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Thread: Confession: I Like Fantasy Tropes-What are your favorites/least favorites?

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    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin LLTisdel's Avatar
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    Apr 2017

    Confession: I Like Fantasy Tropes-What are your favorites/least favorites?

    I often read articles or watch videos that bring up the ever-present fantasy tropes (such as Chosen Ones, Mcguffins, Evil Empire etc.) Sometimes they deconstruct the methods and popularity behind certain tropes, other times they argue against them ("Don't do it! It's cliche! It's been done!").

    Personally, I love fantasy tropes. How an author handles the trope and makes it unique to their story matters the most to me (not just avoiding tropes or trying to subvert everything). The truth is that tropes work, sell, and people like them. That being said, the author must bring something new to each fantasy trope and choose *some* tropes to eliminate or ignore-to make the story fresh and exciting (and of course, solid/interesting characters.)

    So bring on the Chosen Ones, Mcguffins, Evil Empires, and dragons! Just show me how DIFFERENT these tropes can be. That being said, here are my TOP 5 Favorite Tropes and Top 5 Least Favorite Fantasy Tropes:

    1. McGuffins-Fun as long as it is interesting and a new idea.
    2. Evil Empires-Sometimes you just need an Evil Empire. I know some readers are sick of them, but I think they're fun, warts and all.
    3. Prophecy- Some people love it, some people hate it. I like to try to decode the prophecy or enjoy looking back on the phrophecy after a story is done. It's interesting to see what happens when prophecy fails or is misinterpreted.
    4. Village Taverns- A fantasy or RPG without a tavern scene is dead to me. (With some exceptions.)
    5. "A rag-tag band of adventurers who don’t get along have to team up to save the world and along the way discover that they really do like each other."

    Least Favorites
    1. Elves- Aside from Tolkien's work, I generally don't like elves in fantasy (as they tend to be, well, Tolkien elves). I like elves when the world-building calls for it, it's clearly *not*Tolkien, and that the presence of the elves is important. (Not just...fantasy!! Must add elves!!)
    2. Apostrophes. I never liked the random apostrophes. I think it clutters a story.
    3. Race/Country Monotony- All elves are wise woodsy folk. All characters from X country have the same thoughts, goals, and personality. While some similarities and shared values are to be expected, race/country monotony can get boring pretty fast. (And isn't realistic.)
    4. Older Character=Dead Mentor Character- Older people can have more roles than being a dead mentor...I like seeing senior citizen characters active in the story and treated with respect and good character development. This is one of the many reasons I love Miyazaki movies. Older characters have a variety of roles, personalities, and are always treated respectfully (by the author).
    5. No Female Friends- Female-Female friendships seem to be lacking in fantasy. Two female characters are usually rivals, dislike each other, or are related. There are plenty of male friendships in fantasy, but female friendships are lacking (or seem to be).

    Of course, I can enjoy a fantasy story with trope overuse/cliches as long as the characters are interesting and fun. Characters are the most important element to me. For example, The Belgariad pretty much uses every fantasy trope or cliche known to man, but the characters are a good time.
    Last edited by LLTisdel; 09-15-2017 at 08:37 PM.

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