What are some cliches to avoid when making a fantasy story?

What are some cliches to avoid when making a fantasy story?
Updates:
I should have explained that I'm aiming the series for adults, lol.
This is going to be a book series, lol

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  • Avoid too flat characters. Don't make a hero that is all good and never makes mistakes, make a hero that changes, that can grow through experience and from mistakes. Don't make a villain that's bad, make a villain that we can understand, that behaves some way because they think that's not wrong or thinks is the only way.

    If it's not a serious mood novel but for comedy, then over use flat characters. The overexageration of their flatness can be hilarious if done well.

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What Girls Said 14

  • Everybody meets for the first time while they're sitting in a tavern drinking.

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  • let the evil side win. its always so often that the hero wins

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    • Ignore this comment... don't ever do this. Lok

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    • I get where both of you are coming from and to be fair you seem like pretty cool and reasonable people. I'm someone who has dedicated his life to child development so topics like this can sometimes set off a baby trigger lol
      Because the reality is, when children in the west see amine or cartoons. They believe it's for then. Socially we are conditioned to see cartoons and comic stuff for children. If you lived in Japan then that's probably going to be okay as anime is our version standard TV series shows and is universal for all age groups.

      In short I always have to ask myself of what my legacy is going to be? Am I going to leave a better world than the one I met or join in the destruction of social ethics and values... The choice is ours ever single day.
      ... I was thinking of a way to end this on a lighter note... b I think I've got nothing. ...

      Soo. .. yeah
      Lol

    • Good luck with all your endeavours. Apply yourself and dedicate some time daily and you'll be a success if not now, then some day your work will be recognised

  • If anime definitely the boob bouncing stuff. Fantasy in general the bad creature being a dragon, majority of characters being girls in cleavage.

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  • Don't make it overpowered, don't have the villain turn out to be the hero's dad/brother/girlfriend/crush/etc
    xx
    ~ Mrs Manson

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  • Try to avoid the conventional pretty, nice and wonderful simple girl trope for whom the male protagonist falls...

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  • Try to avoid or subvert the lowly farmer boy protagonist.
    Add a twist to class fantasy beings like fairies and elves
    Try not to make it a chosen one story. If you do, make it interesting

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  • I think the most successful ones are those that follow every cliché subtly.. so you'd think it's something new.

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  • I don’t know about fantasy stuff too much, but I’m not a fan of unrealistic love stories

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  • Don't avoid them, make them funny

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  • Hero won and everybody lives happily ever after.

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What Guys Said 26

  • Cliches to avoid:

    1. One dimensional characters. E. g. purely good and bad guys. In real life good people have flaws and criminals/villains have good sides. Even terrorists and murders have good sides. The guy that attacked planned parenthood wanted to defend children and believed what he did was moral, but the doctors working there thought they did the right thing removing children from the womb.

    (The avatar: Last airbender and Legend of Korra avoided that mistake)

    2. Happy endings. You can either have a tragic ending or combine a happy and a sad ending. Maybe you can make an ending where half of the audience thinks are happy, but the other half thinks are sad or brutal. Open endings are open for interpretation.

    (Both the gladiator and Sans Famille had endings that were debatable. Some thought it was happy, others were disagree)

    3. Avoid making all the villains ugly and heroes beautiful. Heroes can be ugly and clumsy too. Villains can be beautiful and charming. Racial diversity is important. It would be cliche to make all villains "people of color", but all the heroes white. Heroes can have dark features and villains can have light features. Villain can look kind, but heroes can look very evil.

    4. Avoid the hero always getting a bf/gf, romance and sex. Not all stories have to consist of this. Avoid triangle too, because that's boring imho.

    5. Magic solving everything is a cliche. Overpowered heroes and under-powered villains are another cliche. Some logic in the story would be cool.

    6. Elves, vampires, warlock/witches, werewolves, aliens etc. are cliche. Try invent your own specie or kind instead with other abilities.

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    • 7. Describing the character's appearance directly instead of indirectly is cliche. It's very rare stories don't describe the characters appearance at all.

      8. Politically correctness. Including many LGBT+ characters is a Western cliche nowadays.

      9. Having only young characters are cliche. We needs characters from all ages.

      10. Avoid the "chosen one" hero cliche.

      11. Children who wants to join the hero's group can be cliche. Especially in anime.

      12. Helpless princess and virgins are cliche. Some gender roles are just cliche. But characters breaking all the gender norms may also be cliche in Western fiction nowadays.

      13. Believing the hero dies, but turn out to still be alive is cliche. Believing someone are alive, but they're dead is also cliche.

      14. The main character having a villain as family member/friend/relative is cliche. Especially if they don't know it.

    • It's always cliche to make a character either very beautiful or ugly regardless if it's villain or hero. Make them look like ordinary people.
      What are some cliches to avoid when making a fantasy story?

      What are some cliches to avoid when making a fantasy story?

      What are some cliches to avoid when making a fantasy story?

      What are some cliches to avoid when making a fantasy story?

      What are some cliches to avoid when making a fantasy story?

  • Depends on whether you want to make money. Fantasy is a very lucrative genre with common formulas that work.

    Boy who is nobody turns out to be somebody. He is destined to save the world from evil. i. e.
    Pug, Rand al'Thor, Simon from Dragonbone Chair, Richard Cypher, etc

    Elves who are elitist snobs and think they are far above every other race.

    Caves always have echos. Why? Caves DO NOT have echos. They have almost dead acoustics. Yet every fantasy book has caves with echos.

    Trekking about carry everything but the kitchen sink.

    Sleeping outside in the winter with just a cloak and blanket.

    The unnoticed guy in the corner of the tavern who gets up and walks out after the protagonist enters. (presumably to set up a nasty surprise for the protagonist)

    The fat barkeep at the tavern wearing a grease stained apron.

    Lecture on why good must be balanced with evil.

    Ravens or rats are spies for the evil antagonist.

    The boy/girl who was supposed to stay at home, but covertly followed you anyway. By the time they are caught it's too late to send them back, so they now join the party and end up being critical to the success.

    Swamps, with lots of evil things lurking below the surface, just waiting to pull you under.

    Wizards always wear robes. Why? Why? Why?

    Wizards who have super duper spells that can destroy the entire multiverse, yet they have more important things to do that win the big battle.

    Doublets

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  • Depends on the story. Writing is an art form which means there are no definite right or wrongs but a challenge for the author to make it work. A good example of a really popular series that ran face first into basically all cliches and still came out the better would be "One Punch Man".

    Its literally about a super hero that became so strong that he is bored and no matter how epic his opponents are he destroys them without any effort. What should have been a really boring story became great because of the genius use of your expectations and comedy.

    In other words, there is no definite "DO NOT DO THIS" as long as you are aware of the cliche and how to use it properly to enhance your story.

    Aside from that its often enough to just make your story more relatable. Things like adding in real family relationships between characters or have flaws in both your heroes and your villains.

    Try to imagine yourself as the villain and try make the "evil masterplan" from his point of view. Things like "What steps are necessary for world domination?" or in the case where you have multiple options "What choice would your villain prefer with his personality?"

    If you can get them to act more like real people then its easier to have your audience relate to them and become invested in your story.

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  • That evil characters are thoroughly evil, as if it's in their DNA. That evil characters are ugly and inhuman looking, while good characters are human and beautiful.

    Wizards pointy hats.

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  • I don't read fantasy or super hero stories but do NOT begin with "it was a dark and stormy night."

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  • Avoid magic that can randomly solve a sudden problem but then is never brought up again.
    Try to not make the standard fantasy races, ala elves, dwarves, dark elves, orcs and etc. It has been done to death already. Fantasy and worldbuilding forums today are still filled to the brim with them.

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    • You are essentially describing Tolkien here. The problem is not unpredictable magic or standard races but the misuse of them. Unpredictable magic has its own charm and mystery to it that magic which follows strict rules simply does not have. Also using already known story elements such as elves or dwarfs is an extremely powerful tool to avoid having to meticulously describe something new to the reader where just saying "Dwarf" once is enough to make them have the basic idea of what you mean.

  • The dark lord/pure superhero
    Destiny/prophecy
    Evil and good being extremely obvious... Good is beautiful, evil is hideous.
    Uniform races (which won't be a problem for you, based on other questions you've asked)
    Men front and center and women off to the side. Use some creative social constructs! I also love reading a good fantasy story where men and women have interesting lives in their world, not everything is so clear cut.

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  • The love triangle.
    Evil dark lord cliche.
    The happy ending.
    The trying so hard not to make the story cliche cliche.
    The Mary Sue.
    The subverting expectation cliche. Aka the Rian Johnson cliche.

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    • Would you mind explaining some of those? I'm not well versed in what a cliche is or is not

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    • Not every story needs the love triangle. A guy and a girl don't have to get together. They could just be platonic.

  • It's hard to say because in trying to avoid cliches new ones are made, I don't read enough fantasy books to know for sure but I'd play into what people want, a great question for gag, what do want in a fantasy story, tons of girls on here read books, I'm sure you will get some of that with this question but I'd say hope is something I look for in a fantasy story

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  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-s-VQBoUdc
    Ayy!

    The whole character that's destined for greatness thing, Some people are mediocre despite their passion and trying their best. No handouts.

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