[Poll] Overused Character Tropes in Fantasy

There’s been a buzz of discussion lately about overused character tropes in the fantasy genre—the orphan child fated to save the world; the lone wolf assassin; the hot-headed and reckless protagonist; elves who love trees and loathe dwarves.

It’s made for some incredibly insightful reading, allowing writers to see what readers are tiring of, potential pitfalls, and what areas of the genre could do with freshening up. I thought it’d be even more helpful to codify all of these opinions into a bit of easy-to-read research.

So what character tropes do you think are overused? I’ve kicked off the poll below with a few popular suggestions, but please share your own!

The poll will be open for a week or so and then I’ll set about compiling it all and analysing it.

Thanks for getting involved!

 

 


Out now with twoquotes

About the author

Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. His short fiction has been published by, amongst others, Kzine, TANSTAAFL Press, Bewildering Stories, Liquid Imagination, The Magazine of History & Fiction, Aether and Ichor, and Far Horizons. His debut novel, Pariah's Lament, will be published by Fiction Vortex in Summer 2020. He co-hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his critically-acclaimed book, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Most nights you can find him up into the wee hours scribbling away or watching the NBA. Find out more at www.richiebilling.com.

Comments

  1. I don’t think you can fully avoid tropes. If you do, you’ll be in another genre. Most tropes can be salvaged into something new. That’s what genre writing is all about. But I think there are some tropes–in fact, I wouldn’t even call them tropes, but simply bad writing–that should be killed off. These are things like women as victims and objects for the hero to exploit during his journey, and evil for evil’s sake. Both of those are simply shallow storytelling, bad writing.

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