Hello. Firstly I must admit this is my first post, so I apologize that I did not introduce myself first. Sorry. Alright, now to the actual reason of the post: I'm in a bind of sorts. You see, I am finishing up my first novel and planning to finish it by the end of the new month. Will I ever publish it? Meh, no idea. Hmm, that sounded somewhat apathetic. I promise I don't mean it that way. I suppose I just don't see failure as a necessarily negative occurrence. Me finishing this novel, however, is not really apart of the question, only a bit of background. I want to immediately dive into writing another story (I am unsure of how long I can make it so I'm simply calling it a story and not a novel or whatnot). What my concern is in regards to the story is simply whether or not I will be making an ass out of myself. It's a... fantasy story... yep. I suppose I should now apologize to all of the fantasy writers out there. Sorry. It's not that I don't respect you, I am just always so disappointed by the amount of work which all rips off one particular individual or somehow, in some strange way, sounds exactly like a certain story about an English wizard. And that is my question... How do I avoid fantasy cliches, stereotypes, and other assorted qualities which tend to depress me horribly? Yes, yes, no Orcs, I know. Oh, and yes, no elves, don't worry they won't be allowed in. What of the dwarves? Meh, I'll just call them midgets and refuse to let them into any mines because they aren't tall enough. In all honesty I want to write a fantasy story which reflects on my own childhood... crap, it's sounding cliche now. I promise, there won't be any rings or mystical quests or anything like that. Oh, and no wands. Sorry. God, oh God, what am I to do?! P.S.: Thirdly I should apologize for my terrible grammar... it's late, leave me be. Oh, and fourthly let me apologize for my long windedness and apparent inability to actually ask a decent question. Sorry.