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Most hated Fantasy Cliches

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Showing 1-25 of 460 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 6:43:12 AM PST
Jana says:
I would suggest the Ladies from the Eragon books. They were strong with out being a pain.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 6:40:08 AM PST
Jana says:
Writers should think about the frontier women from our own history when developing a hero. They could plow, chop wood, and a hoe does the same thing when swung at a neck or leg that it does to a stubborn root in the garden. The could shoot and hunt. Even a strong farm girl cant keep up with the men with certain task though. She can chop wood for a fire, but she would never make it as a lumberjack.

Posted on Dec 4, 2012 6:11:40 AM PST
Jana says:
Im tired of the beautiful people being heroes. It wast Sleeping beauty that I fell in love with, but Maleficent. Who was she and why was she angry. I love the book Wicked. About time we learned what was really going on in Oz. I would sort of love to find a fantasy book that is backwards. I really hate elves, either Tolkien, the brothers Grim, or Salvatore.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 7:58:53 PM PST
Curmudgeon says:
I think Harry Dresden is so successful since technology and he do not get along. So he's forced to do things the hard way, with simpler technology since he doesn't want to throw magic around

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 7:46:20 PM PST
Aerin says:
It is possible to set fantasy in a technological world - Garrett's Lord Darcy series or Butcher's Harry Dresden. However, it is extremely difficult to carry it through. And it is impossible to manage epic fantasy in a modern, technological setting.

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 4:48:20 PM PST
Here's the problem a writer faces with many types of fantasy. It's generally middle ages technology. You can create variations, but even then it's swords, wagons, fireplaces, bows, cotton, linen, silk, billows, lanterns, and so forth. You can use magic as a vehicle to add a bit of variety, but the meat of it is still there. Jordan added an element of technological advancement to the Wheel of Time series (cannons, explosives etc.), but it isn't always practical to do this.
Even the races and creatures are usually limited-elves, dwarves, trolls, dragons...though in this aspect a writer can be more original and create his/her own creatures and races. Also, the existing races can be altered from what would normally be expected (Dwarves don't have to be miners, elves don't have to be all wise and immortal).
But I think if you look at fantasy, the theme is usually classical in nature. This is something I've always enjoyed. A classic theme in an endless multitude of variations.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 12:38:22 PM PST
Donna says:
I think stew is a way of spreading the food around. If you have a few ingredients and many people to feed, just throw the ingedients together with some water it is a way of making enough for everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 12:21:05 PM PST
Donna says:
I would absolutely hate to be a woman in that time. Women got pregnant, died in childbirth and/or lost babies in infancy, had the normal female medical problems and had no medical relief, in fact probably were hung or burned for being witches if they were not totally healthy. Women were beaten, may want a divorce but could not. Not a good time fo women.

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 11:19:36 AM PST
Kristen Reed says:
I probably should've specified that I meant while traveling. Haha fail. In a home or inn, stew makes perfect sense.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 11:11:27 AM PST
Aerin says:
You are thinking of stew as we know it. Medieval stew (as sold in inns or made on the road) was merely a matter of sticking whatever you had into a pot and cooking until it melds. Not particularly practical while travelling but if you are going to be in camp overnight, stick it in the edge of the fire and leave overnight.

Goog cooking was something else that was only for the rich.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 11:07:59 AM PST
Aerin says:
Quite right, BUT, you can make stew out of virtually anything that is semi edible (unlike steak) and you can re-heat it for years. It's stretchable (add water and put out more bread) hot, filling and doesn't require much in the way of special equipment or cooking ability.

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 10:08:36 AM PST
I'm with M Holmes. here. Stew is actually an easy dish to make, at the end of a day. There's no real preperation, and even tough/stringy meat is made easy to eat - especially if the characters' teeth are not in the best state.

And there seems to be a lack of qualified dentistry in most fantasy lands...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 8:20:47 AM PST
MJ Holmes says:
Stew was always lazy, but so were the people who'd already worked too hard elsewhere to care. Not everyone could cook; dumping what was at hand in a pot of water and boiling the hell out of it was the easiest way to make something remotely edible.

I've seen stew used as a convincing minor story element before. The characters meet a wizened trail cook for the King of the province they were travelling through. This cook was able to take standard trail rations and mix in a few choice items from the surrounding forests (certain breed of fungus, bundle of crushed wild herbs, etc.). This resulted in the usual brown muck, but it smelled more appealing, fulfilled one's hunger with smaller servings, and raised the morale of the travelers.

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 6:16:51 AM PST
Kristen Reed says:
I've never gotten the stew thing either. Even in modern times stew is a bit too involved for my taste, so I don't see how it's a convenient food for way back when. The characters I create spend a lot of time eating salted/dried meats and bread during their travels. Stew is nowhere to be found, but at home that's a completely different story since they have the luxury of a cook in the castle. I think the stew thing might just be the result of lazy writing. A writer might think "oh, I always read about people eating stew, so it must be a safe bet" instead of actually looking into appropriate foods for the time period/social class.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 10:33:28 PM PST
Curmudgeon says:
No birth control, few rights for women, few baths, fleas in the bedding. Yeah, a great time for romance

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 9:08:33 PM PST
Donna says:
And of course the infidelity only applies to women. But also realizing that back then there was no birth control and no way to be sure that the children coming from your wife are yours. And of course that is true today too, only women can be anywhere sure whose child she is carrying.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 8:20:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 8:21:42 PM PST
Curmudgeon says:
The "original" Camelot drives me batty (okay, fine, short trip!) I just don't see the value in going to war over infidelity, especially if you're supposed to be a "just" king. Like the music, though!
As far as the stew, at an inn I figured it was something kept in the pot most of the day, with water added as it dried out. Not so much on the trail since most everything takes forever to cook down, and can be eaten semi-raw when cooked directly over the fire.

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 7:51:31 PM PST
L. S. Jansen says:
I like the Arthurian stories - they've provided the basis for new stories and ideas for centuries. I don't see that going away anytime soon.

What I'm tired of seeing in fantasy is the inevitable bowl of (hearty/thick) stew, whether at a roadside inn or in a cook pot while the characters are traveling. It seems to be an easy favorite among writers, but as Diana Wynne Jones points out in "The Tough Guide to Fantasyland": 'Given the disturbed nature of life in this land ... Stew seems to be an odd choice as staple food, since, on rough calculation, it takes forty times as long to prepare a steak.'

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 4:53:16 PM PST
Aerin says:
Sorry but most of this has been done, several ways. I'm afraid I'm another voice yelling: NO MORE ARTHUR.

But that is a personal taste rather than a cliche. There will be those who cannot get enough of King Arthur and those who who won't read another Arthur under any disguise.

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 11:31:37 AM PST
I disagree about the person who disliked Arthurian novels. I have found most of them much better thought out and written than the usual epic quest fantasies. There are different tacts one can take, too--gritty dark age books with pagan elements, high medieval books with overt magic, even alternative history. I myself have written a 'what if' book--it is about King Arthur but not the one you know so's an Arthur who lived in the era of Stonehenge...the British bronze age. There is an older straum in the Arthur legends as depicted in the Welsh Mabinogion and I used this as a basis, as well as Geoffrey of Monmouth's works where me mentions that some of the stones came from far in the west and that it was a burial site--both true, though how did he know this (unless it had been handed down in folk memory from ancient times!)Stone Lord: The Legend Of King Arthur, The Era Of Stonehenge
I've also read a series in which Lancelot and Arthur are gay (Sarah Luddington is the author), several from Mordred's point of view and a few from Guinevere's. So they are different ways to tell an old story!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2012 10:07:25 AM PST
Aerin says:
In general. men have greater upper body strength than women, while women have better hand/eye coordination and faster reflexes. Men have greater endurance while women have a higher tolerance for pain. Thus, certain weapons work better for men and others work better for women. )Think childbirth)

Unfortunately, these are averages and have no relation to any specific man or woman. There are wimpy men and physically strong women.

Posted on Nov 29, 2012 6:08:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2012 12:00:05 PM PST
Kristen Reed says:
Yeah, it's one thing if a woman isn't as physically strong as her male counterparts because of something normal (like maybe not having been trained for combat and therefore not having as much developed muscle to rely upon), but making female characters just plain wimpy (for lack of a better word) is annoying. Even then, a female character doesn't have to be a great fighter to be a great character. There are a lot of great traits a character can have that don't include combat skills, but it seems like some people don't quite get that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 11:02:28 PM PST
Donna says:
I actually read a book where the heroine shot a gun and fell over. HUH? The first time I shot a rifle was when I was maybe ten. I did NOT fall over, either then or later when I shot a revolver. And I am not a large woman. Well, I just hate the weakness thing with women: clumsiness and especially tears.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 10:45:12 PM PST
AJ Uchiha says:
I'll have to look into those books, then.
And I'm pretty sure the whole movie theater cheered the first time I saw it. I know I did.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 10:43:52 PM PST
AJ Uchiha says:
Ah, yes, because nothing says well-rounded character like clumsiness and tears.
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  98
Total posts:  460
Initial post:  Mar 18, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 4, 2012

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