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This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  The Magistrate 2 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #46445

    Jackson Graham
    @warrioroftherealm
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 102

    @gretald, @bluejay, @writefury, @daeus, @hannah-olsen, @mark-kamibaya, @sarah-h, @kate-flournoy, @emma-flournoy, @dragon-snapper, @michael-stanton, @aratrea

    Fun Questionβ€”
    What are you guys’ opinions on political intrigue in fantasy? Is it riveting? Is it cliche? What do you guys think? How many of you have used it in your writing?

    Jackson E. Graham

    #46447

    Josiah DeGraaf
    @aratrea
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 596

    I personally enjoy political intrigue in fantasy, but I’m more interested in politics than most ppl. For example, I didn’t mind all the political maneuvering in Phantom Menace, even though most people hated it. πŸ˜› (I disliked Phantom Menace for other reasons.) But it can certainly be done really well. Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, and George R.R. Martin–three of the top names in fantasy–all feature political intrigue really prominently and effectively in their novels.

    The big question is if you can make sure the political intrigue is relevant and character-driven (one area where Phantom Menace fell short). As long as you can do that, I’d say political intrigue is not only fine, but at many points even recommended if you want to tell a realistic & compelling story.

    #46450

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3842

    @warrioroftherealm YES!!! Definitely. It must have intrigue. I looove political intrigue.

    Granted, that opinion is probably heavily tainted by the fact that I’m an ENFJ, but ENFJs are always right, so I declare this debate over

    #46453

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3786

    @warrioroftherealm oh my heavens. This question. Just— I have a rant, okay? And I don’t have time to rant it right now.
    But just you wait.
    Just.
    You.
    Wait.
    *drools*

    #46465

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 2598

    @warrioroftherealm Here’s honesty.

    I do not like the political intrigue, if it’s what I think you’re referring to.

    INFO DUMPS.

    AGH!!

    #46480

    Jackson Graham
    @warrioroftherealm
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 102

    @dragon-snapper

    Not necessarily an info dump where the author tells you everything about the royal line, etc. I’m more referring to where there are those competing for the throne (for an example).

    Jackson E. Graham

    #46482

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3786

    *drops from ceiling in a cloud of plaster-dust and lands with a crash in the middle of the floor*
    I HAVE ARRIVED.

    I not only adore political intrigue in fantasy, I believe it can be absolutely essential for developing your world and characters.
    Disclaimer before I explain that— a fair chunk of my characters are inherently political by very nature of their place. Kings, for instance. Nobles. Judges. Princes. Queens. Politics is their existence. They think on a national scale; that’s their world. This may not be as essential if your character is a lowly fisherman who only wants to beat his rival fishermen to the catch. (Then again… nope. Focus, Kate.)

    So what do I mean when I say it’s absolutely essential for developing your world and characters?
    Think about it this way. From a cultural standpoint, what is a government? It is the very truest representation of a country’s worldview. A worldview can be good or bad. πŸ˜› The government reflects the people. It’s their signature. Their psychology. Their cultural identity and the result of all their beliefs or lack of beliefs, good and evil.
    It’s just like a character. Treat it like one.
    You develop a character by exploring every dark and secret part of him, don’t you? You teach what is good by exploring what is bad; by taking the reader as deep as you can into the heart of everything the character says, does, believes, and stands for. A government is the same way.
    It’s that simple and that hard. πŸ˜›

    Political intrigue really offers SO. MANY. OPPORTUNITIES. for thematic development. Itself, yes— but also how the characters respond to/interact with/think/speak of it. Maybe our lowly fisherman decides to win by going to the local court and obtaining illegal fishing rights to a whole section of the lake through a loophole in a sloppy law. That tells you a lot right off about the type of person he is, yes?

    And just think how much more complicated and awesome it can get with a king. *hyperventilates* What about a young king who just inherited the throne only to inquire further into the government and discover the whole kingdom is in shambles? What does he do? Who opposes him? Why? How many have the best interests of the country at heart, and how many are simply seeking personal gain?
    The possibilities… just… it’s endless.

    And I’ll stop now before I explode or something.
    *stops*

    @warrioroftherealm
    @daeus
    @aratrea
    @dragon-snapper

    #46486

    DaughterOfTheKing
    @daughteroftheking
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 537

    @kate-flournoy *explodes because she never thought about it that way before*

    #46487

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3786

    @daughteroftheking *explodes because of happiness that she helped someone think of something differently*

    #46495

    Jackson Graham
    @warrioroftherealm
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 102

    @kate-flournoy

    Wow. Government reflects the people’s worldview. Great point! Never thought about it like that before.

    Also, @aratrea, @kate-flournoy, @daeus

    Who do you think first created the “political intrigue fantasy” subgenre (new genre title officially coined)?

    Jackson E. Graham

    #46526

    DaughterOfTheKing
    @daughteroftheking
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 537

    @kate-flournoy *explodes becouse she made you explode because you made her explode*
    @warrioroftherealm I forgot to give my two cents, but I have nothing interesting to say. I like political intrigue done right. *nods* There. My two cents has been bestowed upon you. πŸ˜€

    #46859

    Emma Flournoy
    @emma-flournoy
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1184

    @warrioroftherealm I looooooovvvvve polictical intrigue, and everything Kate said and more. AS LONG as it’s character-driven, because if not then it turns more into uninteresting info-dumps like Snapper hates. And I don’t like ’em either.

    #47007

    Josiah DeBoer
    @josiahdeboer
    • Rank: Wise Jester
    • Total Posts: 96

    Pretends that he thought of what @kate-flourney just said already. But seriously, we just spent 2 hours going over that exact thing in sociology class. . .

    #47032

    The Magistrate
    @xonos-darkgrate
    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
    • Total Posts: 116

    I actually ENJOY the political intrigue in movies or books. Just shows how terrible (or needed) different governments and people can be in different things. I’m not sure I completely understand what “political intrigue” is, but I think I do. If it’s what I think it is, then yes, I do like political intrigue. PRESIDENT SNOW!!! or like @aratrea said, The Phantom Menace!

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