Follower Spotlight: Ally’s Desk

alice leiperEvery couple of weeks I review one of my follower’s blogs, last time I took a look at Theparasiteguy, and this week it’s Ally’s Desk.

If anyone knows anything about me it’s that I like three things; history, fantasy, writing craft, research and that I can’t count. In this Follower Spotlight, I’m taking a peek at Ally’s Leiper, a fantasy writer who has a degree ancient history and Archaeology.

First off, we should all wish Ally a happy six months on wordpress! By the sounds of it she’s learnt a lot about the world wide web, and a lot about its frivolous nature. But, it it time to take that trip into Ally’s blog and see what little gems we come up with, because I do believe this writer, reviewer and general lover of fantasy has more than a few.

Post Spotlight: Announcement: Article on Mythic scribes

This post is terrible! At only fourteen words it’s a total waste of… oh, wait, there’s a link… (I’m so funny).

Ally has written an article about medieval weaponry (awesome), she gives some examples of kick ass fantasy swords from various movies (awesomer), and gives tips on how to develop your own fantasy weapons (AWEESOOMERER!).

When I first saw that some of the items she reviews were from anime, I was a little disappointed. Not because I dislike anime but because… No wait, it is because I dislike anime. But, even with my prejudice aside Leiper I really enjoyed the little reviews of the different weapons. Discussing why how they fit into the world and why they work for the characters.

Leiper’s tips for creating weapons will likely open your eyes to at least one or two things that you should consider when designing the tools of war your characters wield. Pop over and have a look, if you are a fantasy writer, or world builder, you might just be inspired.

Post Spotlight: What’s with all the kings and queens in fantasy?

One thing that is rare on wordpress and perhaps shouldn’t be is well constructed articles. One of the many beauties of the blogosphere is its spontaneous and conversational nature. You feel like you’re speaking to the person, rather than an expert. But, Ally asks a question, and answers it in this well constructed and refreshing article.

Leiper’s writing style is clear and concise, she delivers her knowledge in an easy to follow manor and uses applicable, and well know references (such as robin hood). Essentially, the premise of the article is why in a world dominated by democracy, are fantasy readers so attached to the idea of kings and queens.

She covers histories and myths, story telling and human nature.

The concept of the rightful heir to the throne is centred around a character who has something of theirs, something they had a right to expect, taken from them, and then seeking to have it returned to them. The individual who took it from them is seen as morally corrupt, while the individual seeking to regain it is, if not perfect, certainly more moral than the person who took it.

This is a quote regarding human nature, and I think it’s something we can all agree with. For a person to enjoy your story they have to relate to, and as Ally herself says, we’ve all had something taken from us, and thus we can relate.

There are some really great, well informed posts on Ally’s Desk, and I recommend anyone interested in history and fantasy check it out. Leiper has been published on Myths Inscribed, and as mentioned, has content available on the fantasy writer’s forum Mythic Scribes.

Check it out, and as always; thanks for reading.


Follower spotlight will be a weekly instalment, if you want to be featured, follow A month from somewhere. I will not ask your permission, but I will never give negative reviews. This section is intended to build the community, not break it!

Thanks for reading



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