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Postby Mr_D » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:44 am

This is the reason I'd argue that tolkien set the fantasy genre so far back, by later writers following his template so avidly it's wrung out most of the originality in fantasyas a genre. Of course I have my own problems with Tolkien (well more like the Tolkien fanboys actually).

Also about the 'one man army' cliche, i'm going to have to disagree with you all here and say that I don't mind it, as long as it's pulled off well. A good example of this would be the Wushu genre of martial arts movies, where you have soldiers of supernatural prowess who are capable of slaying armies single handedly. Also I'm afraid I'm going to have to point to Berserk again (I have nothing but praise for that series, God I sound like such a fanboy...). However when you have characters like that it's easy to fall into the usual trap of the god-boy, with a character so powerful no one can stand against him. then it just gets boring.

Another thing I've noticed generally abut the fantasy genre and storytelling as a whole nowadays is the focus on realism for its own sake. Every movie and book is trying to be realistic and ignoring what's so great about being able to let rip on flights of fantasy.

My personal nomination for the worst cliche in fantasy... well, it's gotta be the prophecy. Where one insignificant person is destined to become a king/hero. it just sucks all tension from the plot, who cares if we all know he's gonna win in the end anyway, at least in other story's theres a (possibly remote) chance that the hero isn't going to make it out unscathed this time.


Sorry for the long post, i have lots of issues with the fantasy genre as a whole...
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Postby Magus » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:58 am

Yeah. I don't mind the act of prophecy as a whole. If done well it could add to the story. But the one with the insignificant speck rising to greatness that nobody else could achieve does annoy me to no end. I agree that it's the worst in all of fantasy.

And I agree as well about God-Characters. I think that one of my favorite ideas for a story is one where, at the end, the two protagonists die, they fail their mission was to get some medicine for the main protagonist's love interest and, because they died, so did she. It's a lot more complicated then just that, but I just love the book idea because of the fact that they fail. I don't know why... it just appeals to me.
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Postby Havoc » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:19 am

Linking all the above comments I begin to see a pattern. Hey, all cliche's are apparently abysmal unless they're executed properly. In essence, there's nothing wrong with a cliche, as long as it's not done in a bothersome way.
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!
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Postby Manji » Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:24 pm

WuShu is the art. Wuxia is the genre. They sound similar, but are not.
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Postby Mr_D » Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:42 pm

*sigh* Don't be pedantic for the sake of it Manji :P
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Postby Manji » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:35 pm

I'm not being pedantic. I've researched Wuxia for the last two years. I'm not an expert on the subject, but I know the genre and the history behind it.
The diffrence is, Wuxia warriors are trained and trained and trained. Their high level of training is what gives them their special powers. Most of the characters in Fantasy are simply farmboys given a sword and protected by magic.
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Postby Mr_D » Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:54 am

Regardless, correcting my use of a term (one that for the most part I have found to be more or less interchangable) was not really necessary and comes off as being pedantic even though it was a mistake on my part.

Also the point I was arguing was that a one man army can be done well if approached properly, the matter of 'farmboys with swords' never really came into it.
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Postby Manji » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:34 pm

Wuxia is a term used to describe a genre. Pronounced Woo-Shaw. Wu means martial. Xia means fiction. Martial fiction.
WuShu is a form of martial art. They are NOT interchangeable, man.
Wuxia is also Chinese fantasy and myth mixed with history. The Chinese god of war, Guan Yu, was actually a living warrior. He was such a great warrior that they made him the God of War.
LuBu took on a one thousand man army and came out victorious.
They were great warriors because of training. Not magic. In the Myths, they could do things described as 'Magical' using their inner spiritual energy that they had honed through years of training.
Also, they used their intelect. A one man army CAN be realistic but we've seen a single soldier thrown out into the middle of an army and kicking arse for the last sixty years. Why doesn't anyone have a character who uses intellect as opposed to brute strength and magic?
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Postby aldan » Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:44 pm

Generally, I think it's because with television and movies, videogames and cds, modern society in much of the world has become too visual, too much tied to visual and physical excitement and not enough to intellectual stimulation. I wish it was different, but my wish is worth what it weighs.
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Postby Manji » Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:27 pm

I meant in battle, Aldan.
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Postby Havoc » Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:36 am

I think so did he. People write what they know. People READ what they know. When society get's numbed down on intelligence and wants nothing but visual spectacle, that would reflect in it's art, in literature.
It's the pacing mate.... PACING!!!
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Postby Spiderkeg » Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:57 am

Regarding the cliché of having the classic "tank" character who is a one-man army. I wanted such a character, but I didn't want to go the usual way. I really do try my best to stay away from the cliché moment or character as best as I can, unless I intend to mix things up just enough to tease the reader but not completely copy a cliché.

The guy in my story is a warrior. A pure tank character. He has no other real purpose in life, because of his condition. As all the characters, or at least the more important story-driven characters, he too suffers from some genetic manipulation that can be a very real occurance from birth. If any of you have heard of Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis then you'll know where I'm heading. For those of you aren't aware of the disease, it's very rare and very bad. Essentially, it prevents a person from feeling pain. But even more than that, it also prevents them from feeling anything. Sure, not feeling pain is good. But not feeling the touch of fingers or the kiss of a loved one, I would chock that up to being bad.

So this hero I have is a tank character, and he feels no pain. While going to war is fun for him, his love life is a shambles. His over confidence will be his undoing. Feeling no pain prevents him from being aware of broken bones, cuts, gashes, and life treatening injuries.
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