1. Shingaru
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    Shingaru New Member

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    Fantasy Cliche

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Shingaru, May 9, 2014.

    Hi,

    I've been thinking about writing a fantasy novel for a number of years, playing with plot lines in my head and recently started to write things down.

    However, there seems to be a general consensus that people hate most of the cliches that I have been thinking about.

    small boy, magical items, quest to kill the bad man king.

    It seems like most of my favorite fantasy novels follow this path (Eragon, Harry Potter, LotR, Mistborn). Should I deviate from what I have been thinking about for the last number of years and take on board these cliches to avoid?

    Or take the chance that my take on these common cliches might be popular?
     
  2. Novice InkSlinger
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    Novice InkSlinger New Member

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    Well, the fantasy story that I had in mind of writing also concern those cliches. (Really hard to shook them off) I suggest writing what you are comfortable with, even if they are cliches. I tried writing things other than this type of fantasy, and ends up returning to writing the same thing again. Writes what you love. :)
     
  3. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Common cliches" are what you might call "tropes".
    (And perhaps the most popular online place to find out about tropes in fiction would be http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage)
    A cliche might be a trope that was overused in a particular form to the point of being dead in its original meaning, impact, effect. You can notice that something is a cliche if there is absolutely nothing you can do about it to make it "alive" again.

    That said, I'd say: if you want to tell a story about a small boy acquiring a magical item and going on a quest to kill the evil king, tell it, but make it damn interesting. :) Play with tropes, turn them upside-down, laugh in their face, take them too seriously for their own health, be ironic, be pathetic, or just be straightforward and methodic with them. All of this and more might (but need not) work to make your story enjoyable.
     
  4. James Joyce
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    James Joyce Member

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    Having a trope doesn't make your story bad: they are tropes for a reason. However, don't repeat what others have said, say your own things. A story that repeats another one is never a good one.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Is it possible you think along these lines because you have limited your reading to these kinds of stories? If so, you may also want to do some reading outside the fantasy realm to see 1) the great variation of stories that can be told and 2) other, non-fantasy ideas that can be incorporated into a fantasy story.
     
  6. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    Don't be afraid of this. You are simply describing the typical heroe's journey.

    The difference between fantasy books is not really obvious if you only look at plot lines. It is in the way they are handled. It is in the way the hero is portrayed. The struggle, the journey.

    Paint your picture. Maybe think about having characters that are not cliched.

    But the actual plot lines...well...there are only so many!
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make the story your own, setting and unique plotline and varied characters. It's a balance...often readers desire some familiarity, but not a 'carbon copy'.
     
  8. Shingaru
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    Shingaru New Member

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    thanks for the advice, the one thing that I will focus on that I did not really think about earlier is how and why the evil king a) became evil and b) became king.

    I am thinking along the lines of having 2 stories at the same time, one would be following the evil king and his rise to power(inclined towards a nice military guy going corrupt) and one would be the weak farm boy hero type which follows his journey/struggle that sets out for one reason and ends up having to kill the king.

    Both would happen simultaneously.

    My evil king will not be immortal, all powerful typical but more devious, manipulative guy

    My farm boy will not be a typical orphan chosen by a prophecy that in the space of 1-2 months becomes the most powerful being.

    Edit: do you guys know of any fantasy books that follow the rise of a evil guy?
     
  9. LegendsTheFour
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    LegendsTheFour Member

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    I personally never liked the little boy suddenly becomes special and kill the evil king. For me it's too common I guess. I started off writing like that, little boy becomes hero and I hated it. So I tried a new plot which I enjoy much more. It is basically a couple of heroes that have an unknown past we want to discover and the bad guy are the heroes themselves, in other words they'll betray each other.
    This is just my opinion anyway, I guess.
     

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