…and it’s super cliché. I kid you not. Why is there always a bar or a tavern in a fantasy story? And why are the main characters starting fights in them? What if the main characters are underage? Admittedly, that doesn’t stop modern kids. But here’s three cliches in fantasy stories that I think should stop.
1. Everyone Has Swords
Let’s face the facts. Swords are really expensive and take a long time to make. And we’re just expecting peasants to randomly have swords available? They probably won’t. I want to see someone who fights with a pitchfork or something. Can we make this a reality? I think we should. Or give them a hammer. Or get them a sledgehammer even, mainly because that’s awesome. But please don’t give all of your heroes swords.
2. The Obviously Evil Badguy
Since we’re on the topic of bad guys, let’s talk about one that continues to bother me. Why are all the bad guys these ugly deformed things? I get the thought that deformity somehow equals corruption, but it’s just not right. Even Satan himself is considered the most attractive angel out there. He does not have horns. We gave him those.
That’s what’s so attractive about evil. It looks real good. So, if you want a really good novel that’s going to be remembered, make the reader question the good guys. It’s more fun that way.
3. A Great Lack of Variety
The Hobbit movie changed this up a bit, but I do have a qualm with Lord of the Rings. Gasp! With the father of all fantasy? How dare I! But here it is… all the elves and dwarves pretty much look the same. The elves all are prudes with smooth faces with blonde hair. The dwarves are all fat and bearded grumps. So I am thankful for the Hobbit movies in regard to changing that. Change things up!
I realize that I’ve not even put out a book and I’m telling you all how to write yours. I’m not speaking as a writer, I’m speaking as a reader. Books without the issues I’m describing are things I would love to read. I could always be wrong. Maybe fantasy needs these to be a good fantasy. But I don’t think so.
What cliches would YOU like to see removed from the fantasy genre? Tell me in the comments!
Inspired by the prompt Fill in the Blank.
One thought on “Three People Walk Into A Bar…”
I like the concept of having the antagonist not be an ugly evil thing. I’m mulling about a project where the ‘bad guy’ is not really bad at all, and what she wants isn’t world domination. We might even recognize her goals as reasonable. The major cliche that I’d like to see go though is the end of the world scenario. You can have a perfectly good story where the stakes are quite a bit lower than the end of the world. That being said, I can’t say I’m not guilty of the same cliche.
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