Fantasy writing cliches

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kherezae

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Re: Fantasy writing cliches
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2017, 11:50:38 PM »
How about:
* Protagonist is a young adult/it doubles as a coming of age story 
* (Even when they're not young adults, where's the wizened grandma saving the world and dragging the antagonist around by his ear?)
* There's a romance shoe-horned in! Where'd that come from?
* Related: So you mean to tell me men and woman around the same age can't just be friends? Shame.
* Why are all the groups so homogenized? Like... why aren't there more minority populations present within the majority? People of color? Etc?

That's all I've got for now!

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JayLee

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Re: Fantasy writing cliches
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 10:52:43 AM »
"Your name?" said Echo, dipping a demure curtsey.

A gravelly noise burbled from somewhere beyond the thing's green teeth. It sounded like "X'zz'zgorrth."

Echo chewed her pencil. "How d'you spell that? Z-O-R-T-H?"

The beast began to rock back and forth on stout talons. "X'zz'zgorrth! X'zz'zgorrth!" it wailed. "X'zz'zgorrth!"

Seriously.... just from that I'd read the heck out of this :)

Why are all the groups so homogenized? Like... why aren't there more minority populations present within the majority? People of color? Etc?

This is a very valid observation. Especially since fantasy worlds tend to be very European based. Which I'm totally guilty of because my forte is fairies.... Actually had an early beta get mad at me for having a very Victorian feeling world with no white characters in my WIP too... Oh well. Someone will always complain :)
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True Neutral

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Re: Fantasy writing cliches
« Reply #17 on: Today at 04:51:06 AM »
There's something I like to call "Frengland." Basically, all pseudo-European societies strongly resemble France, England, or a mishmash of the two. Maybe a slice of Germany if you're lucky. The rest of Europe basically doesn't show up at all.

Strong Female Character™ because the answer to damsels in distress and male main characters (often farmboy-knights) is just as much of a cliche stock character, often one with absolutely nothing traditionally feminine about her because, you know, that would make her soooo less worthy of being called a hero. (Can you tell I'm not a fan?)

Deus ex Machina. Characters can't actually get themselves out of a situation they got themselves into in the first place? Have a god poof in and do it for them.

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SecretRock

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Re: Fantasy writing cliches
« Reply #18 on: Today at 03:11:31 PM »
Strong Female Character™ because the answer to damsels in distress and male main characters (often farmboy-knights) is just as much of a cliche stock character, often one with absolutely nothing traditionally feminine about her because, you know, that would make her soooo less worthy of being called a hero. (Can you tell I'm not a fan?)

I saw this before. It's to do with the notion that feminine=weak, so to kick ass she's basically gotta be a guy with boobs. Another problem with it is that Strong Female Characters only get to be strong. Take Iron Man for example: he's seen as a strong male character and yes he's strong, but he's witty, conceited, a genius. Contrast to Black Widow in the same film, yes she's shown as smart and her backstory is hinted at, but her personality is much, much weaker than Stark's. It's like if a woman is strong, she can only be strong because anything else would detract from that.

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Tyrannohotep

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Re: Fantasy writing cliches
« Reply #19 on: Today at 04:38:58 PM »
Strong Female Character™ because the answer to damsels in distress and male main characters (often farmboy-knights) is just as much of a cliche stock character, often one with absolutely nothing traditionally feminine about her because, you know, that would make her soooo less worthy of being called a hero. (Can you tell I'm not a fan?)
Meh, not all women have to behave according to traditional gender stereotypes (which tend to vary from culture to culture anyway). Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with a female character who comes across as more "feminine" either, but not every woman out there is going to fit into that mold.

I will say I'm not so fond of the "warrior woman trying to prove herself in a sexist patriarchal culture" kind of story arc. If warrior women are commonplace in a fantasy setting, I'd personally prefer it if their existence was simply taken for granted.

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True Neutral

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Re: Fantasy writing cliches
« Reply #20 on: Today at 07:36:09 PM »
Strong Female Character™ because the answer to damsels in distress and male main characters (often farmboy-knights) is just as much of a cliche stock character, often one with absolutely nothing traditionally feminine about her because, you know, that would make her soooo less worthy of being called a hero. (Can you tell I'm not a fan?)

I saw this before. It's to do with the notion that feminine=weak, so to kick ass she's basically gotta be a guy with boobs. Another problem with it is that Strong Female Characters only get to be strong. Take Iron Man for example: he's seen as a strong male character and yes he's strong, but he's witty, conceited, a genius. Contrast to Black Widow in the same film, yes she's shown as smart and her backstory is hinted at, but her personality is much, much weaker than Stark's. It's like if a woman is strong, she can only be strong because anything else would detract from that.

Personally, I actively dislike female main characters. Period. I don't find them very relatable, no matter how well-acclaimed they supposedly are and regardless of whether or not the author is female. (I am a woman, by the way. I just have a very strong preference for male leads and generally find even a fairly flat, poorly-written male lead more engaging and more relatable than a supposedly well-written female one.)

SFCs are even less relatable than the average, for me. They also come across as simultaneously pandering to man-haters (especially because it's common to just have them beat up guys constantly, not other women) and condemning of traditional womanhood and anyone who aspires to anything that falls under that umbrella. As promoting a far worse message than any of the things they were trying to counter in the first place. And I swear certain creators just find that sort of personality attractive on a woman and therefore make all of their characters that type or close to it. (*cough* Whedon *cough cough*) I would rather, as a woman, have something with no women in it at all (typically, these are set somewhere like a monastery) or women who are only set decoration than yet more stories led by an SFC. I'm utterly sick of it, and I see it as a far worse message than any of the things it was trying to counter in the first place. I would have less of a problem with it if it wasn't so idealized as an archetype in the past, maybe 20 years or so, give or take, if it were something of an unusual diversion instead, but it seems like that's all that's been coming out for a long time. Or maybe it's just that I have too many loudmouth friends who constantly worship the archetype.
« Last Edit: Today at 07:39:04 PM by True Neutral »