Writing Tip 36: Fantasy Tropes

These are some fantasy tropes that I really don’t like to read about, well at least the ones I’ve read are not that great. These tropes have been done well in some books but in many and I mean many, needs a lot of improvement. It’s cool to use these tropes but when used correctly, it can turn into an amazing read.

I have explained in my previous post what is the definition of tropes so you can check those out if you haven’t read them to find out more.

Let’s get to it.

1. You are the chosen one

The issue is not that there is a chosen one but the real issue is that the chosen one doesn’t fit the role of being the chosen one. We obviously don’t want to read about an arrogant, self-centered, egotistical hero; but we also don’t want to read about a hero that whines, is weak, and lets every other character solve the issue. Also having a super passive chosen one where they fail at every task and his/her friends are the ones calling the shots while they just go along with the plan is a very annoying MC.

The worst thing is that their attitude doesn’t change until probably 60% into the story and even then the other characters are the ones doing all the fighting and problem-solving.

2. The not so perfect hero

It’s usually a guy with some sort of issue. The issues are usually emotionally related either a dead close relative probably a sibling or lover more often than not a terrible heartbreak. A movie that comes to mind that resembles this persona/character is 2008 Hanckock played by Will Smith.

Hanckock has sworn to never love again, he has been scorn (Mary Embrey played by Charlize Theron), and his heart broken into a million pieces. He usually has a vice (he’s a heavy drinker) and is super messy. He saves everyone and contemplates about his existence. Until one day the special one comes (Mary comes back into his life) and pieces his heart back together and mends to his emotional wounds.

By the way Hanckock was an okay movie and definitely not Will’s best.

blue and red superman print tank top shirt
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3. Lacking diversity

Not having any sort of ethnic characters or sexual orientation representation. Every character in the story is a flawless Caucasian heterosexual male or female with green eyes, blond hair, tall, and handsome or sexy. If there is any other ethnicity or LGBQT they are the first to die or are the villain and ultimately dies. Or if they happen to make it through the story they are a slave or the hired help with a minimal and unimportant role. I know I’m one of the misrepresented crew in the bunch.

The entire cast has the same characteristics as if the author lives in a world where diversity doesn’t exist.

By the way, do your research if you are going to include other races in your book because you can offend a lot of people if you don’t do it correctly. For example not all African Americans are dark skinned with curly hair. I have read many books where authors just mentions that the character was African American. There was no physical description of this character other than their name, gender, and that they were African American.

So because you describe in your writing that he/she was African American doesn’t instantly describe the person’s features or skin tone. There’s a wide range of skin tones in the black community. I should know, my mom, dad, brothers, sister, husband, and my children are all black with a wide range of skin tones.

4. No Interracial Love Interest

This goes for many if not all books in many genres. I have yet to read a book where interracial love is written. We live in a world where different ethnic, race, socio-economic backgrounds exists. Why not include them in books. And if you have read a Fantasy book which includes interracial dating please let me know. Oh yeah, without the love interest either being the black villain, the black character that’s going to die, or the black character that’s the villain, gay, and will die. I will gladly read it.

5. The obnoxious one

Ahem: The mysterious handsome werewolf, vampire, or fairy which every character just swarm over to them like bees to honey. Which by the way they are so mean and sarcastic to everyone. But no one notices or brushes it away because duh they’re handsome, gorgeous, and sexy.

However, they mostly treat their love interest like crap. I guess the author took the love to hate relationship to the next level. I mean, it’s like kindergarten all over again. Where the little boy pulls on one girls hair because he likes her.


6. Problem solved– not really

This is where the solution to the problem is solved by something that was so simple and obvious from the beginning. And all the main characters had access to this solution but never noticed until the end.

Imagine reading your new fantasy book where the characters had traveled through rain, sleet, snow, and harsh sun. They barely ate or drank water, Theirs and many others blood were shed their friendships tested. And all you can do is hope and pray that they get out of it alive. You were vested in this story and you were at the edge of your seat. This book was a page turner for sure.

Only to come to the end to realize that the relic was in Daniel’s pocket all this time or the sword was hidden under the same rock they circled around like 5 times, or the villain had to see a picture of their mom to crawl away never to be seen again. The best one is when magic solves the problem at the end when the protagonist had said magic to begin with.

Seriously! This is BS. I hate stories like that. I dedicated a lot of reading hours to come to the end for this crap. I get so mad because I’ve read a lot of books like this or the main character dies off because the writer wasn’t clever enough to figure out how to solve the issue they created. Which makes me think what was the point to this book?

The trope reader association federation emancipation proclamation squad (I totally just made that up) demands that we stop writing about these tropes. If there are any other tropes you despise that I’ve missed let me know in the comments.



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