Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Fantasy Scribes

Writing isn’t always easy, but I imagine we have it a bit easier than the scribes in fantasy literature:

1. First, there’s the issue of doing research, which probably means following the adventurers around through the trap filled dungeons, without the benefit of chain mail or advanced weapons skills.
2. Then, they’d probably have to work out some kind of deal with the heroes, and remember these are people for whom a good deal usually goes ‘if I give you all my ill gotten gains, maybe you won’t kill me and all my minions, okay?’
3. And obviously, they’d need interviews with all the villains for a balanced viewpoint, which might mean a quick trip to the Castle of Doom, followed by an even quicker exit when the resident villain takes exception to being asked about being defeated.
4. That’s assuming that they’re still alive, and remember that the heroes our intrepid scribes are working with are conditioned to react in a very violent fashion to those who make use of the necromantic arts, even for research purposes.
5. Add to that the problems of lugging around enough scrolls to write everything down on by hand, the tendency of passing monsters to assume that because you have books and things you must be a dangerous wizard to be dealt with first, and the lack of a literate audience, and I think the poor scribes who schlep along with heroes every day have things much harder than the rest of us.

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