The Fantasy Novelist’s Exam is a list of 75 questions compiled by David J Parker to test whether your fantasy novel is a load of derivative rubbish. If you answer yes to any of the questions then it’s bad news for you. It begins:

  1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?
  2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage?
  3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn’t know it?
  4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?
  5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world?
  6. How about one that will destroy it?
  7. Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about “The One” who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good?
  8. Does your novel contain a character whose sole purpose is to show up at random plot points and dispense information?
  9. Does your novel contain a character that is really a god in disguise?
  10. Is the evil supreme badguy secretly the father of your main character?
Much as I love The Wheel of Time, question 33 is hilarious: ‘Is your name Robert Jordan and you lied like a dog to get this far?’
Read the full list here.
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