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Cliches!

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Postby Manji » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:42 pm

My problem with cliches in fantasy is that literature usually reflects the world we live in. Our problems. Our fears.
Fantasy has used the same basic premises, setting and themes for the past seventy years. No longer does it reflect modern fears or problems.
It could be argued that, because of this, fantasy could no longer be considered works of literature. If something does not progress and move, it stagnates. When something becomes stagnant, it dies.
That's where fantasy and the cliches of the genre are.
BTW, it's completely stupid to have a badass soldier to leap head first into battle.
A battle is won with units, not one guy with great skill. The greatest general or fighter in the world could not pull of a victory without a superbly trained army.
Giving your badass soldier dude mystical powers is just a way of cheating on your research and writing. Mystical powers=No idea how tactics work. That might be why you're writing fantasy.
300 Spartans held off a force of one million for three days at Thermopolaye. These weren't just 300 badass fighters. They were 300 well trained and coordinated fighters who chose their field of battle. The king of Persia asked a Spartan king who had been shunned by his country what the men there we capable of. The former king replied, 'Alone they are no better than any of your soldiers. But together, they are unstoppable.'
Fantasy is a genre for beginners and lazy writers. It basically comes pre-written. Accepting or denying this fact is a disservice to a genre with great potential which has never been fully realized. Don't accept nor deny it. Overcome it.
Those who can't simpy are not cut out to be writers.
Oh, and on the subjecto f Lucas. Well, if you have a man in armor in your scripts who fights for his king you've based him off of a knight. How does that make anyone better than Lucas?
We cannot just say, 'Okay, I'm going to write something completely original!" Everything's been done before. It's how you present it.
Most of the time, though, reading a basic fantasy synopsis gives you the impression that all stories are interchangeable.
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Postby Manji » Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:46 pm

Another question: Has anyone on here written anything they consider 'innovative'?

2: being or producing something like nothing done or experienced or created before; "stylistically innovative works"; "innovative members of the artistic community"; "a mind so innovational, so original"

Now, the STYLE which lucas presented his material was innovative.
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Postby Magus » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:01 am

Don't get me wrong, I like cliches when people have come up with their own twist to it.


That's exactly what I said the definition for a convention is, putting your own twist on it, making it your own and not just copy and paste from one work to the next.

There's one cliche that just really gets me for some reason; trilogies for the sake of trilogies. Many time with these I'll find that the worked has either been stretched too far out or compressed in order to accommodate the space constraints of a trilogy. There's nothing wrong with a single book, with two books, with four or with five. A work should be as long as necessary and not made to fit in a trilogy for no more reason then being in a trilogy. If the work works as a trilogy where the entire story can be properly told in that length of time then I'm all for it. But it just annoys me when the content of the work cannot justify three books.
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Postby EberKain » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:32 am

Nice points, I am glad to say that my novel ducks on all those. Which will probably make it flop because its so different, noone will know what the hell to do with it.
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Postby Magus » Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:11 am

Just look at The Dark Tower series. That's different then just about anything up there and it's been on the bestsellers list for a time and well read by many. Then again, Stephen King is established. Maybe that's all you need to do first. But, who knows, I think that a lot of people are ready for something fresh in Fantasy.
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Postby Havoc » Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:48 pm

@ Magus: Yeah I know, but I've never heard bout those apart from a very different context. Since I'm Dutch and English is just my second language it'll take me some time to include it in my vocabulary. Until then, I'll just be using my own way of saying things. No offense though!

Trilogies.... yes. I often have the feeling with novels is that the first novel had a good fixed ending. So that when the audience takes a crap on it, the story is closed and there is no need to publish a second novel. When everybody loves it and screams out for a second novel, it gets published (duh, it was finished ages ago) but this time it has an ending that obviously points to a third novel. Which in turn has a closed ending because everybody loves trilogies. And when the fans still call for sequels, hey.... that's when you get 'The Wheel of Time' & 'Sword of Truth' & 'Amber' like scenarios with dozens of books forming a single so called story. Epic is what they call it.

@ Manji: I really have to disagree (even if it just for the sake of conversing. I love discussing like this). Lucas's style wasn't all that innovative. Most of the thing he wrote into Star Wars had already been thought up, doing it in a grand movie scale wasn't all that new either. The only thing that I can say was truly innovative was the technological aspects and the special effects.

Yes, the Fantasy genre is based primarily out of cliches.
Yes, determining the outcome of a battle on a single soldier is terrible form.(though you could say that he killed a certain feared enemy that inspired the rest of his unit to fight harder which in turn inspired other units etc.).
I am happy to say that no armored men are defending any of my kings. Most of them are protected by a mixture of mages, secret services, spies and body-guards. It's fantasy, not medieval with a touch of magic.
Something completely original? Yes I've written some of that..... way back when I hardly knew anything about fantasy at all I just made up some things. Of course, it's absolute rubbish as is the deal with most original material.

How's this for an original idea? Well, to be honest, I have no clue how original it is, but I've never heard of it so it's original from my point of view even if some-one has thought off it before.

You take your basic human drama/detective/thriller/whatever novel and place it on a Fantasy world. Don't focus on the fantasy part of things, just discuss the various fantasy aspects as though they were the most normal aspects of our own lives. It's evident that during trials there will be mages around, making sure that any witnesses that are testifying are speaking the truth. It's nothing out of the ordinary to see a street-performer using an instrument that shoots colourful flames when he strikes certain chords. etc. Fantasy takes a back-seat, and the story comes to life. I've pitched this idea about a year ago, but I'm nowhere near organized enough to pull it off so..
Steal if you want.
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!
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Postby Manji » Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:36 pm

Havoc, have you ever seen Roshamon?
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Postby aldan » Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:32 pm

About your last idea, I hate to say it, but it's not original, and it wasn't for me, either. My current project involves a person who is trying to look into an involved mystery, and it takes place in a fantasy world. I don't do the "ooh, neat!" type of stuff. Instead I just show the stuff as if it's simply a normal part of life for everyone, and it's only when something EXTRA-ordinary for the populace occurs that I'll really detail it. Oh, and I've been working on this for over 1 1/2 years...
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Postby Havoc » Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:55 am

@ Manji: nope

@ Aldan: I thought as much. It's not all that bad really, stuff like that happens all the time. I think of something that I've never heard of before and later it turns out it has already been done. It doesn't matter, really.
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!
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Postby Manji » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:54 pm

Roshamon is a movie set in Feudal Japan where the Samurai/Constable investigates a murder.
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Postby Manji » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:55 pm

BTW, you couldn't pay me enough to steal someone else's ideas.
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Postby Havoc » Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:46 am

Manji wrote:BTW, you couldn't pay me enough to steal someone else's ideas.


That's to your credit.Though it wouldn't be stealing since I don't own it and am distributing it freely.
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!
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