speculative visionscience fiction and fantasy

Cliches!

Have a great idea you want to kick around? Let's hear about it!

Moderators: Bmat, Qray

    Bookmark and Share
 

Postby Manji » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:20 am

I think it's more because people read everday of their lives. School, computers, reports, etc. I think that with all of that reading for work, some people prefer to sit and enjoy having their senses as opposed to the imagination pleased.
It's not a failure in society as some people seem to think. It's a progression of entertainment. Literature is entertainment just like a movie, CD or videogame. Some people just don't find pleasure, entertainment, in doing something they've been forced to do since they were six and will have to do until they retire.
"Wait, you're telling me Jesus Christ threw up the horns?"-Tycho
"Yeah, man. jesus is F'in Metal"-Gabe

"The road to happiness is paved with a healthy nicotine addiction and aversion to clean air."- Niego.
User avatar
Manji
Site Regular
Site Regular
 
Posts: 407
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:40 pm
 

 

Postby Magus » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:26 am

That's pretty nice Spiderkeg. I wouldn't mind reading that at all.
User avatar
Magus
Writer Extraordinaire
Writer Extraordinaire
 
Posts: 10536
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Illinois
 

 

Postby Spiderkeg » Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:03 am

My magic system is far from being cliché. I wish I could talk about it, but not until I copyright it. The only part of my story that I'm having issues with, which will be cliché at the moment, is the opening of the heroine. It's one of those situations in which the girl is bring brought up by someone, such as an aunt, uncle, friend, and this person dies leaving the hero/heroine alone. Instructions given require the person to venture to Location A, but while on the way encounters trouble, but eventually makes it to Location A.

It's important that the heroine be alone. I'm just trying to think of a way to make this happen, but up until the time of the first chapter the heroine isn't fending for herself.

So, that's my main issue at the moment. Parental figure brings up hero/heroine. Parental figure either dies or is bumped off. Hero/heroine is left to his/her own devices. Mischief ensues.
User avatar
Spiderkeg
Site Regular
Site Regular
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:37 am
Location: Southern Maryland, United States
 

 

Postby Magus » Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:36 pm

That sounds a lot like the Beginning of Baldur's Gate... only without Imoen tagging along. I don't know if this will help, but in the game you and your foster father leave your home hurriedly one day and you're ambushed and he is killed but you survive. I really can't say any more without knowing more about your book.
User avatar
Magus
Writer Extraordinaire
Writer Extraordinaire
 
Posts: 10536
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Illinois
 

 

Postby Spiderkeg » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:06 pm

I don't know too much about Baldur's Gate but I will have to look into it. You get the general drift of what I need though. Without resorting, or mimicing, to the standard orphan cliché I want to come up with a nice plausible explaination to get my girl all alone.

As for background on her. For simplicity, let's just say she was "found" and then taken some place for safety. She has an unusual gift, and that makes her both a danger and a target. So she is given to someone with some authority, like a distinguished soldier, with the task of bringing her up and protecting her. I plan to have his death either be sudden, or a slow process which seemingly appears sudden from her perspective. The benefits of it being dramatically sudden, like the father figure falling off a mountain side, is that she will be struck by the sudden lonliness of the situation with no guidance. The other alternative, like the father figure dying of old age or of a sickness, is that he can depart from life and still give sage advice.

In either case, I would prefer if she were alone when she started her true path.

* ponder ponder *
User avatar
Spiderkeg
Site Regular
Site Regular
 
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:37 am
Location: Southern Maryland, United States
 

 

Postby Magus » Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:28 pm

What's her power? Is she then desired as a type of weapon? Perhaps, then, he could learn of an attempt to take her soon and so he has both of them depart and warns her that if anything should happen she should go to point "B", maybe even join up with people "C" and "D". Then they can be attacked on their way which results in the father-figure's death.

That way the death is sudden and she's alone at the beginning and needing to go to point "B".
User avatar
Magus
Writer Extraordinaire
Writer Extraordinaire
 
Posts: 10536
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Illinois
 

 

Re: Cliches!

Postby lovesaphira » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:28 pm

I get very upset when people say that fantasy shouldn't be written anymore simply because JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis came along and wrote classic literature. And practically every cliche site I've been to says something along those lines. The thing about cliches is that a great deal of them is what fantasy is. You can't have fantasy without good vs evil or someone rising up against the villain, or people with magic powers.
Yes Tolkein and Lewis wrote excellent fantasy books but i do not think that means everyone else should stop trying. I don't write fantasy just because "it's the easy way out" or "else is doing it". I write fantasy because its' the genre i love reading. Why would i write a book for a genre I've never read, let alone liked.
And i also think that creatures such as elves, dwarfs, dragons etc aren't cliches. sure they've been used heaps but they are awesome and interesting races and i would be very disappointed if they were erased from literature.
Stories that i write usually have dragons in it because I've been obsessed with them since i was little. I'm not going to leave them out of my writing just because someone has come along and said don't do it coz it's a cliche.

But enough of my ranting now. lol. There are some cliches i role my eyes at but many of them i don't consider cliches coz i still like reading that sort of thing, hehe.
when i went to this random cliche list site to see how cliched mine was i only ended up saying yes to one of them. But most of the questions weren't relevent to me coz my protagonist is female and many cliches seem to be about male protagonists. lol.
User avatar
lovesaphira
Just Registered
Just Registered
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:23 pm
Location: Australia
 

 

Re: Cliches!

Postby Qray » Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:13 am

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I mean, writing in itself is formulaic. There's going to be a general similarity to some point regardless.

If we held to the belief that the end-all be-all of fantasy was Tolkien, we would've never got to know Drizzt and the wonderful world of the Drow.

Then again, there's good cliches and bad cliches. What comes to mind is the terrible Dungeons and Dragons movies. Of which ever time I hear of a new one I think "this is TSR (or was before they got bought out,) they must know how to make a good fantasy story," and yet they're always so cheesy, and not in a good way, and choked full of bad cliches.
I'm going to die the way I've lived...poor, screaming, and naked.
User avatar
Qray
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 8140
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:15 pm
Location: Down in Cognito
Blog: View Blog (49)
 

 

Re: Cliches!

Postby spknoevl » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:01 am

Perhaps some posters are confusing cliches with parameters. For a story to fit into the fantasy genre, or any other genre for that matter, it must abide by certain rules. A medieval adventure story without the use of magic or mythical races like elves and dwarves for instance is probably not a fantasy story. It's really just a period piece. Those "cliches" as some call them are what defines the genre to a certain extent. That being said, I think there is still plenty of room for innovation within the fantasy realm and one only has to look at the diversity of writing from Tolkien to le Guinn to Donaldson to see that.
spknoevl
Casual Poster
Casual Poster
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:01 am
Location: Dallas, TX
 

 

Re: Cliches!

Postby Grand Evander » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:41 pm

Oh how quick they are to vilify the tropes of our trade. I think spknoevl (is your name some sort of anagram?) has a valid point that critics may be confusing cliches with genre conventions. Yet I don't see adhering to cliches or conventions as a bad thing in itself by any means. They're there because they work and have an established demographic of readers who look for books with these conventions. I take exception when I don't see an adaptation of these conventions that personalizes them to the story. Have elves, dwarves, and dragons, but personalize these archetypes. Maybe you have futuristic dwarves who develop the cutting edge technology (like steam ships or space craft or what have you) that other races use while elves are resistive to technology and believe in a more traditional relationship with nature. This plays off some of the traditional connotations associated with these conventional character types while adapting them to a context that is (hopefully) unique to the story. I think it's more productive to evaluate a story holistically than to pick apart aspects that, on their own, may be overused.
User avatar
Grand Evander
True Visionary
True Visionary
 
Posts: 1221
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:52 pm
Location: New York, New York
 

 

Re: Cliches!

Postby spknoevl » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:16 am

One could think of the use of dwarves, elves etc and their associated traits no differently than one would use characters of different ethnic backgrounds or nationalities. It gives you a basic template to work from - no more. Bottom line is that the writer still has to come up with an interesting story and fill it with interesting characters regardless of what you want to call them. Take away the spaceships and call the Imperial Stormtroopers orcs in Star Wars and you have a great fantasy tale. Conversely, make Mordor and Minas Tirith planets and call the orcs aliens instead and LOTR now becomes a great sci-fi story. The basic story doesn't change and the battle of good against evil is the same regardless of what you call the antagonists and protagonists.
spknoevl
Casual Poster
Casual Poster
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:01 am
Location: Dallas, TX
 

 

Re: Cliches!

Postby Grand Evander » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:05 am

I highly recommend reading a blog post related to this topic by Literary Agent Nathan Bransford entitled "On Concepts" posted yesterday.
User avatar
Grand Evander
True Visionary
True Visionary
 
Posts: 1221
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:52 pm
Location: New York, New York
 

Previous

Return to Suggestions and Ideas

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron