1. boromir
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    boromir New Member

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    fantasy writers block

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by boromir, Nov 11, 2008.

    id really like to write a epic fantasy story but i always end up creating cliche stories and or characters. my friend has told me about websites that help generate stories/characters but that wouldn't feel right. any suggestions on how to get over it? or is there anything i could ready to help give me ideas for characters?
     
  2. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    the best way to collect characters for any genre is to observe the people around you. Keep a pad of paper filled with characters based on real people you know/meet.

    When you create a character, it's great to really accent something about them, for instance an obsession with monkeys. This will give you great, memorable, and usually funny characters.
    Hope that helps! Nate
     
  3. pippin1710
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    pippin1710 Member

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    If you are creating cliche characters for fantasy such as elves and dwarves it really helps to completly change the setting to a different year future or past or differnt terrain thats what i did to help me from creating over used races and i havnt looked back yet
     
  4. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    No amount of "learning" the rules will substitue for practice, but of course, observation of people can be useful, and so can readin in your genre. The truth is, though, you get better at writing by writing. So what if your first story is cliche, or the characters? You're not planning to sell your very first work to a publisher are you? Or at least, not at this stage? What will help is sitting down and writing. I usually avoid acronyms, but BIC--"butt in chair" and write, and eventually, you'll find improvement.
     
  5. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with as mentioned.

    Who cares if its "cliche" in your eyes. If you have a story and you believe its leading down this path, you should just keep following it. Eventually your'll create a style or a balance that will inprove. When it does and you spot issues that you know you can re-capture you could always go back over your previous word and fix it up. I mean your gonig to go back over and edit eventually again.

    I sometimes feel this way as well. So i write another chapter which in time i spit something thats more original or makes more sense in my eyes. So i write it down and when i happen to be editing previous work, i fix it up and its an issue no more.
     
  6. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't worry about clich├ęs, especially if its your first novel. Just write it then when you're editing add in your own subtle brand of uniqueness. This should be enough to allay your concerns for lack of originality. Remember its not what you write its how you write it.
    Look at the book eragon. It's based in a world of elves, dwarves and dragons with a plot that mirrors star wars in almost every facet... yet it's one of the most successful fantasy books in the past decade. So there's your proof.
     
  7. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    I agree with all of them, I wish I had that kind of wisdom :D


    PS Eragon was a HORRRRRRIBLE movie, fyi. Haven't read the book.
     
  8. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I agree with not bothering to wonder whether something is cliche, and just writing. Get the learning of writing out of the way first before you start focusing on better PLOTS. You have to learn how to write properly first. The basics, like spelling, grammar, sentence structure, plotting (the how, not the what), characterization, dialogue, pace, setting, etc. etc. Once you learn all that, then you can worry about how cliched your work might be.

    I've written some plotlines that I've only recently realized that some people consider cliched. The funny thing? I've never read any of the books they say these plots were handled in, I've never seen any movies, never gotten any exposure that I could have stolen the ideas from, even unknowingly. What's cliche to somebody will be totally new to somebody else and vice-versa. So don't worry about that too much...for now.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Have you written short stories? The question you ask makes me think you probably don't have a lot of experience with developing a character or a plot (no offense if I'm wrong, please).
     
  10. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    As long as it doesn't look like a carbon copy of Tolkien or similiar authors, you're fine. Read widely, not just in the epic fanatsy area. That way, everything will cross over so that even though the story fits the conventions of an epic fantasy, it still looks like your own.
     
  11. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    It is typically good to have at least one cliche in each character, and even one completly cliche character.

    If you try to have a character that is nothing like Frodo in every way, you'll end up with a hundred year old cat with horse legs and broadswords for arms.

    Who wants to read that... really?
     
  12. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Or you could start out by mimicking your favorite authors. As you write, original ideas will most likely come to you, and as you try integrate those ideas, something new will be born. I know many people that starts out this way, but after a while, their writing evolves into something very original. It's kinda like a master-apprentice approach I guess.
     
  13. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't write fantasy stories per se, but I do write stuff with fantastical elements to them. I come up with ideas by beginning with the belief that we all have a huge ocean of creativity in us all that we've never tapped fully into, then spending time doing nothing but looking inward, digging around for hidden treasures. It's kinda like fishing; sooner or later something always bites.
     
  14. Ennui
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    Ennui Member

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    If you had ever heard of some fantasy authors,it is a paradigm,for they traveled to rural and provocative places around the world,and ultimately they used this places in their fantasy books.Any thing in your genuine life can be metamorphosed into the settings of your book,an idyllic trick.That will inevitably not be cliche.I instigate that you can have a symposium of your teacher,acquaintances about fantasy and ask them to bestow some stratagems.
     
  15. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ooh! Ooh! Right here! It could begin, "Call me Slashypuss."
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No good - the cat has furry toes and doesn't wear shoes...

    But hopefully the point has been made.
     
  17. it just comes to me
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    it just comes to me New Member

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    Sit and think. Imagine your Character(s) doing something that goes completely the opposite way of the cliche. Think about how they would react. It is hard to do, but get on the same page with your characters in their emotions. Also, it might not be your characters that make you feel this way, it may be that some elements of your plot sound alot like that book you just finished reading. It is so hard to create original fantasy...most of the plots follow the same routine. The only way to carve your name on that routine is to make your characters real.
    Hope I helped a bit!
     
  18. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    Look quit trying to avoid cliche a hundred percent and just imagine the characters.

    Imagine what each would do in certain situations from the mundane to the extreme.

    Ask yourself questions about the character and as you answer more questions further questions will be almost self explained
     
  19. boromir
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    boromir New Member

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    i really appreciate everyones replies.
    its helped
    thanks
     
  20. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    If you worry about writing cliche fantasy, consider that there are only so many ways the protagonist can go save the world. Try writing fantasy that's not about the fantasy - not about the epic, not about the world, no dragon slaying, no evil wizard bent to destroy the world. You're not writing a D&D game. Why not write a romance story that happens to be set in a fantasy universe? Or a coming of age story that happens to involve an elf?

    Oh, and I agree with Cogito, if you haven't written any short stories, sit yo butt down and write!!
     
  21. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    I'm going to go against the accepted wisdom of the thread here and say it's not only your duty but an unbreakable commandment as a writer to stay away from cliches as much as possible. The trap here is the same for almost everyone new to writing in that you start off from the point of genre, such as when you say you want to write a fantasy. Why box yourself in this way?

    When I start off writing it's usually from the basis of the basic ingredient: an idea. It doesn't involve genre at all (unless it's incidental, such as an episode in history and in which case it automatically becomes of that genre).

    Although I will say, and in which I'll sound like I'm contradicting myself here, if you are adamant in writing within a genre, you MUST learn all that you can about that genre to the point of being an authority of it if you want to stay original and create a one-of-a-kind. I think the saying is: Don't follow cliches...make them!

    *Takes notes*

    *Deletes notes*

    :D
     
  22. Sanehouse
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    Sanehouse New Member

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    Is a fantasy writer's block different from a regular writer's block?
     

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