NOBLE HOUSES – Terrible Writing Advice

October 5, 2019

Two writing styles, both alike in dignity,
In fair YouTube videos, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where cliche writing makes cliche stories unclean. Our once great house is in decline. The noble house of Terrible Writing Advice
teeters on the brink of collapse. I must restore this once great house to its
rightful place by making a video on noble houses! Noble houses are a staple of many fantasy
works and even quite a few science fiction ones. Navigating the complex web of intrigue of
the cutthroat royal court can prove perilous even for a skilled writer, but you should
trust me. With my connections, we can forge a powerful
alliance that can propel even the amateur writer to greatness. Who knows. Anything is possible with enough ambition. Now where shall we start our gambit to ascend
to the throne? I suppose first we should do some world building
and design our royal families. There are a lot of things to consider; sigils,
heraldry, mottos, uniforms, linage, fiefdom, wealth, relics, history, traditions, home,
vassals, oaths, lands, martial arts, ideology, secrets, organization, logistics, and what
kind of food they like. Or… we could give them a funny hat. Yeah. A single hat will substitute for all of that
other stuff. If we are feeling generous, then a writer
can give each noble house a single personality trait that every member of the house shares. Don’t want to break the creative bank on
that one. Now how many noble houses should make up our
royal court? Well there is house Good Guys who are all
noble and nice. They treat their subjects fairly and their
lands are always prosperous regardless of their unrealistic and naive polices. They are opposed by house Bad Guys who are
all evil and treat their peasants like crap yet don’t suffer from constant rebellions
and haven’t gone bankrupt despite spending all of their money on torture devices rather
than investing in industry. Then there is house Background Extras who
probably won’t even get a name. They are very important in keeping the balance
of power in the royal court, but not so important that the writer put any effort into fleshing
them out. We don’t want other factions muddying our
feud between House Good Guys and House Bad Guys. A third faction shaking up the status quo
and introducing new conflicts and story opportunities? That’s as absurd as an upcoming middle class
of merchants looking to spread their influence into the royal court by means of marrying
into the aristocracy. Can’t have that. Give those peasant merchants an inch and next
thing you know they’ll be wining about not having a constitution and an assembly. Then bam! Constitutional monarchy. That would be terrible because they would
start wanting sensible things like representation or force the houses to stop their blood feuds
that frequently result in casualties among bystanders. The Emperor won’t allow that. It’s very important that the houses keep
their knives pointed at each other’s throats and not his. After all, the only thing standing between
the emperor’s throat and the other houses’ assassins is his elite royal guard. Luckily for the Emperor, it never occurs to
the royal guard that maybe the Emperor is blatantly incompetent since he keeps putting
House Bad Guys in charge of important imperial assets that they proceed to ruin for the sake
of being jerks. The thought never enters their head that maybe
the captain of the royal guard could probably do a better job and that he is merely one
knife wound to the Emperor’s back away from a promotion to the big chair. Historically speaking, a lot of royal guards
were actually foreigners to make sure they had no ties to any local factions and would
remain loyal to the royal they were guarding. Also historically speaking, this usually didn’t
work very well. Thankfully for the protagonists of house Good
Guys, the royal guard is nothing more than slightly tougher minion to face off against
after the story’s halfway point when it’s revealed that the Emperor is going to betray
house Good Guys because we need to up the stakes… um I mean because of political reasons
that I don’t need to go into. But where does all this intrigue take place? Why the royal court. The appearance, traditions, and culture of
the royal court could be used for world building and can be unique enough to become a character
all on its own. I intended to give my royal court the same
loving care I give my characters and use the standard, off the shelf stock version. Royal courts are usually opulent, with the
nobles enjoying a life of unparalleled luxury. You can tell because everyone is sipping a
glass of wine while being snooty. They plot and scheme on the sidelines frequently
disparaging those making presentations to the emperor or king of the court all in an
attempt to curry favor with the other court goers. Witty banter is essential as those from feuding
houses clash with words when in the court. The protagonist better have a quick wit or
else loose prestige among the other nobles and face humiliation at the hands of his quick
tongued foe. Ugh. It’s just like high school. Don’t forget the thinly veiled threats. Now witty dialog is hard to write so I better
hit the mark. Um… Ha! It’s like I’m building a house because
I NAILED IT! Just like that joke, because you know. Nails? In a house? Get it? *Awkward cough* Let’s move on… to the best part! The betrayal. House politics are full of betrayals. Too bad House Good guys can’t see the traitor
in their own ranks. Little do they suspect evil McSchemingson
and how could they? I mean he has a freaking goatee and dresses
in all black. Clearly he blends in seamlessly into house
Good Guys. His motive for turning on the house he serves? I don’t know. His goatee told him to do it or something. Look, we gotta keep this moving. Now house Good Guy’s only hope is that the
Emperor will step in. Oh no! The emperor has decided to back house Bad
Guys being the bastion of competence that they are. Now comes the tragic fall of house Good Guys. Was the groundwork for the fall evident from
the early part of the story? Was their fall a result of a noble character
trait that prevented them from taking a single ruthless action that could have saved the
house? Were they simply out maneuvered politically
in a master gambit by a cunning league of foes? No. House Bad Guys have a far more devious and
elegant plan; rush in the front door with overwhelming numbers and stab everyone. That cunning plan must have taken forever
to come to fruition. House Good Guys has fallen, but thankfully
the protagonist is now the sole survivor and will one day reclaim their rightful place
and restore the house to its former glory by the final act or at least some point in
the series. The heroes will get their chance when house
Bad Guys betrays the emperor in their own bid for the throne. Who could have seen that coming? I am shocked that murdering psychopaths make
for poor allies! During the confusion, the protagonist will
seize the day and defeat the emperor or house Bad Guys, whichever is still alive at the
climax and then ascend to the throne. House Good Guys is restored and the feud ends. The protagonist is emperor now and reigns
supreme. Or at least he would if the newly established
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