Limyaael's Rants

This is an unofficial mirror of the famous Limyaael/Lightning on the Wave/Arin i Asolde literary rants.

You will find here a wealth of advice, warnings, and witty commentary on just about every aspect of constructing a story - from character design, to worldbuilding, to avoiding cliches.

The original rants are scattered throughout her LiveJournalInsaneJournal, and JournalFen. In addition to the rants, Limyaael produced a series of brilliant Harry Potter fan-fictions (under the pen name "Lightning on the Wave"), and even some original fiction.

Her work is truly an inspiration to the Curiosity Quills team, and we were deeply saddened when she completely disappeared off the face of the earth some time in 2010.

Having meticulously followed the trail of Limyaael's virtual breadcrumbs, we created this page as a centralized repository of her work, for posterity and as a sign of respect and appreciation. We hope that one day Limyaael sees this and reaches out to us. We would love to chat with her. *hint hint, nudge nudge*

 
  1. Cliched Fantasy
  2. Not Writing Crap
  3. Female Protagonists Who Do Not Suck
  4. Creating Breathing Characters
  5. Building Fantasy Worlds
  6. Fiction & Reality
  7. Writing Non-Humans
  8. Message Fantasy
  9. Oversensitivity to Bad Reviews
  10. Character Gender
  11. Shapeshifting
  12. Writing Flawed Characters
  13. Handling Angst
  14. Rules On Fantasy In General
  15. Unfinished Works In Progress
  16. Original Characters In Fan-Fiction
  17. Ten Pieces of Writing Advice
  18. Ten Unpopular Fandom Opinions
  19. What Makes a Good Fantasy
  20. Character Flaws in Profiles
  21. Beginnings
  22. Hero’s Childhood
  23. Fantasy Teenagers
  24. Languages
  25. Secondary Characters
  26. Religions
  27. Most Hated Fantasy Ideas
  28. Death & Weapons
  29. Magic, Part 1
  30. Magic, Part 2
  31. Animals
  32. Justice & Legal System
  33. Dragons
  34. Astronomy
  35. Weather
  36. Geography
  37. Medieval Societies
  38. Elves
  39. Dwarves
  40. Villains
  41. Romance in Fantasy
  42. Authorial Distance From The Narrative
  43. Intrigues
  44. Characterization of Protagonists, Part 1
  45. Characterization of Protagonists, Part 2
  46. Quests & Quest Objects, Part 1
  47. Quests & Quest Objects, Part 2
  48. Modern Language in Fantasy
  49. Descriptive Language
  50. Titles
  51. Beliefs & Prejudices
  52. Prologues
  53. Training the Heroes
  54. Pacing in Fantasy
  55. Viewpoint Structures
  56. Information In- & Out-of-Story
  57. Non-Final Warfare
  58. The Final Battle
  59. Ending a Fantasy Book Without a Battle
  60. Clarity, Explanations & Metaphors
  61. Non-Humans in Fantasy, Part 1
  62. Non-Humans in Fantasy, Part 2
  63. Half-Breed Heroes
  64. Characterization of Protagonists, Part 3
  65. The Hero’s Occupation
  66. Non-Human Languages
  67. Literature & Culture
  68. Gods of Fantasy
  69. Parody Fantasy
  70. Speaking Styles
  71. On Consequences
  72. On History
  73. Castles
  74. Runaway Teenagers
  75. Art in a Fantasy Culture
  76. Misused Words in Fantasy
  77. Dialogue
  78. Politics & Diplomacy
  79. Planning & World-Building
  80. Character Introduction & Interaction
  81. Endings
  82. Endings, Mid-Series
  83. Beginnings, Mid-Series
  84. On Animals & Hunting
  85. More Misused Words
  86. Life in a Northern Town
  87. Deserts
  88. Jungles
  89. High Seas
  90. Grasslands
  91. Equal Time for Other Species
  92. Names
  93. Dreams
  94. Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation, Part 1
  95. Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation, Part 2
  96. Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation, Part 3
  97. More Misused Words
  98. Crossover Fantasy
  99. Urban Fantasy
  100. Feminist Fantasy
  101. Sex in Fantasy Novels
  102. Death
  103. Telepathic Companions
  104. Empathic Bonds
  105. Ordinary Heroes
  106. Tolkien Cliches
  107. Secret Groups
  108. Problems and Promises of First-Person Fantasy
  109. Dark Fantasy
  110. Body-Centered Writing, Part 1
  1. Changing Characters & Themes
  2. Standing on Ceremony
  3. Avoiding Infodumps
  4. Emotional Scenery, Part 1
  5. Emotional Scenery, Part 2
  6. Change in Societies
  7. Limitations
  8. Avoiding Archetypes
  9. Spicing Up Conversation Scenes
  10. Heroines Done Wrong
  11. Characters & Worlds
  12. Abused Characters
  13. Language Used Well
  14. Author’s Darlings
  15. Pacing & Action
  16. Genealogy
  17. Perceptive Characters
  18. Viewpoint Errors
  19. Stupid Plots
  20. Marion Zimmer Bradley
  21. Why Would Your Character…
  22. Gay & Lesbian Characters
  23. Long High Fantasy
  24. Languages, Continued
  25. Inconsistencies
  26. Mystery & Fantasy, Part 1
  27. Mystery & Fantasy, Part 2
  28. Personal Advice About Writing
  29. Non-Monarchial Societies, Part 1
  30. Non-Monarchial Societies, Part 2
  31. Non-Monarchial Societies, Part 3
  32. Culture Building & Stories
  33. Putting Stories & Poems Into the Narrative
  34. Storytelling, Continued
  35. My Ideal Fantasy Story
  36. Angst vs. Tragedy
  37. Creating Dynamic Protagonists
  38. Bullies
  39. Redemption, Part 1
  40. Redemption, Part 2
  41. Killing Protagonists
  42. Beautiful Characters
  43. Avoiding Deus Ex Machina
  44. Bildungsroman
  45. Backstory
  46. Throwing Out Conventional Ideas
  47. Rebel Groups, Part 1
  48. Rebel Groups, Part 2
  49. Diseases
  50. Healers & Cures
  51. Writing Without an Outline
  52. Religious Questions, Part 1
  53. Religious Questions, Part 2
  54. Suspense
  55. Special Abilities
  56. Flaw-Scrubbing
  57. Mage Heroes
  58. Fighter Heroes
  59. Thief Heroes
  60. Assassins
  61. Dungeons & Dragons Stereotypes
  62. Frustrating Characters
  63. Merchants
  64. Invisible Barriers
  65. Royalty
  66. Peasants
  67. Avoiding Medieval Fantasy, Part 1
  68. Avoiding Medieval Fantasy, Part 2
  69. Good Fantasy Romances
  70. Writing Different Characters, Part 1
  71. Writing Different Characters, Part 2
  72. Daily Life, Part 1
  73. Daily Life, Part 2
  74. Council Scenes
  75. Plotting a Fantasy Novel, Part 1
  76. Plotting a Fantasy Novel, Part 2
  77. Shapeshifters
  78. Shapeshifter Societies
  79. Disabled Characters
  80. Good Descriptive Prose
  81. Vampires in Fantasy
  82. Servants
  83. Necromancy
  84. Ghosts
  85. Slavery
  86. Robert Jordan & Terry Goodkind
  87. Demons
  88. Comic Relief
  89. Introductions
  90. Short Stories
  91. Magical Objects
  92. Non-Dark-Lord Villains
  93. Balancing Dialogue, Description & Action
  94. Peacetime Plotting
  95. Slippery-Slope Plotting
  96. Feral Children
  97. Spunky Characters That Aren’t Annoying
  98. Amnesia
  99. Technology in Fantasy
  100. Antagonistic Families
  101. Good Families
  102. Fantasy Travel
  103. Island Life
  104. Marriage
  105. Creating Good Rulers
  106. Explanation vs. Overexplanation
  107. Inheritance
  108. Non-Standard Fantasy Societies
  109. Self-Editing
  110. Noble Sufferers
  1. Madness
  2. Gypsies & Nomads
  3. Clothing
  4. Holidays & Festivals
  5. Quiet Moments
  6. Music
  7. Fantasy Narrative Poetry
  8. Things Limyaael Thinks Would Be Cool, Part 1
  9. Less-Represented Relationships
  10. Active vs. Reactive Protagonists
  11. Bookish Protagonists
  12. In Praise of Selfish Characters
  13. Borderlands
  14. Non-Protagonist Children
  15. Greed & Money
  16. Drama vs. Melodrama
  17. World-Building Through Writing
  18. Transitions
  19. Fleshing Out Secondary & Tertiary Characters
  20. Beginnings
  21. Maintaining Very Long Novels
  22. Adult Characters
  23. Non-Linear Narrative
  24. Putting Characters Through Hell
  25. Gaining Reader Empathy
  26. Making a True Stand-Alone Novel
  27. Non-Journey Stories
  28. Psychic Powers
  29. Handling Byzantine Plots
  30. Interpersonal Speaking Styles
  31. Balancing Cynicism
  32. Earning Hell
  33. Transformative Fantasy
  34. Fortune-Telling
  35. Interesting Villains
  36. Authorial Nitpicking, Part 1
  37. Authorial Nitpicking, Part 2
  38. Sensible Character Motivations
  39. Fascinating Characters
  40. Single Combat Scenes
  41. Likeable Characters
  42. Creating a Sense of Place
  43. Army Rant
  44. Navy Rant
  45. Money & Currency
  46. Designated Love Interests
  47. Unequal Relationships
  48. Interesting Heroines
  49. Kickstarting the Plot
  50. In-Character During Difficult Moments
  51. Distinct Minor Characters
  52. Things Limyaael Thinks Would Be Cool, Part 2
  53. Empires, Part 1
  54. Empires, Part 2
  55. Seasonal Variations
  56. Smooth Endings
  57. Ten Alternatives to “Learning a Lesson”
  58. Fantasy Education, Part 1
  59. Training Fighters
  60. Training Magic
  61. Fantasy Education, Part 2
  62. Revelations & Surprise Endings
  63. Brutal Fantasy
  64. Worldbuilding Through Layering
  65. Choosing Your Viewpoint Character
  66. Cities, Part 1
  67. Cities, Part 2
  68. Adult Bildungsromans
  69. Fantasy Without Magic
  70. Ten Alternatives to Genetic Magic
  71. Fantasy Without Villains
  72. Stubborn, But Not Annoying
  73. Genius Characters
  74. Friendships
  75. Things Limyaael Thinks Would Be Cool, Part 3
  76. Deathbed Scenes & Last Moments
  77. Political Fantasy
  78. Limitations of Magic
  79. Balancing Showing & Telling
  80. Revolutions & Civil Wars
  81. Creating a Sense of Inevitability
  82. Ten Ways to Alleviate Boredom
  83. Sociopath Characters
  84. Loner Characters
  85. Gradual Character Change
  86. Nobility of Spirit
  87. Duty-Bound Protagonists
  88. Keeping Magic Mystical
  89. Creating a Sense of the Forbidden
  90. Silence & Its Uses
  91. Taking Inspiration from Literature
  92. Non-Human-Centric Worlds
  93. Arranged Marriages
  94. Serious Optimism
  95. Idiot Plots & Avoiding Thereof
  96. Showing Viewpoint Character as Incorrect
  97. Beings of Extreme Power
  98. Propaganda
  99. International Relationships
  100. Making a Protagonist Into a Hero
  101. Magical Families
  102. Putting Bits of Yourself Into the Story (Subtly)
  103. Elemental Magic
  104. Handling a Large Cast of Viewpoint Characters
  105. Non-Angsty Werewolves
  106. Mute & Non-Speaking Characters
  107. Juxtaposed Worlds
  108. Neutral Characters
  109. Alternate/Other Worlds
  110. Creating Languages, Part 1: Basics, Phonology
  1. Creating Languages, Part 2: More Basics, Verbs
  2. Creating Languages, Part 3: Nouns, Pronouns
  3. Creating Languages, Part 4: Worldbuilding
  4. Keeping Static Worlds Plausible
  5. Likeable Bastard Characters
  6. Reluctant Heroes
  7. Things That Really Irritate Limyaael
  8. Older (25 & Up) Protagonists)
  9. Pacifist/”Coward”/Non-Fighter Characters
  10. Twins
  11. Things Limyaael Thinks Would Be Cool, Part 4
  12. Espionage & Spies
  13. Ten Great Things About Non-Tragic Fantasy
  14. Exiles & Expatriates
  15. Moments of Great Social Change
  16. Involving Nature in Your Novel
  17. Extroverted Protagonists
  18. Fantasies About Recovery/Healing
  19. Creating Subgenres
  20. Immigration/Emigration
  21. Love Triangles
  22. Subtle Foreshadowing
  23. Ten Things To Do When You Have Only an Image
  24. Creating a Court
  25. Psychotic Viewpoint Characters
  26. Killing The Villain Without Deus Ex Machina
  27. Convincing Crises of Faith
  28. Convincing Religious Characters
  29. Portraying Character Subjectivity
  30. Characters With Sympathy
  31. Why Complex Fantasy Is Great
  32. Complicating a Plot
  33. Non-Evil Collective & Traditionalist Societies
  34. Writing a Visionary, Part 1
  35. Writing a Visionary, Part 2
  36. Creating a History of Ideas for Your World, Part 1
  37. Creating a History of Ideas for Your World, Part 2
  38. Raining Shit On The Story & Not Letting It Stink
  39. Including Worldbuilding/Background
  40. Creating High-Magic Worlds
  41. Good Explication/Exposition
  42. Writing Ordinary, Limited Heroes
  43. Complex, Real Royals
  44. Writing Sex Scenes
  45. Believable Romance, Part 1
  46. Believable Romance, Part 2
  47. Non-Utopian Fantasy Worlds
  48. “Different” Sexual Practices
  49. Varying the Emotional Tone
  50. Subplots
  51. Alien Species & Worlds
  52. Non-Complex Fantasy
  53. Ecological Fantasy
  54. Loose Ends
  55. Ways To Make The Reader Hate Your Hero
  56. Body-Centered Writing, Part 2
  57. Group Dynamics
  58. Cohering a Hero
  59. Rules to Read By
  60. Ten Things To Do In The Middle Of Novels
  61. Ways of Extending Sympathy
  62. Avoiding Gimmick Worlds
  63. Competency & Work
  64. All the Small Things
  65. Making All-Powerful Protagonists Tolerable
  66. Managing Angst
  67. Domestic Fantasy
  68. Gender-Equal Societies
  69. Casual Worldbuilding
  70. Using the Insider
  71. Non-Villains
  72. Mentors
  73. Protagonists in Awe of Other Characters
  74. Oppression Fantasy
  75. Characterizing Animals
  76. Using Non-Western Influence in Fantasy
  77. Attitudes Towards Killing & Violence
  78. Class/Caste Systems
  79. Whores
  80. Non-Humans Living With Non-Human Attributes
  81. Possession, Mind-Control & Hypnosis
  82. Culture Clashes
  83. Turning Idealistic Characters Gray
  84. Science Fiction & Fantasy Hybrids
  85. Measurements & Units
  86. Winged Humanoids
  87. Legal System, Punishments, Judgement & “Justice”
  88. Heroines & Female Protagonists
  89. Anti-Heroes
  90. Letting Protagonists Make Mistakes
  91. Character Clash Stories
  92. Avoiding Villain Monologues
  93. Flawed Characters (Again)
  94. Loyalty