by Timothy C. Ward, SFFWRTCHT Columnist
Dragonlance Canticle is a show about the world of Dragonlance, ranging from the novels to the RPG. I’ve listened to this podcast a little over time, but since I’ve only read the first few Dragonlance novels, I’ve avoided this show to keep from hearing spoilers. For fans of the series, this is a great show. I’ve heard some fun discussions on themes within Dragonlance, and the most recent episode, #46 “Essentials of Dragonlance,” upholds this standard.
Even if you don’t play the Dragonlance RPG, or RPGs at all, there is still content here for fans of Fantasy. As a Fantasy lover, and fan of nostalgic memories of Dragonlance and its inspiration for my Fantasy fandom, I enjoyed their discussion of what elements are essential to a Dragonlance “story.” They veered off a little towards campaigns for RPGs, but I was able to mold their discussion to fit my desire to build Fantasy worlds for novels.
Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy is one of many platforms where people have discussed what elements are essential for distinguishing Fantasy from Science Fiction – be it magic or ray guns. Well, in this podcast, they discuss whether dragons and lances are essential for a Dragonlance setting. I’ve got to say, writing that makes me laugh, because those two words are in the title of the series, but I don’t think they are necessary. In fact, they discuss how the lance is like the easy idea for killing the dragons, and it makes sense to try and find new ways to slay the dragon – if you even choose to make dragons essential to the plot. This plays on the value of messing with tropes and reader expectation. As soon as your reader guesses your solution correctly, you’ve bored them. Keep your ideas fresh and you’ll keep your readers.
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