1. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    Avoiding the Cliche (need help)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Irish87, Jun 1, 2009.

    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.
     
  2. lazerus reborn
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    lazerus reborn Member

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    Well, by all merits you just killed the fantasy genre lol,

    This gave me a few laughs, though what fantasy elements do you want acually include?

    Do you want roving landscapes filled with with dragons and sorts, or a more sort final fantasy X/X-2/11 where magicks dose not nessacry mean merlin times more modern technology living with magicks?

    oh and stop apoligizing! you insulted us and we'll never forgive you! :p

    Just write and see where it takes you, you never know you ight atually like it!

    cant think of anything else atm, ill get back to you...
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't need help. You just need to remember the broader definition of fantasy. A story (of any kind) that has one element of the impossible. It doesn't have to resemble Middle Earth for it to be fantasy. That's called High Fantasy or Sword and Sworcery, depending on which elements are dominant. But if you have a setting like that, and want to use elves and dwarves, call them what they are. Dwarves don't have to be miners. but if you think they should be, let them be.
     
  4. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    So you want to write a fantasy, but you don't want to write one that sounds too much like LoTR, King Arthur, or Harry what's his name.

    So don't write one that sounds like any of them. To do this you have to create you own world. One where magic exists, and everyone isn't talking with a brittish accent.

    The elements that are in those books consist of the Hero, the Quest, the archetypal teacher, the love affairs, and the bad guy. SO what is your story going to have? Does your magic user need guidance? Then he will need a teacher (just don't make him sound like Glandolf, Merlin, or Dumbledoor)...make it a woman if you want to go in a different direction.

    Does your hero use magic? Or does one of his/her sidekicks use it?

    What will the overall point of the story be? To slay the dragon? Rescue the maiden? Or take a journey filled with danger? Will there be a love interest? Or will your hero be a loner?

    If you want to avoid sounding like something that has already been done, try to write things the exact opposite to those stories. It may not amount to an entire story, but it will let you see if you like that direction.

    When it comes down to it, every type of plot has pretty much been written about at some point in time. Our goal now is not to create original plot definitions, but to work within the confines of the existing plots with new and exciting characters and situations.

    So if you world looks different from the aforementioned books, the characters face a whole slew of different problems, and they have different types of lives, then you story will be different enough for people to want to read.

    There's no need to apologize to us for your posting. Instead why not write an intro post, critique a few posts, and then post up a piece of what you write for opinion. At the worst you'll be told what you have written has been done already. At best, we will like it and encourage you to keep going. It's a crapshoot.

    Jenn
     
  5. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    i'll agree with Blue on this.

    write what you have to say, adjust after, the idea comes before the story but if you don't let it out, then it remains just an idea.

    as for cliche's well, some are more accepted or expected than others, its not so much the cliches anyway, but how well the words around them are written.

    good luck writing
     
  6. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you do try to include some elements of typical fantasy, be a bit less typical. Most fantasy includes something of Norse, Greek, Roman, or Brythonic Celtic mythology. It's nothing new.

    But use other mythology and it should be fine. Kelpies, selkies, shapeshifters, etc. :D

    I'm not saying that there are no references to Gaelic mythology, or otherwise rarely used mythology, out there - TES has a lot of them. But they're less noticeable. You'd need to be an expert before you work out they're there.
    And whilst I'm recommending Gaelic mythology, use any mythology you want, if you need to ;)
     
  7. Atma
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    Atma Member

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    uhm, well dragons and unicorns are never overused, imo. I love reading about them. Though, if I see another wizard, I will firebolt him to tartarus.
    There is always a demand for the fantasy genre, people actually do like reading about dragons, unicorns, wizards, magic, elves (yes), it's not a dying genre. There are sooo many books written in the genre yes, but not many good ones.

    So if you wanna stand out, write a smashing fantasy book and you can even include an elf marrying a unicorn (if you think this is wrong, it is. But still,watch the Xena episode where the amazon gives birth to a centaur baby. disturbing.)
     
  8. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    I appreciate all the replies and all the help you've given me.

    I suppose my goal is to create something which is new. I don't want to be just another writer who churns out a fantasy novel or whatever it may be with the cartoon dragon shooting fire at the knight. Then again, I don't think I'll be adding dragons to it anyhow. Sorry, Atma. Oh, and no knights! Bah, who needs knights when you have ninjas! Alright, no ninja's as well.

    I suppose I should probably focus more on the novel I'm currently writing. Oh well, I can't help but day dream sometimes, especially when I'm finishing up chapter sixteen and it's not as good as I'm sure seventeen will be. Boo.

    Again, I appreciate all the help.

    Oh yeah, sorry I apologized so much. I'm Irish Catholic, if I'm not feeling guilty then I'm most likely going to hell.
     
  9. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you want to create something new, make whatever ideas you come across your own. Don't worry about what other people have done, or making things wildly different. Doing that leads that glittery vampires to play baseball during thunder storms so nobody will notice the extra-loud sounds they make by hitting the ball.
     
  10. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    Make something in the future and just make everything up. Maybe that's not "fantasy" I'm not entirely sure the difference between fantasy and scifi. But I make up a lot of weird stuff that takes place in the future that is sorta fantasy-like.
     
  11. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Which was the best moment in that entire franchise, by the way XD
    cool beans!
     

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