Category Archives: All My Stories & Extras

Fantasy Clichés–Avoided!

OR, Not Another Prophecy About ‘The One!’

I just ran across this list of tired, overdone clichés in fantasy novels, and decided to post it up here. Since, after all, I didn’t get a proper post out on Thursday…

I was SO surprised to see the fantasy I’ve started posting on this blog doesn’t fall into too many of the clichés… which means it’s got a few original elements in it, I guess.

Here are the first couple items:

  1. Does nothing happen in the first fifty pages?
  2. Is your main character a young farmhand with mysterious parentage?
  3. Is your main character the heir to the throne but doesn’t know it?
  4. Is your story about a young character who comes of age, gains great power, and defeats the supreme badguy?
  5. Is your story about a quest for a magical artifact that will save the world?
  6. How about one that will destroy it?
  7. Does your story revolve around an ancient prophecy about “The One” who will save the world and everybody and all the forces of good?

The rest can be read here.

But I will be the first to argue that re-telling an old story is not always bad – see this previous post of mine. Also, this page on TVtropes sums it up quite well. But clichés can be quite tiring and irritating, especially in fantasy.

What about you? If you’ve ever tried your hand at fantasy, how many of these traps have you fallen into? And do you think any of these so-called “clichés” can still be useful for writers?

Check out Why Polly? to see for yourself if I avoided any of these clichés!

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