The Compendium of Limyaael’s Rants

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Limyaael’s Rants, but without further ado (wait, was there any at all?), I present to you the epub version of her 400+ rants on any and every topic on writing fantasy.

Yes, they have been assorted and categorized.

Yes, there is a table of contents.

Yes, it’s searchable by whatever keyword you’re looking for.

Yes, it’s huge.

Yes, it’s free (unless Limyaael wishes otherwise).

Don’t you just love ebooks?

It took me a whole week to put it together, and I didn’t think my chincy laptop could handle the 1200+ page document, but what the hey, it’s finally done!

And I sincerely hope you get as much out of it as I do.


All material in this ebook is written by and belongs to Limyaeel, who to the best of my knowledge is doing fine and well enjoying life the way she wants to.

As writers and appreciators of the fantasy genre, we are indebted to her insights, advice, knowledge, education, generosity, and passion.

Please respect the efforts of Limyaael.

ToC of what’s inside the Compendium

(or keep scrolling to the bottom to download the file)

Character Development
Creating Breathing Characters
Creating Dynamic Protagonists
Author’s Darlings
Active v. Reactive Protagonists
Female Protagonists Who Do Not Suck
Interesting Heroines
Heroines & Female Protagonists
Heroines Done Wrong
In Praise of Selfish Characters
Making All-Powerful Protagonists Tolerable
Making a Protagonist into a Hero
Writing Ordinary, Limited Heroes
Interesting Villains
Letting Protagonists Make Mistakes
Special Abilities
Avoiding Archetypes
Character Flaws in Profiles
Cohering a Hero
Characterization of Protagonists, Part 2
Characterization of Protagonists, Part 3
Writing a Visionary, Part 1
Writing a Visionary, Part 2
Fleshing Out Secondary & Tertiary Characters
Sensible Character Motivations
Nobility of Spirit
Spunky Characters That Aren’t Annoying
Stubborn, But Not Annoying
Turning Idealistic Characters Grey
Creating Good Rulers
Why Would Your Character…
Putting Characters Through Hell
In-Character During Difficult Moments
Hero’s Childhood
Fantasy Teenagers
Ten Alternatives to “Learning a Lesson”
The Hero’s Occupation
Balancing Cynicism
On Consequences
Killing Protagonists
Descriptive Language
Clarity, Explanations & Metaphors
Good Descriptive Prose
Good Explication/Exposition
Language Used Well
Explanation v. Overexplanation
Misused Words in Fantasy
More Misused Words
Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation, Part 1
Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation, Part 2
Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation, Part 3
More Misused Words
On “Clichéd” Fantasy
Writing Non-Humans
Message Fantasy
Oversensitivity to Bad Reviews
Character Gender
Ten Unpopular Fandom Opinions
Most Hated Fantasy Ideas
Modern Language in Fantasy
Equal Time for Other Species
My Ideal Fantasy Story
Tolkien Clichés
Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Problems and Promises of First-Person Fantasy
Things Limyaael Thinks Would Be Cool
Things Limyaael Thinks Would Be Cool, Part 3
Things Limyaael Thinks Would be Cool, Part 4
Authorial Nitpicking
Rules to Read By
Using Non-Western Influence in Fantasy
Things That Really Irritate Limyaael
Ten Things to do When You Only Have an Image
Taking Inspiration from Literature
Original Characters in Fan-Fiction
Story Structure
Not Writing Crap
Pacing in Fantasy
Ten Pieces of Writing Advice
Character Introductions & Interactions
Non-Linear Narrative
Information In and Out-of-Story
Earning Hell
Unfinished Works in Progress
Viewpoint Structures
Choosing Your Viewpoint Character
Showing Viewpoint Character as Incorrect
Viewpoint Errors
Psychotic Viewpoint Characters
Character Clash Stories
Short Stories
Fantasy Narrative Poetry
Authorial Distance from the Narrative
Fantasy Types
Non-Complex Fantasy
Long High Fantasy
Brutal Fantasy
Political Fantasy
Dark Fantasy
Parody Fantasy
Urban Fantasy
Feminist Fantasy
Domestic Fantasy
Transformative Fantasy
Oppression Fantasy
Ecological Fantasy
Crossover Fantasy
Science Fiction & Fantasy Hybrids
Avoiding Medieval Fantasy
Fantasy Without Magic
Fantasy Without Villains
Creating Subgenres
Fantasy Story Development
Rules of Fantasy in General
What Makes a Good Fantasy
Fiction & Reality
Technology in Fantasy
Psychic Powers
Possession, Mind-Control & Hypnosis
Attitudes Towards Killing & Violence
On Animals & Hunting
Fantasy Travel
Magical Families
Antagonistic Families
Good Families
Training the Heroes
Non-Final Warfare
The Final Battle
Ending a Fantasy Book Without a Battle
Romance in Fantasy
Good Fantasy Romances
Believable Romance, Part 1
Believable Romance, Part 2
Designated Love Interests
Arranged Marriages
International Relationships
Unequal Relationships
Less Represented Relationships
Sex in Fantasy Novels
Writing Sex Scenes
“Different” Sexual Practices
Love Triangles
Empathic Bonds
Character Types
Writing Different Characters
Handling a Large Cast of Viewpoint Characters
Protagonists in Awe of Other Characters
Flawed Characters (Again)
Mage Heroes
Fighter Heroes
Thief Heroes
Ordinary Heroes
Reluctant Heroes
Half-Breed Heroes
Neutral Characters
Noble Sufferers
Duty-Bound Protagonists
Extroverted Protagonists
Bookish Protagonists
Older (25 and Up) Protagonists
Likeable Characters
Perceptive Characters
Fascinating Characters
Likeable Bastard Characters
Adult Characters
Pacifist/“Coward”/Non-Fighters Characters
Sociopath Characters
Genius Characters
Loner Characters
Abused Characters
Gay & Lesbian Characters
Mute & Non-Speaking Characters
Beautiful Characters
Disabled Characters
Frustrating Characters
Characters With Sympathy
Secondary Characters
Distinct Minor Characters
Convincing Religious Characters
Non-Protagonist Children
Runaway Teenagers
Telepathic Companions
Beings of Extreme Power
Dungeons & Dragons Stereotypes
Non-Dark-Lord Villains
Secret Groups
Healers & Cures
Complex, Real Royals
Feral Children
Gypsies & Nomads
Espionage & Spies
Exiles & Expatriates
Vampires in Fantasy
Non-Angsty Werewolves
Shapeshifter Societies
Non-Humans in Fantasy, Part 1
Non-Humans in Fantasy, Part 2
Characterizing Animals
Fantasy Elements
Keeping Magic Mystical
Limitations of Magic
Magic, Part One
Magic, Part Two
Elemental Magic
Ten Alternatives to Genetic Magic
Magical Objects
Quests and Quest Objects, Part 1
Quests and Quest Objects, Part 2
Fantasy Education, Part 1
Fantasy Education, Part 2
Training Magic
Training Fighters
Winged Humanoids
Mystery and Fantasy, Part 1
Mystery and Fantasy, Part 2
World Building
Building Fantasy Worlds
Creating a Sense of Place
Planning and World-Building
World Building Through Writing
World Building Through Layering
Casual Worldbuilding
Balancing Showing & Telling
Including Worldbuilding/Background
Characters and Worlds
Culture Building & Stories
Storytelling, Continued
Non-Human-Centric Worlds
Creating High-Magic Worlds
Alternate/Other Worlds
Juxtaposed Worlds
Avoiding Gimmick Worlds
Non-Utopian Fantasy Worlds
Alien Species & Worlds
Gender-Equal Societies
Non-Humans Living with Non-Human Attributes
Creating a History of Ideas for your World, Part 1
Creating a History of Ideas for your World, Part 2
On History
Change in Societies
Involving Nature in Your Novel
Seasonal Variations
Daily Life
Island Life
Life in a Northern Town
High Seas
Medieval Societies
Non-Evil Collectives & Traditionalists Societies
Non-Standard Fantasy Societies
Culture Clashes
Gods of Fantasy
Beliefs & Prejudices
Religious Questions
Revolutions & Civil Wars
Death & Weapons
Army Rant
Navy Rant
Politics & Diplomacy
Creating a Court
Money & Currency
Justice & Legal System
Legal Systems, Punishments, Judgment & Justice
Council Scenes
Non-Monarchial Societies, Part 1
Non-Monarchial Societies, Part 2
Non-Monarchial Societies, Part 3
Moments of Great Social Change
Standing on Ceremony
Class/Caste Systems
Competency & Work
Measurements & Units
Literature and Culture
Art in a Fantasy Culture
Holidays & Festivals
Rebel Groups, Part 1
Rebel Groups, Part 2
Personal Advice About Writing
Balancing Dialogue, Description and Action
Spicing Up Conversation Scenes
Pacing & Action
Comic Relief
Drama v. Melodrama
Avoiding Infodumps
Creating a Sense of Inevitability
Creating a Sense of the Forbidden
Gaining Reader Empathy
Putting Bits of Yourself into the Story (Subtly)
Putting Poems & Stories into the Narrative
Body-Centered Writing, Part 1
Body-Centered Writing, Part 2
Emotional Scenery, Part 1
Emotional Scenery, Part 2
Varying the Emotional Tone
Serious Optimism
Ten Ways to Alleviate Boredom
Gradual Character Change
Portraying Character Subjectivity
Changing Characters & Themes
Group Dynamics
Avoiding Villain Monologues
Managing Angst
Handling Angst
Ways to Make the Reader Hate your Hero
Raining Shit on the Story & Not Letting it Stink
Ways of Extending Sympathy
Silence & Its Uses
Quiet Moments
Single Combat Scenes
Deathbed Scenes & Last Moments
Greed & Money
Keeping Static Worlds Plausible
Plotting a Fantasy Novel
Why Complex Fantasy is Great
Writing Without an Outline
Idiot Plots & Avoiding Thereof
Stupid Plots
Throwing Out Conventional Ideas
Angst v. Tragedy
Non-Journey Stories
Fantasies about Recovery/Healing
Adult Bildungsromans
Kickstarting the Plot
Complicating a Plot
Beginnings, Mid-Series
Ten Things to Do in the Middle of Novels
Maintaining Very Long Novels
Endings, Mid-Series
Smooth Endings
Revelations & Surprise Endings
Loose Ends
Subtle Foreshadowing
Slippery-Slope Plotting
Peacetime Plotting
Handling Byzantine Plots
Avoiding Deus Ex Machina
Killing the Villain without Deus Ex Machina
Making a True Stand-Alone Novel
All the Small Things
Convincing Crises of Faith
Using the Insider
Redemption, Part 1
Redemption, Part 2
Invisible Barriers
Ten Great Things About Non-Tragic Fantasy
Languages, Continued
Non-Human Languages
Creating Languages, Part 1: Basics, Phonology
Creating Languages, Part 2: More Basics, Verbs
Creating Languages, Part 3: Nouns & Pronouns
Creating Languages, Part 4: Worldbuilding
Speaking Styles
Interpersonal Speaking Styles

Download the epub

(pardon the external link. As long as I’m on the WordPress server, I cannot upload epub or zip files)

**if you’re having any technical difficulties with the file (reading it, downloading it, whatever it is), please let me know!

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