clearly, Mr. Dashing can’t have crooked ears, but it’s nice.

The changeling is even doing the Loki-lean on the throne.

Now… there is a creepy laboratory?

Creepy child. Check.

*creepy giggling*

Three: “Don’t put me down for mummification.”

How touching. Turn into a tree.

Now Ander is a drunk? No.

Why is it dead parents and/or alcohol. Always.

ORGAN MUSIC IS PLAYING. I DON’T KNOW IF THIS IS GLEE OR HORROR I AM FEELING.

Episode 7

Don’t worry, I am sure that palm injury will heal into a silvery circle. As they do.

No one was shirtless before the credits. Good job.

Soaking wet, yes. Shirtless, no.

Three: “That hairdo is right out of Red Sonja.”

Now Allanon is shirtless. We were doing so good.

WHY IS EVERYONE ALWAYS NAKED. I MEAN WHY IS THERE SO MUCH PLOT.

Me out loud: I’ve worn that outfit. Why do I dress like a post apocalyptic elven man?

Three: Meaningfully raises her eyebrows.

Me: Nevermind, don’t answer that.

They fall into a high school. I can’t do this. The banner actually reads “We can all be Heroes.”

Either own the absurd or play it serious.

THEY ARE LOOKING AT A YEARBOOK.

WHAT IS HAPPENING.

I care more about finding out about these composers than Allanon’s resurrection.

Also, I do not remember Allanon having this much trouble staying alive.

AMBERLE DID NOT JUST PICK UP BLUE DICE. NO.

THOSE HAD BETTER SERVE MORE OF A PURPOSE THAN A DRAMATIC SIGH.

ORPHANS BOUND TO A TRAGIC FATE.

Actually, nevermind. Now I want the elfstones to be dice. We are all saved by the power of tabletop gaming.

Did Eretria just shoot someone through the eye while rolling around on the ground? That seems improbable.

Three: “I think Allanon just did his overdrive.”

Poor Arion. NOBLE DEATH.

MEANINGFUL DICE CONVERSATION.

KING ANDER. Still tho, you are like 12. It is a good thing the camera just keeps lighting your eyes up blue. We wouldn’t want to forget who the dashing one is.

Three: “Now he is King Tightpants.”

Episode 8

I now have tea instead of ice cream.  

Note: Earl gray, although I didn’t know much I was foreshadowing then.

THIS IS A TOWN FULL OF NICE HATS.

Shut it, Allanon, there is always a choice.

I’m bored again.

A creepy cultist?

Where are you getting gunpowder?

Also, this is totally about human sacrifice.

Why does the creepy cult leader want to be Johnny Depp?

NO.

THEY SHOWED A CLIP OF STAR TREK? AND NOW ARE HAVING A RAVE?

WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?

I AM SPEECHLESS.

Episode 9

Bored.

They really have trolls under the bridge?

Embrace the weird.

Bandon is going evil.

Oh look, he attacked the king.

GO DARK BANDON. GO DARK. WE NEED A VILLAIN FOR NEXT SEASON.

A map on her skin? Does that happen in the books? I apparently have no memory.

I need to read Elfstones again.

CHESS ANALOGY. WE CAN’T HAVE PLOT WITHOUT IT.

Do you feel like a pawn? Maybe a pawn of prophecy?

Bandon, your eyes are getting squintier. If I learned anything from watching all the Merlin commentary, it means you are getting more possessed.

I think I’ve fought these witches in Zelda before.

This is bizarro.

I still don’t understand Kael’s plan?  Why is Ander such a bad king? Why is she going against him? I don’t understand. He is markedly less racist as far as I can tell.

TREE. TURN INTO A TREE.

WIL. YOU ARE A HEALER. THIS IS YOUR SKILL.

Episode 10

WHY ME? Because everyone asks that. Literally everyone.

Yep. Evil Bandon. Called it.

I am being sincere when I say this: Ander, thank you for allying with the “uglies.”

It really is terrible to be Arion.

Red magic doesn’t have to be evil? Why is it evil but also coded to the tree? Which I guess makes sense that it is holding back evil. But then blue is good. The color imagery going on in here is odd.

I repeat: Everyone who has to use magic has to go talk to Colin Morgan.

YES. CHOP OF THE HEAD. YOU LEARNED SOMETHING.

Save the world or let everyone die.

That isn’t a choice Allanon. That is being backed up into a corner. You really need to brush up on your definition of choice.

Three: “I want her to turn into something that looks like the Deku Sprout.”

YES. AMBERLE. TREE TIME.

King Ander: A study in blue eyes and tight clothing.

Bandon: Called it. Black eyes = evil. THAT OUTFIT IS FAB AND THE SWORD. FAB VILLAINY. JUST FABULOUS.

Tilton: Also called it.

Allanon… just keep saying words, wise druid words.

Eretria has to be rescued. Because of course.


 

As I finished watching the first season I asked myself one question: Will I watch season two?  Yes. Yes I will. 100% will.

However first, I am going to get out my battered copy of Elfstones and start reading.

Shannara

Every Thought I’ve Had While Reading Young Adult Novels

I’ll preface this all by saying that I have never gotten into YA. I am not sure why, but I just struggle with it. Which is ridiculous. There are great writers doing fascinating things across YA but I am just easily bored by it all.  However, in my “100 Books by the End of the Year Challenge” I have given myself, I’m trying to read outside my comfort zone. My comfort zone does not include contemporary young adult fiction. So please leave me YA book recommendations in the comments. Please. I don’t know what to read.

Now, on to the snark.

First person, wonderful, I think, my mind reeking of sarcasm and italics.

Was this anyone’s high school experience? Alternatively: Was this anyone’s college experience?

Ah, they must be the love interest. They’ve got so much quirk. The quirkiest even.

How does anyone see through their perfectly disheveled hair?

Every Certified Young Adult™  lives in New York or wants to live in New York.

How can anyone be this disaffected at thirteen years old?

Never mind, I remember myself at thirteen.

The new person at school also known as: Plot Device.

Do you only go to school when Plot Device shows up?

You can tell she is cool. Her name is gender neutral.

No, he isn’t literally the next door neighbor. He can’t be. Yep, he is.

Aww, Plot Device is sad.

Mental illness isn’t a quirk. Stop it.

Neither is stalking.

Where are your parents?

Listen to your parents.

Oh, they’re dead. Or divorced. Or conspicuously absent.

Go see a counselor. Don’t lie to them.

I was so close to being a YA protagonist growing up: brown hair, hazel eyes, one dead parent, slightly taller than average, general level of awkward, extensive interior monologues. I just needed to work on my level of quirk.

This world has no introverts.

Why do lines like “I’m not like all those other girls with their makeup and boyfriends” exist?

Stop vilifying people for their fashion choices. What’s wrong with you? Let them wear their makeup. Let them wear their fandom shirts. And, gasp, let them wear both.

It’s ok to be single.

Did that character just quote an absurdly esoteric and unknown poet, philosopher, etc.? Answer: Yes.

THE QUIRK STIFLES ME.

Where are you getting your money? Right, everyone is upper middle class. What was I thinking?

It’s ok not to know what to do with your life. You are fifteen.

Why don’t you have homework?

Mom, you are welcome for apparently being the most boring teenager in the world.

Why does no one make healthy life choices? Ever. I know it’s for Conflict and The Plot, but every once in a while won’t break the narrative.

BROODING.

I am not satisfied by that ending.

… Why is this so compelling?

What Does Lawful Good Even Mean Anymore?

WHAT WAS I JUST SAYING?

Does anyone remember last week’s post? Anyone? No? For a refresher: Why is realistic synonymous with dark, gritty, and violent? Why is so much of our narrative going there right now? Ok. We are all caught up.

Now for today’s. Oh, it’s about the same thing. The same thing that permeates our culture on repeat. A bad record of narrative. Take a hero, make them dark. Take a hero, make them gritty. Take a hero, make them violent. Take a hero, make them evil. Please stop Dark Knighting everyone. Please stop turning everyone evil. Please. Stop.

If you can’t tell yet, this is about Captain America.

I’ll warn you now that this post is disjointed and rambling and perhaps a tiny bit emotional.

This afternoon I got a text from my sister: *whispers apprehensively* have you heard today’s marvel comics news…..?

Why yes, I had and I am tired. I am so tired. Everything about this reads so terribly. Captain America was initially created as a Blond, Blue-Eyed White Engineered Supersoldier™ to fight against the Nazi regime. Are we getting that? Are we understanding what we are doing by turning Captain into an agent of Hydra? Are we understanding what we are saying? Are we understanding the rippling damage of Nazi Captain America?

I am weary. So, so weary. Where are the people helping people?

As our conversation continued, a text asked: Why can’t we have good heroes?

Let’s talk about the cinematic universe for a moment. I’ve fought depression and anxiety for… looks at a clock, then a calendar, then my life as a general entity… forever. Most of my life has been gray. Emotions clouded. Emotions without color dulled by depression. But I remember actually tearing up at the first Captain America movie. I felt ridiculous. I don’t cry at movies. Except for The Lion King, which doesn’t count. You don’t have a soul if Mufasa’s death doesn’t affect you. That’s just a rule of media.

However, here I was staring at the screen in the theater trying not to cry because a kid from Brooklyn doesn’t like bullies no matter where they’re from. It was a glimmer of a hero who wasn’t covered in loathing sardonicism. A hero who wasn’t disillusioned with the world. A person who wanted to help people. When I watched Winter Soldier, the introduction of Falcon as a hero who helped veterans, a hero who acknowledged mental health in a mainstream comic book movie, added to the team. I didn’t cry that time. Instead, I cheered. People helping people. A whole movie full of them.

As our conversation turned to all caps my sister, who is also our familial Dungeon Master, chimed in with: WHAT DOES LAWFUL GOOD EVEN MEAN ANYMORE?

For a bit of background, she just threw our characters into a dungeon and handed us new character sheets. Our old characters were darker, grittier… I was playing a former assassin turned good. Actually now that I think about it, I was basically playing the creepy druidic, tiefling version of the Winter Soldier. Most of our final decision making was made by the half-drow rogue. Our last game deteriorated into a 30 minutes discussion of the morality of killing an goblin. Darker. Edgier. We fell dice first into the trap of dark, gritty narrative.

I’m now playing as a high elf bard who is the ridiculous child of Awful Fantasy and Guy In Your MFA. We have a trash talking barbarian from the bunny clan. We have Pun Isher, the pun slinging gnome. Each of them are lawful good. They are lawful good, but still have differing personalities and opinions. We can still create interesting stories even if we all are for all purposes “good.” We are playing as people helping people divorced from needing a dark past and a gritty future.  

Finally, a text quipped: I don’t like bullies, that includes Marvel writers!

So much of our life is sculpted by media, by storytelling. We learn through narrative. We learn through history. We learn through the stories of others and our own. We need stories. Diverse stories. Stories that question the norm. Stories that show the good and the bad. Stories that find glimmers of hope for everyone.

We don’t need Nazi Captain America.

A Grimdark Confession

I am not a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire. Or, for that matter, Game of Thrones. I said it. It is out in the open. On the internet. For people to find in years to come. There are many things I appreciate about it. There are many things I find problematic about it. I am in no way arguing it hasn’t had a massive impact on media in recent years. This post is not about any of that. This post is simply about being a fan of it. More specifically, about why I am not.

It comes down to this: I’m not going to immerse myself in Westeros long enough to become a fan.

There is this discussion surrounding Game of Thrones and the books that came in its wake that the truest stories are hard stories. Stories where there is only darkness and grit. Stories where people are only it for themselves. Stories where there is no good– only bad and worse.  A Song of Ice and Fire became an epicenter for dark fantasy.  Ripples of it touch other novels. Evil vs. EvilCrapsack WorldsBlack and Gray MoralityDarker and EdgierFailure Hero.  I apologize for the time suck of TV Tropes I just sent you in.  If you are still here, let’s move on…

As a general rule, I’ve always struggled with grimdark fantasy. The Lies of Locke Lamora is sitting half-read on my bookshelf, a bookmark still poised halfway in hopes that I will return soon, because I just couldn’t do it any more. I will come back to it. I will. I promise you, Scott Lynch.

I acknowledge that we all aren’t Paladins. The world is not as simple as good and evil. The lines between what is right and just and good can be blurred. Each person sees the scope of morality differently. It is in those differences that diverse narratives flourish. However, gray morality is not the same as a narrative which depicts violence and hatred as something that not only exists, but must exist as a necessary part of everyday life.

Although some novels paint this violence as a horror. Some do not. Some bask in violence. Some revel in it.  A quick google search gives me this definition of grimdark: “a subgenre or a way to describe the tone, style or setting of a speculative fiction (especially fantasy) that is, depending on the definition used, markedly dystopian or amoral, or particularly violent or realistic.”

We place realism with violence. We combine them and twist them until we accept violence as a panacea.

I just can’t believe that.

Maybe this post is fueled by my idealism trying to win over my cynicism. I’ll let my idealism have the reins for a moment. Throughout my life I’ve constantly been surrounded by nonprofits. Either I’ve worked with them directly, or my family has, or friends have. One constant in my life has been people helping people.  

When I read a story where there is only darkness, where there is only grit, where there is only pain, I can only think of the people we don’t talk about. The people who work in the bowels of such darkness. Advocates. Counselors. Activists. The people who help people.

At the end of the day I have to believe in that. I have to combat the darkness with light, not with more darkness. Darkness compounded by more darkness. Violence compounded by more violence. Hatred compounded by more hatred. I have to believe in stories where people help people.

10 Bookish Cupcakes – Genre Edition

When every other plan in my life fails dramatically Authorial Furies will become a bakery. Some notes on my future endeavor’s cupcakes:

1. Mystery

Crumbs dust an otherwise empty cupcake liner. A stray fingerprint, brushed in powdered sugar, presses the intricately folded paper down.

2. Horror

It was just like every other cupcake in the case— perfectly frosted, perfectly baked. Nothing could go wrong. Nothing was wrong. Certainly nothing was wrong with the reddish filling slowly seeping from the base…

3. Fantasy ***

A tiny sword adorned with a faintly glowing pommel stone erupts from the center of a roughly frosted cupcake. The cake itself is rather hard. It might be best served in a lake of sauce.

4. Metafiction

A frosted cupcake baked within a cupcake. Which is then frosted itself in the selfsame frosting initially frosted within. Indubitably.

5. Historical

Mix one pound flour, one pound butter, one pound sugar, and one pound eggs. No leaveners needed in the 1700s— just a strong mixing arm.

6. Romance

Despite no discernible draft, the paper liner ensconcing the rich chocolate sponge flutters like a butterfly’s wings. A bright red rose spun of sugar blossoms atop a swirl of rich chocolate frosting.

7. Science Fiction

Freeze Dried – Check

Nutrient Fortified – Check

Bright Green – Check

8. Western

Baked in a heavily oiled cast iron pan, a scorched corn cake needs no liner. It’s held together by grit and lard and gunmetal.

9. Fairy Tale

A delicate cupcake baked in a glistening glass goblet. A shimmering glaze decorously covers the cake. A singular fondant pearl punctuates the apex of the desert. With the first bite, you realize… that cupcake was a muffin all along!

10. The Movie Makeover

After one of the cupcakes is completely done, scoop off the frosting. Then have a passerby randomly choose a new flavor to slap onto it. Some consumers will love the change others will hate it. No matter what everyone will be very vocal about it.

***Many will try to buy this, but only sell it to the person who retrieves the sword. For they are The One.

10 Trope-y Characters I Want to Read (or write)

I live to poke at tropes. I love to start a story with seemingly cliched, tropified characters who you think you’ve seen a million times. I then like to poke at them until they twist and break every genre convention with flaming characterization while I cackle maniacally. Maniacally really is the only way to cackle. On that note, some thoughts:

1. Benevolent Necromancers
Maybe raising that army of the mostly dead was actually for the best. Also, just a thought here… Can we not associate black with evil and death? Just once? I love color imagery perhaps even more than the next person, but let’s shake it up.

2. Malevolent Healers
Can we take healing and make it villainous without it being necromancy? I say yes. This is practically torture just waiting to happen— Prometheus’s punishment. Heal. Hurt. Repeat. Let’s just try not to resort to something that is basically Blood Bending.

3. Nuclear Technician Fairies
Basically, get them out of the forest. Also I want them to actually be tiny instead of human-sized fey masquerading as fairies. Some cyberpunk fairies would also be amazing. Tiny fairies living in your motherboard wrecking havoc. That could explain my last computer crash.

4. Mercenary Seers
No waifish child seers here. You can see the future and you are embracing the creepy child motif? Really? No. How about a coalition of seer assassins swilling the water of sight between jobs? A new novel idea is stewing in those waters…

5. Less Than Graceful Elves
Fall off your horse, Legolas.

6. Intelligent Orcs
Ugly is evil. Ugly is unintelligent. Ugly is villainy manifest. Yes. That is exactly what we need to be saying. Perfect. If you must have them war-faring, then who exactly is planning their battles if they cannot even string coherent sentences together? I want an orc who is a chessmaster.

7. Screw-up Sorcerers
I want things to go wrong. I want that spell to blow up in her face. I want a spell to backfire in an unexplainable way. I want her to learn from her mistakes. Now, I don’t mean I just want to see a young sorcerer in training. I want to see a supposed master failing and flailing for an answer. It happens. I know far too many PhDs to think otherwise.

8. Sunshine Loving Dark Elves
Maybe with a fluffy pet kitten.

9. Actually Incompetent Novice Heroes
I know we want to see a hero being all heroic all the time. I know we want to see the best archer in all the land the moment she picks up a bow. But why? Why does everyone need to be so inherently good at everything? The first time I shot a bow I spectacularly missed the target. And, as a great shocker, I wasn’t spectacular on the second shot either. (That particular endeavor didn’t last long for the safety of everyone involved.) According to everything I’ve learned, I apparently can’t be the protagonist of my own life. I missed out on the overly talented gene that is passed around to main characters. This can only mean one thing: NPC for life.

10. Non-Spoony Bards
Need I say more?