FUNNY WOMEN: How to Write the Perfect Fantasy Novel

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Could you be the next to write the perfect novel that’s full of elves, magic, and swashbuckling danger? Consider this manual your sword in the stone, your magical amulet, your sign from the Old Gods that you are destined to write a fantasy novel. A good one. Or at the very least, one with dragons.

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1. Use the following template:

Once upon a time, _____________ [insert boy’s name], son of _____________ [insert man’s name], woke up from a prophetic dream. _____________ [insert male pronoun] turned away from the busty _____________ [insert female fantasy creature] next to him in bed to stand before a full-length mirror. His ____________ [insert color] eyes flashed as he ____________ [insert adjective] noted each of his superb physical qualities for the reader: his bristling ___________ [insert male body part], and the manly tilt of his ____________ [insert even more male body part].

“My dear ___________ [name of your favorite stripper, but change all the “I”s to “Y”s], I’ve had a vision,” _____________ [insert boy’s name] declared. “The Lady of the ____________ [insert body of water] came to me in a dream and gifted me a ___________ [insert magical object].”

2. To flesh out your hero: make him your ethnicity, your age, your hair color, with a name that sounds a little like yours. Get creative! “Brian” could become “Bryawn,” courter of women, slayer of ogres.

2a. It’s important that the hero is male because heroines have to stop adventuring five to seven days out of every month for their “moon time,” and that doesn’t work for a narrative. Also, busty women are prone to catching their nipples on bow strings and women with large breasts don’t have the aerodynamic ratio to properly wield a sword. That’s literal science.

3. A hero must have an acolyte to reflect back his good deeds. For this, women make excellent side characters. Here’s a quote by Tobias Hasbin, author of The Elvin King and His Busty Companion, discussing the daring choice he made in his recent novel: “We included two women in my most recent work, Thinly Veiled Parable for My Love Life. And we gave small breasts to one of them. It’s always a risk, diversifying your cast of characters, but at this point in my career I feel confident taking chances.”

4. Diverse characters are essential. Read below to see how B.R. Orisen added a character with a fascinating anatomical feature:

“She’s from the Herned people of the highlands,” said Brad, gesturing to his female companion. The fading morning light served to tastefully highlight her heaving breasts, barely contained by her chainmail. “Through a quirk of nature they have no mouths.”

“Really?” Chad the barbarian asked.

“It’s not all bad,” said Brad, unsheathing his sword and hacking at a tree trunk. “Look, whenever I do something, she applauds.”

It was true. She clapped quietly for Brad, her silver-blue eyes blank in the light of his glory.

– excerpt from The Chosen One: Brad, Son of Brad, Saves the World, by B.R.O.

5. What’s a hero without a good villain? Give your villain a big, dark cape. Preferably black.

6. Keep fantasy fresh with a plot twist! No one likes to read a fantasy where the characters amble over hills and dales for forty-six pages. Could one of your characters secretly be a prince? Does he have magical powers that could manifest at a convenient moment? Consider giving him a magical amulet and a debilitating secret. Or a twin brother who’s been in the questing party all along. It is best if twins’ names rhyme or both twins have the same birthmark in the shape of a moon phase that is meaningful to them.

7. Add a prophecy so readers feel fulfilled when it comes to pass. Write it in rhyming verse so it’s clear people know you’re not fucking around. Adjust your characters’ names to ensure the integrity of your meter. Consider this piece from the novel Gerald: A Prince of the House of the Thief Lord:

“O Gerald, the herald, has called out thine name,

Tis now your destiny to find fortune and fame,

To raise up thine sword and wade through the trenches

To live out your days… something something something wenches.”

(Buy “How to Write Fantasy Poetry” manual to help you pull off the same.)

8. To end your fantasy novel, kill off all of the secondary characters. Your beautiful elf-wife must die tragically for you. Your squire must die tragically for you. Your small-breasted female companion must die tragically for you. For the world belongs to your hero, and you are the hero, so your story is the one that must be told.

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Rumpus original art by Kaili Doud.

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Laurel Dixon lives in Keizer, Oregon. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Oregon State University. She has been published in The Southampton Review, Cordella Magazine, and the New Limestone Review, among others. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and won second place in the Frank McCourt Memoir Contest. You can read her increasingly panicked tweets here. More from this author →