So You Want to Have a War?

The Toy Soldier Saga

By Django Wexler

I am, I have to admit, a war buff. I read military histories for fun, the kind with fold-out maps covered in little colored arrows and notations like “Kollowrath (40,000)”. As I am also a fantasy novelist, the nature of war in fantasy fiction has always been fascinating to me.

And there is a lot of war in fantasy. Starting with Tolkien, it’s become practically obligatory that the epic fantasy saga, somewhere around the middle of book three, feature an Epic Confrontation Between Good and Evil with a Cast of Thousands. Various allies, painfully recruited over the course of the hero’s journey, turn up to lend a hand at the Final Battle. Various villains are dispatched, hapless orcs or equivalent humanoids are mowed down by the score, and just when things seem bleakest Evil is defeated forever. A beloved secondary character or two bites the dust, and…

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3 thoughts on “So You Want to Have a War?

  1. I just want to get people to stop using “so” to open a sentence. It’s become trite enough that I avoid using it almost entirely in writing, although as a verbal tic – it’s now in the same class as “um” – I still struggle.

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    1. *tone of gentle and friendly amusement* Did you really just come on my blog to grammar police this title? C’mon, Terence. I reblogged this post, but I frequently begin sentences with “so” myself, because I prefer a conversational style. And it is, in fact, a perfectly legitimate grammatical choice, although the belief that it isn’t, is, quite understandably, widespread. https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction

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      1. My point was not grammatical, although there is a very solid argument against starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions.

        The practice is like salt, in that in very small doses it can enhance writing, but it’s used about a thousand times more frequently than it should be to accomplish that goal. It’s just a spacer for people who feel they need to say or write something, when “avoid unnecessary words” remains good advice for fiction and nonfiction alike.

        Ergo, not intended as a grammar comment, but see how cleverly I avoided that word just then?

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