1. Kathleen Eavenson says:

    Having characters, especially the hero(ine), accomplish physical feats like running or climbing that are sooo difficult that it drops me right out of the story trying to believe it. Pushing one’s limits is fine, people can do great things when necessary. But, say, climbing a 1000 feet sheer wall in very cold conditions when you only have 1 functioning hand–and not falling? (Yes, I *am* thinking of a specific book which I generally enjoyed but…) This was a dystopian story so magical powers were definitely not used as a means of accomplishing this.

  2. notleia says:

    I feel like there should be an obligatory link to TV Tropes, but that place is a worse time-suck than Wikipedia.

  3. Lisa says:

    Oh yeah, I hear you. I also really hate the badass warrior chick, who is populating more and more fantasies, especially YA. Especially if that warrior chick is involved in some sort of love triangle, or develops a romantic and/or sexual relationship with a much older man. Eeeww…..

  4. Autumn Grayson says:

    A lot of these tropes bug me at times, though part of that just depends on my own personal pet peeves and how many of these tropes are in the same story. I’m not overly fond of elves and dwarves and orcs, so I am more likely to see them as an annoying trope. Yet I don’t mind lots of orphan characters as long as it sorta makes sense. After all, fantasy worlds are often dangerous, it shouldn’t be surprising to see quite a few characters who lost one or more parents.

    I think when we use a trope, we should try to have it make some level of sense or have some new and interesting take on it. My sort of ‘medieval fantasy’ story has a poor orphaned protagonist that becomes king some day and has a mentor, but it isn’t a quest fantasy story. Instead it is a complex exploration of what happens after he becomes king and deals with the trials of rulership. And his mentor isn’t some wise, kind, gray haired helper. Rather he is a crafty, selfish person that the main character still manages to learn a lot of good things from.

  5. Tony Breeden says:

    The problem with this post is that inclusion of these tropes do not necessarily make a fantasy book boring, as he concedes in his second disclaimer. Which leaves us with a post title that doesn’t deliver anything we can use except maybe, um, don’t do these tropes, like… badly …or too much at once.

    And if you have to put your main point in the disclaimer tacked on to the end of your article, I’m pretty sure you could have done a much better job.

What do you think?