Fantastical Tales of Phenomenal Wonder discussion

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric | 26 comments There are many tropes, good and bad, in literature, and certain tropes are more common than others in certain genres. How would you like to see writers use these tropes? What tropes, if any, should be done away with all together? How would you use established tropes to create something new in the Fantasy genre?


message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric (uppgreyedd) | 3 comments Eric Ó wrote: "There are many tropes, good and bad, in literature, and certain tropes are more common than others in certain genres. How would you like to see writers use these tropes? What tropes, if any, should..."

The first thing that comes to mind is magic (and superpowers to a greater extent) and how exactly one becomes capable of wielding it. I'm not a fan of it being something that can be inherited simply by having the right kind of parents. Whenever I see that in a story it always leaves a bad taste in mouth. I mean, whoever ends up being your parents is already a gigantic throw of the dice that you have no control over that will shape your whole life. Does magic really need to be piled onto those first potential gains or losses?

Personally, I would either make the magic/psychic/whatever superpower gene so recessive that even if the parents are, say, two super powerful magic-users themselves even they can't guarantee that any child they may have will be capable of magic, let alone as talented with magic as they are.

Or, because this is magic or whatever superpowers we're talking make it some other outside tangible that triggers the capability of wielding it.

Or just make the entire human race capable of learning it and, like math or science or business, magic skill will vary widely between any two random individuals.


message 3: by Eric (new)

Eric | 26 comments @ Eric

Hereditary special powers can get annoying after a while, especially if you read a lot of fantasy. Stories where characters are forced to work for being special are more satisfying.


message 4: by raventiques (last edited May 31, 2017 10:30AM) (new)

raventiques I, personally, am really sick of death of The Chosen One trope.

Or the chosen many. Or prophecies or a character having parents who did something and therefore it means that the main character has to do that same thing, too.

Basically, I'm sick of stories in which the main character has their life / destiny / etc laid out for them. It doesn't give any room for the character to make their own decisions which makes it extremely flat and boring and it gives the character no motivation for doing something other than "it's in my blood / it's the right thing to do / the prophecy / magic eight ball says so." It bores me to death even if the author attempts to add a twist to it.

I guess I just want to see more stories where the characters make their own conscious decision to go out and fight for something. Nobody chose them, nobody told them, their parents / ancestors / uncles don't have anything to do with it. The character wasn't raised to do anything in particular; they're doing it because they want to.


message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric | 26 comments @ Dala

That's what bothers me about stories where prophecy plays a big part. How can anyone enjoy a story if everything that happens is already pre-ordained? Where's the tension? It would be nice to see free-will play a bigger part in fantasy.


message 6: by Eric (last edited May 31, 2017 09:25AM) (new)

Eric | 26 comments @ ℇmm ♥

Now that you mention it, Chosen Ones, or even protagonists in general, tend to act like villains quite often in contemporary YA and Fantasy. For example, I just recently finished a book where the main heroine, who was pre-established to be a pretty good person, went on a killing spree, slaughtering three-hundred-plus innocent people for no coherent reason. Then afterwards the story focused on how emotionally confused she was, and all the other main characters were providing her with emotional support, instead of being horrified that she killed all
of those people etc, etc.

I have a suspicion that contemporary YA and Fantasy writers try so hard to be edgy, and grim-dark, and "Gritty", that they end up turn their heroes into villains and vise versa, which doesn't always result in a better story.


Emm - "That Book You Like is Coming Back in Style" Sorry, I accidentally deleted my other comment X(
But yeah, a lot of them really abuse their "chosen one" status without ever being called out on it. I think they call that being a "Villain Sue", where the protagonist is treated like a perfect, flawless, heroic superhuman being even though all they do is whine, hurt people and generally cause mayhem for no reason.


message 8: by Eric (new)

Eric (uppgreyedd) | 3 comments Dala wrote: "I, personally, am really sick of death of The Chosen One trope.

Or the chosen many. Or prophecies or a character having parents who did something and therefore it means that the main character has..."


The Chosen One trope+Prophecy can't be averted trope really makes me want to read a series where the first book plays off as a very conventional fantasy story. Maybe start the book off with the Prophecy itself (italicized of course) and make the Chosen One the protagonist of the first book. And just for extra kicks make the Chosen One not a douchenozzle. That way, once book one is about to end, it'll make the Chosen One's untimely death all the more unexpected.

And don't make their death heroic or that it accomplished something. Make their death come from a stray arrow in a unimportant skirmish. Or an illness. Or one of the Dark Lord's assassins *gasp* succeeds by poisoning the Chosen One or killing him/her in their sleep (don't even give the satisfaction that at least the Chosen One did not go gently into that night). Make it clear by the last page of book one that prophecy is real in this fantasy world, but it is not inevitable. Make it clear that that good, powerful young person who just died really was the Chosen One and that no one will be able to replace him/her and that the other heroes must forge the future without him/her.


message 9: by Eric (new)

Eric (uppgreyedd) | 3 comments ℇmm ♥ wrote: "Sorry, I accidentally deleted my other comment X(
But yeah, a lot of them really abuse their "chosen one" status without ever being called out on it. I think they call that being a "Villain Sue", w..."



If you or Eric are interested there is an old sf book that I've been meaning to read ever since I first heard about it that cuts to the heart of the creepy, facist undertones of a ton of fantasy books that follow the Hero myth in the most blatant manner possible. Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream.


message 10: by Eric (new)

Eric | 26 comments @ Eric

That certainly sounds like a book I would read. Perhaps you should write it. ( ͡°╭͜ʖ╮͡° )


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