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Customer Discussions > Fantasy forum

Most beloved fantasy clichés

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Showing 1-25 of 46 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 27, 2012 10:47:15 AM PDT
A.E. says:
I enjoyed the thread "Most hated fantasy cliches," but, let's be honest, story elements may recur because they work damn well. In some cases, they may exemplify archetypes in the heroine's journey. They may spark our interest, resonate with our experience, or explore our preferred facet of imagination.

So, what fantasy trope would you read again? (If it's done well.)

Me? I'm a sucker for the look-out-for-himself thief who gets drawn in over his head and ends up saving the world despite his worst intentions.
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Posted on Apr 27, 2012 1:58:43 PM PDT
Mrs. Garside says:
If it's done well, it's not a cliche; it's an archetype! That's really the only difference between the two. I'll read anything good, no matter how many tropes it uses.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012 10:23:24 AM PDT
IrishLeFay says:
I love animal familiars and talking animals. It doesn't have to be the most important part of the story, but I think good animal characters are a really nice addition to the cast. Usually to make that happen an author has to give them a certain level of sentience. However, Stephen King has done an amazing job of using animals as characters while maintaining them mostly as animals (albeit, a bit smarter than your average). A good example is a chapter in The Eye of the Dragon that is written from a dogs perspective as he tries to follow the scent of his master through the snow. But I enjoy more magical animals that can outright communicate with their humans as well (ala Mercedes Lackey's Companions in her Heralds of Valdemar books).

Posted on Apr 28, 2012 10:53:17 AM PDT
I can't get enough of the "reformed villain" archetype. Villains are usually my favorite characters because the well-written ones have complex motivations and interesting backstories. When a villain aids the protagonist whether it is for their own redemption or just because the two share a common hatred of the "true" villain, I always appreciate the character growth that it inspires in both the hero and the former baddie.

Posted on Apr 28, 2012 11:16:28 AM PDT
The animal familiars are one of my favorites too.

I also like the street urchin who becomes a master magician/warrior/thief who goes on to save the world. I know this was also on the most hated chliches, but I find it to be very relatable to large segments of the fantasy audience. Just try and put a new spin on it is all I ask.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 2:08:45 PM PDT
Lotte says:
I love the medieval - type world best though I also read other types of fantasy. There's just something so comforting in that world for me. I love the idea of the characters meeting in an inn for some reason.

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 4:05:49 AM PDT
Elidan, there's a great reason fantasy writers use lots of inns.

It makes the research fun!

(hic. sorry.)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 5:37:07 AM PDT
Jim Webster says:
It also gives characters something to do with their hands while they talk, and provides incidents with which one can break up the endless dialogue. So you can have the tap tap tap of the barmans wooden leg or the murmer of conversation from other tables. People can stare meaningfully at empty glasses (or perhaps even glower) in a desperate attempt to hint that it is time for someone else to buy a round

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 7:11:10 AM PDT
My dialogue isn't endless! (The battery runs out on the laptop after a while)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 7:20:23 AM PDT
Jim Webster says:
I present the radical new techological fix

To the awe of the assembled masses I unveil, (gasp) 'The Mains lead' (prolonged if sycophantic applause)


Posted on Apr 30, 2012 3:14:29 PM PDT
Alma Deckert says:
Anything with a historical bent - Guy Gavriel Kay's stuff, always, again, forwver. Particularly Tigana, Lions of al-Rassan, Song for Arbonne. AMAZING stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 11:05:51 PM PDT
Jim Webster says:
are they particularly cliched?

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 3:27:38 PM PDT
Lotte says:
To Will:

*LOL* I have always wanted to try an ale. :)

Posted on May 1, 2012 9:04:10 PM PDT
A.E. says:
And in the inn, the dialog beat of the patter of drippy vomit hitting the floorboards.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 10:54:19 PM PDT
Jim Webster says:
Purely for the purposes of research I have tried a considerable number of ales over the years.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 10:56:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 10:57:30 PM PDT
Jim Webster says:
There is a far wider range of activities available in an inn, indeed my characters have had to use the toilet facilities, not merely to dispose of surplus beer but to avoid paying for subsequent rounds etc. But I even have, waiting for deployment Little Tetal and Big Tetal. These two thugs used to drink in Meor. Their normal method was to frequent one of the better drinking establishments, wait until the night grew late and drink had been taken, then Big Tetal would go to the jakes and squat there with his trousers around his ankles and Little Tetal would then wait for someone looking prosperous and intoxicated to head for the jakes. Little Tetal would follow and the presence of Big Tetal would have manoeuvred their target into a position where they couldn't see the door. Little Tetal would strike them swiftly on the back of the head, Big Tetal would assist him robbing the unconscious man and they would then quietly make their way out of the inn and away. The victim's body would be so arranged that if found they looked as if they had just passed out and perhaps knocked their head on the way down.
Eventually they had to move on to some other scheme, Partially it was because people were beginning to suspect, but mainly it was because Big Tetal was beginning to suffer from piles

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012 1:04:09 PM PDT
Mrs. Garside says:
Trying an ale isn't that hard. Any grocery store with a good beer selection will have ale.

Mead is harder to come by (and no, it's not another name for beer!).

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012 1:24:31 PM PDT
Jim Webster says:
Years ago someone gave me "Brewing Beers like those you can buy"

After two or three years I gave the book away as well because the beers were brilliant but I discovered the author had died in his thirties

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 8:02:48 AM PDT
Probably fell under a bus, Jim...

Mrs Garside, the benefit of my extensive research taught me that mead is a very different drink to ale. Without this critical research, I could have made many writing mistakes!

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 8:21:07 AM PDT
Jim Webster says:
Many years ago I made metheglin which is a sort of spiced mead and very nice it is to

Posted on May 4, 2012 10:59:41 AM PDT
At one time, inns were about the only kind of store around. Where else would a traveler sleep except on the ground? That makes a great place to meet strangers, not just locals. What would make an inn more inn-teresting?

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 12:02:51 PM PDT
The barmaids....

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 12:08:10 PM PDT
Lara says:
The barmaids were called wenches.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 7:24:30 PM PDT
Lotte says:
I know what mead is. My brother is a re-enactor and he makes it. I wasn't serious about trying ale, I don't drink alcohol. I never acquired a taste for it.

Posted on May 4, 2012 10:26:31 PM PDT
Jacob King says:
Most loved fantasy cliche: The pirate captain with a heart of gold. It doesn't matter if its a outer space, fairyland, alternate reality, quasi-medievalland or pretend victorialand this character will first appear gruff and threatening but then impart his sardonic wisdom while transporting our heros to their final confrontation in their slave galley, schooner, steampunk airship, brig, sloop, millenium falcon or whatever. Special mention always to the lady pirate who is (of course!) a lot more ruthless.
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  46
Initial post:  Apr 27, 2012
Latest post:  May 21, 2012

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