Reprinted from the AuthorSalon.com website:
Golden-haired princesses, elves that are beautiful and magical and powerful and the most powerful race, grumpy dwarves that live underground, talking dragons, magical swords, white steeds, unicorns, vampires in general, looming castles, wizards with staffs (seriously why can’t they have some other enchanted object?), female characters that are thin (particularly protagonists), the prince is always the most desired choice for a boyfriend, Caucasian protagonists and races, other races that resemble humans (Elves, dwarves, orcs are all roughly humanoid), female characters that are able to talk with animals, some magical object of power that will save the world that everyone is after, helpful hermits that always turn up at the right time, green eyes …
So it’s time to talk about originality again. The above paragraph comes from the intro of an article called “Restoring the Troll Trope”, a lengthy discussion about which tropes (traditional themes, stereotypes, etc.) modern fantasy authors should use and which need to be avoided at all costs because they are just plain played out! The list above was given as the short list of highly overused fantasy tropes.
And I LOVE IT!!!
Because I somehow managed to avoid them. Well, most of them.
The Tome of Greystone will have a few dragons in it, this is true. But they don’t make their presences known for another book or two. And yes they talk. But they are still quite different from the normal portrayal of dragons in current fantasy writing. And yes, there are a few magical swords and the like… but they are not centrally important items in and of themselves. And we have already discussed the fact that I have permanently turned my back on Tolkien-esque non-human characters. To me, these have been worn out since around the time I graduated from high school. No dwarves, no elves, no orcs or orc copies (with apologies to Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, which I love to death!). Just humans. Then some totally new monsters/creatures. The occasional surprise dragon hidden in plain sight. And a LOT of plot.
So yes, I am going to get an ice pack for my shoulder after spending the past twenty minutes patting myself on the back. But hey, when something appears to be working, you might as well enjoy it, right???