Today’s post is a guest blog by my critique partner and friend, the fantasy writer A. S. Akkalon.
By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where computers outnumber suits of armour more than two-to-one, and by night she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.
She blogs bad advice, random silliness, and the occasional short story at www.asakkalon.com, and can often be found grubbing in the leaf litter under the Twitter trees (@AkkalonAS).
She’s currently editing her high fantasy novel, “Rain on Dragon Scales”, which takes itself more seriously than her blog, but not too seriously. It also has dragons.
If life has taught her anything, it’s that the cat is always right.
You’ll find my corresponding blog, How To Win The Heart Of A Romance Writer, on her blog at http://www.asakkalon.com/romance-writer/
How to win a fantasy writer’s heart
Fantasy writers can be bewildering creatures, one minute asking for help with a gnarly plot point, the next scolding you for daring to offer it.
They have big dreams and fragile confidence, and are more at home among the inhabitants of their imaginary worlds than at a dinner party among their friends.
Their pockets are misshapen from carrying a notebook and pen, and they’ve probably been stopped at least once by airport security for trying to take a sword onto a plane. (Or maybe that was just me.)
During writing time they are pleasant partners, assuming the sound of typing doesn’t bother you, and the tea that keeps them ticking is cheap.
They see gnomes under the hedge, dementors in the forest, and will sit for hours waiting for a hedgehog to talk.
Go on a flight of fancy with a fantasy writer and you won’t regret it.
If you want the wonder of winning the heart of one of these delightful creatures, I have just the advice to help you do it.
Learn obscure foreign customs
A couple of blunders might lead you to conclude that the best thing you can do is stay out of a fantasy writer’s writing.
This is only half true.
Unless you’re a writer yourself, don’t try to tell her how to write. Even if you are, there’s something better you can do.
Brush up on your knowledge of obscure foreign customs and casually slip them into conversation. Bonus points if they’re from dead civilisations and five minutes in a closet with Google won’t yield the same gems.
Why, you ask. Because this makes you a treasure trove of inspiration. Fantasy writers might create whole worlds, but they’re inspired by real life and real civilisations. Become a source of inspiration and the fantasy writer will be dying to keep you around.
Plus, it makes you a more interesting person, and who wouldn’t want that?
Buy her a sword
I challenge you to find a fantasy writer wouldn’t love a sword to hang between her bookcases.
And I’m not talking about a tacky stainless steel sword. I mean a properly-tempered, high carbon steel sword that would scare a pickpocket from twenty paces and looks as if the blood has just been cleaned off.
If you don’t want to risk her having a sword, another option is a longbow. Along with lessons on how to use it, of course. You might want to keep the cat inside.
A gorgeous, historically accurate sword or longbow will melt the hardest fantasy writer’s heart.
Refill her tea when she’s reading
Reading is a serious business for a fantasy writer. For you as the hopeful future partner of said fantasy writer, reading time involves several responsibilities.
The first is to be quiet. Yes, what Mark did at work today was hilarious, but when she’s reading she doesn’t care.
The second is to provide sustenance. This means tea. From time to time, the tea will go cold sitting beside her. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t want it, just that she’s so caught up in her book that she’s temporarily forgotten she has it.
At some point she will remember and reach for it. If you have replaced the cold tea with hot tea without disturbing her, your gallantry will not go unnoticed.
Similarly, if you can be still and silent when she’s writing you will win her undying affection.
Take her on a romantic outing
You have several options here. Which is best will depend on your proclivities and hers.
Take her away for a romantic night in a medieval castle. I suggest choosing one that isn’t haunted, unless her interests lie in that direction.
If she’s not afraid of horses or allergic to them, take her horse trekking. Even better, unicorn trekking.
If you’re lucky enough to have one in your area, take her to a jousting tournament. Yes, apparently these are still a real thing.
Go on a trip to Hobbiton. Skip the ring, though, unless your relationship has reached that point.
Get her a pet dragon
The ultimate thing you can do that I guarantee will win your fantasy writer’s heart is buy her a pet dragon. Provided it doesn’t eat or incinerate her, or incite a feud with the neighbours.
If dragons are out of your price range there’s a poor man’s alternative: make wings for the cat (or dog).
No, it’s not the same as a dragon, but it is adorable. And if you put wings on the cat you’re likely to get so badly mauled the fantasy writer will be forced to tend your gashes and nurse you back to health. This will provide plenty of opportunity for falling in love.
Armed with these strategies, you’re now ready to go out and win the heart of a fantasy writer. Good luck!
If you’re a fantasy writer, what does it take to win your heart? If you’ve tried to win the heart of a fantasy writer, what strategies did you try? Did they work?