Aug 24th, 2020
Is there such a thing as good and bad tropes, or are tropes just tropes?
Join Autumn and Jesper as they dive into the land of clichés, but also stumbles over some fantasy gems.
Episode 87 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast will walk you through some of the common tropes in the fantasy genre, and explore if they are viable to use in your own writing?
Link to our online writing course, the Ultimate Fantasy Writers Guide: http://ultimatefantasywritersguide.co...
Link to Plot Development: https://books2read.com/Plot-Development
Link to the Plotting Workbook: https://books2read.com/PlottingWorkbook
Link to Story Ideas: https://books2read.com/StoryIdeas
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. In today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt, and Jesper Schmidt.
Hello, I am Jesper, and I'm Autumn. This is episode 87 of the am writing fantasy podcast. And we are looking at some of the common tropes in fantasy today. And we'll have a discussion as to whether they are good or bad. And I think this could turn out quite interesting. Well, it'll be a, yeah. I could see some questions and some fun things that we've got to discuss to clarify what we're even talking about.
Autumn (1m 2s):
Well, tropes is always interesting. So, but we will come back to that in, in a few minutes. Yes. How are things over in your lovely little country? Well, I'm basically like slowly boiling in my office. It is so warm. It's insane. Like you were complaining just like an episode ago. I think you had not had summer at all in Denmark this year. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I, I just told my wife and I can't remember if I said this on the past episode as well, but I told her, you know, I bet you once our summer holidays over the weather will turn really warm and nice.
Jesper (1m 40s):
And there you go. Now we have a 30 degrees Celsius, actually 33 yesterday. That's why. So we spent a day at the beach yesterday. Quite nice though. That would be lovely. And what are the peaches? I mean, do you have sand beaches? Are they pebble beaches? What are they like over there? No sand beach. Nice. Yeah. Yeah, but it's just the same that it isn't vacation time anymore. You know, I'd sneak away on the weekend. At least you don't have major COVID restriction. You got to go to the beach.
Jesper (2m 12s):
Yeah. Well, yeah, it's not feel bad here over here. I was just emailing earlier today with a, with a reader on the email as well. And you know, trying to show my sympathy for you guys in the U S it's just really bad, but, and especially compared to how it is, you, you know, we're in a very much, much, much better place than you guys. Ah, yes. I think only New Zealand is doing better than you wouldn't you. They're awesome. Yeah. Yeah. It's quite dire over here.
Jesper (2m 41s):
Still only getting worse, but this fall will be fun. Yeah, we'll see. Well, we tried to stay away from politics quickly shifting topics here before we getting into politics things also finally moving forward with our sale that Has been like an ongoing, Ongoing, ongoing
2 (3m 6s):
A long time now. But thanks
Jesper (3m 8s):
Finally, moving forward. That's so exciting. Yeah. So it's not final yet in that sense, but it's getting there now. So we have somebody who put in an offer and we have also agreed on the price. Oh my goodness. And we have also agreed on when they are going to take over that.
Autumn (3m 28s):
Wow. So clock sorta ticking.
Jesper (3m 33s):
Yeah. The only condition in the whole deal here is that they need to sell their apartment first. And if they can't sell the apartment, then of course the whole thing is just gonna take a long, long time. But it is an apartment in a very, like pretty expensive though, but very popular area of Copenhagen that they live in today. And they said to the real estate agent this morning that there was two people who came and what's the apartment over the weekend.
Jesper (4m 6s):
And both of them said that they want to buy it.
Autumn (4m 8s):
Oh, that would be really good. Yeah.
Jesper (4m 11s):
So that is really good. I mean, it could be that if all goes, well, I would say before we get to the end of August, like in a couple of weeks from now, then we could have sold the house and be planning to move.
Autumn (4m 25s):
Oh my goodness. That would be fantastic and exciting. And I think that's going to put you behind on the timeline we have mapped out, but that's okay. We'll figure that out, I guess. Probably. Yeah.
Jesper (4m 38s):
Yeah. We'll see. We'll see. It depends also because the thing is that we would like to build a new house and there is no lots at this point in time in the city where we one move to that has any lots for sale. So that means that we have to find something to rent temporarily for a while so we can stay there. And that's sort of the joker in the whole thing right now that we don't know, is it going to be easy to find something to rent or not? We'll see, we'll see that the part we don't know at this point
Autumn (5m 9s):
Going to be living like me, like a gypsy things still in boxes, just being really, really be really good at labeling what's inside your boxes. That's about all I can say. Yeah.
Jesper (5m 22s):
The most important thing is that I have my laptop across the internet router and mostly,
Autumn (5m 29s):
And that is the catch of being a writer. As long as you have those things, it's the lifestyle, a huge amount of equipment. You'll need your microphone and a few other things, but you'll be on microphone as well. Yes, that's right. Excellent. How's you've been, Oh, it's been, you know, pretty good. I guess if you hear any traffic noise, I apologize. I knock off at literally the last minute yesterday, my husband was doing a trip up to his parents who live in Maine where we live for 18. And so it's sort of like what you said it's summer.
Autumn (6m 1s):
The last trip is going to do for the summer and Maine and the coast and lobsters and the ocean of sailboats is, or something like, you know, my list of my favorite things. So I literally, he was sitting in the car and I'm like, but can you wait an hour through some stuff in a bag? My laptop and my microphone obviously as well and ran off up to Maine with him. And so we had some lobster last night on the beach, on the Wharf, right. At a lobster pound. That's nice right off the boat.
Autumn (6m 33s):
And we're going to go to our favorite pizzeria, I think tonight, which is different. And so, yes, it sounds strange because COVID is horrible in the United States. And so many States are locked down, but we came up from Vermont, which is about the only state in the entire United States. That's still green. So we're wow. Our state is doing fine and Maine is pretty much, it's one of the least populated States as well. So it's doing okay as well, but we'll definitely be cautious because I don't want to get sick because I'm writing the last chapter of my current work in progress, which is the first book of a new faith.
Autumn (7m 9s):
Post-apocalyptic kind of urban fantasy trilogy. So I'm so excited. It's been over a year since I was finishing, writing something because things have just been so crazy busy with everything we got going on in life. So it just, it always feels momentous to stand there and being, looking, looking down the word count of like 2300 words and I'm done with over 90,000 words of writing. And even though I'm not publishing until I finished the next two, I just feel kind of that warm hummings feeling and it feels good.
Autumn (7m 42s):
Jesper (7m 42s):
Yeah. And you're also working on the world building course, so you don't have any time to be sick.
Autumn (7m 47s):
I do not between that. And so I'm cussed at some commissions on my other side of my writing, you know, coaching life, writing coach and graphic design life. I am so busy this month. It's not even funny. I've got to hire my husband, I think, to help.
Jesper (8m 6s):
Yeah. Maybe that's a solution. I think we got the internet writing fantasy podcast. Okay. A few things to cover here, but I wanted first and foremost to give a huge shout out to Iris because she increased her pledge on patron.
Autumn (8m 27s):
Thank you so much. I mean, you've been with us for a little while now, but do you know that you believe in us enough and that you appreciate us enough that we appreciate you, that you actually upped your pledge. So thank you so much.
Jesper (8m 42s):
Yeah. Thank you. That really means a lot to us. And I should say as well, if your deal listener, haven't checked out and writing fantasy and all the awesome reports that we offer to our supporters over on patron now is the time to do so. The link is in the show notes, but I can even say that within the next few months, we are actually planning to give all patrons subscribers, great gift, but I'll leave it that creativity and keep it as a surprise what this gift is all about.
Jesper (9m 14s):
But you might want to go and check it out now.
Autumn (9m 16s):
Yes, we have it figured out and planned, but we're just doing one chunk at a time and we have other plans for August, but it'll be exciting.
Jesper (9m 26s):
Yeah, absolutely. I could also mention that in a few weeks from now, we are going to record a podcast episode about how it has been like to launch our three nonfiction books. So the books on how to get story ideas are applauding guide and the associated workbook. And we released those wide here in 2020. So are going to record a podcast episode about how that went. But I can't say that they all became bestsellers upon release and people are, have been emailing us quite a lot saying how much they got out of those book.
Jesper (10m 4s):
Isn't that right?
Autumn (10m 4s):
No, you have been, I just, I love the comments and it's a goal of mine to try to find time this week to make some share images of, of some of the comments because they just are so wonderful.
Jesper (10m 16s):
Absolutely. Yeah. So if you haven't picked up any of those books yet we've included links in the show notes for those as well. And Hey, there's also a link inside the plodding book from where you can get the book on story ideas for free. So that's going to be our little,
Autumn (10m 33s):
I was going to say that's a secret. You just shared it with the world.
Jesper (10m 39s):
Autumn (10m 42s):
That's fair enough. And I do. I thought it was funny. I don't know if you saw the comment. I know you re we recently left, launched the podcast episode where you interviewed mere Lafferty who has written for star Wars. I don't know if you saw the comment in the M writing fantasy Facebook group, but Andre said, wow, score one for am writing fantasy respect. So I know you did that interview. So I wanted to make sure you saw that one. It was just such a fun comment. And you know, I thought Joanna Penn, when we hit, you had joined a panel on am writing fantasy podcasts.
Autumn (11m 16s):
That was big, but apparently we're, Laverty got a higher rating from Andre on that one too. So that's fantastic.
Jesper (11m 24s):
But it writing for Star Wars. That is pretty cool.
Autumn (11m 27s):
Oh my goodness. I know that's just good.
Jesper (11m 29s):
And she's like a multi award winning author as well.
Autumn (11m 32s):
The Hugo. Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah,
Jesper (11m 37s):
But finally, I also wanted to say that our online writing course, the ultimate fantasy writers guide will next week open for the first time in six months. So that'll be on the 31st of August. And I don't know, but perhaps you can say few words about the course autumn.
Autumn (11m 55s):
Oh, I still just, every time I think of it, I just remember why I created it and that was, I wanted this one stop shop that really, I mean, at the time there was no information out there now there's so much information out there you don't know which is true anymore. So this is the one stop where you can just buy this one course and you can learn how to write, get through all the plotting, the character, building the world, building all these details that you can still easily get hung up on as well as learn how to actually publish and format and covers and Oh, how to edit.
Autumn (12m 26s):
I still remember the first time I edited and getting advice on like how you tackle content and it's very Perth reading and the order of things. So all of that is in the course, and it is our one thing and even ends with how to build an author career. So I'm kind of proud of it as our first course. And of course we always bite off more than we can chew to start. It's the best way to learn. Isn't it. And so then I guess the best way to teach.
Jesper (12m 53s):
Yeah. And again, also here, we've included the link in the show notes, so you can go and check it out. But I should mention though that the cost will not stay open for very long. So come early September, we're going to close it again for another six months. So if you want in now is the time to do so. As soon as you listen to this episode, go and check it out. At least early September will be the latest point for you that you need to check it out. But we have reduced the price though of the cost by a hundred dollars.
Autumn (13m 26s):
That is, And then the announcement, I mean, with everything going on in the world and we just felt we needed to do something. So this is an amazing opportunity. We, I don't know if many big ticket courses that are doing a reduction like we just did.
Jesper (13m 40s):
Yeah, I don't know. But, but yeah, as you said with COVID-19 and a lot of people are finding themselves struggling with finances at the moment, right? So at least that might be a bit helpful to knock off a hundred dollars. So we'll see. But anyway, click that link in the show notes and there will be all the details on that page about what exactly what the course includes. And there is money back guarantees for 30 days, no questions to ask and all that good stuff. So you can safely check it out.
Autumn (14m 13s):
No, I think that really, those are some big announcements, so I want to get into Tropes.
Jesper (14m 22s):
Okay. So maybe I could just start by mentioning what are true.
Autumn (14m 27s):
I was going to say that we need to define what a trope are and compare it to maybe what a stereotype, you know, what are the other things that people could fuse a trope with?
Jesper (14m 38s):
Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I have basically made a note for myself and trying to define a saying like it's a repeated familiar symbols themes, characters, and so on, you know, so it's basically what we expect to find when we read a fantasy novel or I could also be, if we're watching a fantasy movie, there's no real difference there, but it's basically kind of the things that we expect from this young era. Would that be a fair way of defining it?
Autumn (15m 5s):
I think so. It's, it's definitely, it's what you expect almost. It's not the genre. Sometimes it's even the type of story like, Oh, I always the easiest one to think of as the farm boy who becomes King. So that is a trope.
Jesper (15m 19s):
Yeah. But go ahead. Go ahead. Well, I was just about to say before we get way into these tropes, I think I wanted to mention as well that if we ask a hundred people, what are the most common fences you tropes? We would probably get a lot of different answers. So this is just my way of saying that what we are about to say is it's just our view on things, right? It doesn't mean that, that this is the only truth out there and we fully understand as much, you know, but the French word for Shanghai actually means kind of so very good.
Jesper (15m 58s):
I think that gives us a bit of leeway there. Yeah,
Autumn (16m 0s):
I think so, too. And so what I was going to mention is that a lot of people can fuse a trope with like a stereotype. Like it is something that they has been seen over and over. And I think the biggest thing with stereotypes is it's a, it's a cliche. It is something that is kind of Pat. And it's quick to explain, like the mother-in-law, who's a wicked witch or something. That's, that's a stereotype, but something when you're describing a whole trope, which becomes, it's a whole story boiled down into a sentence or two.
Autumn (16m 34s):
And so they're not exactly the same things. There's a lot more tied up into a trope and a lot more expectations where a stereotype is, is kind of a little bit boring and seeing too much. Oh, we can discuss if we think tropes have been seen too much, or if there's any tropes that have been over done. Yeah. We'll I think actually,
Jesper (16m 58s):
If we, you know, if we have a conversation here about the common tropes, as least as we see them, but maybe we could also point out which one we both hate the most, but also wins which one we liked the most. That makes sense.
Autumn (17m 13s):
It sounds good. I'll have to think about actually which one I like the most I'll have to probably think which ones have I used because that's easy. I came to me instantly. I have a pet peeve trope. Isn't that sad?
Jesper (17m 29s):
No, I, it was the same for me. You know, I was thinking about it earlier today and I was like, Oh, it would be fun if we, if we put out like the one we hate and the one we love and I was like, well, Hey, that's easy. It took me like half a second to figure out what that was.
Autumn (17m 44s):
Yes. You warned me. You were going to ask that. And it took me about half a second to like, Oh yeah. If I ever read another story like this, I will burn it. So that's horrible. All right. So which is, let's go yours then it was since we started with the ones least liked, what is your worst trope that you hate reading about? You want to stop there if you don't, if you want to end there, we can do either way, but this will be fun to hear.
Jesper (18m 11s):
Yeah. It will be fun. I was thinking maybe we could just sort of start out by covering some of the different trucks that we see and then we could, once we've done that, then we could, maybe we should start with the one we hate the most and then do the one we liked the most, because then we were ending on a positive rabbit
Autumn (18m 28s):
And that'll give me some more time to think about, which is my favorite. Cause I'll have heard them all at that point,
Jesper (18m 32s):
Right? Yeah. Yeah. Well, I made an, I was thinking about this a bit like high level kind of, you know, high level tropes, but, and I'm sure you have some good pointers that you can sort of fling in here as well into the mix. But of course, one of the most common tropes I would say in fantasy is basically that fantasy stories has magic.
Autumn (18m 55s):
Oh yes, that's true. And that is, that is probably almost the basis of fantasy I would say.
Jesper (19m 2s):
Yeah. Isn't it. I mean, can you come up or can you think of any like stories that you would define as fantasy, but has no magic in it at all? I mean, some of them don't have a lot of magic, but can you think of some that doesn't have any at all?
Autumn (19m 17s):
No. I mean, I know when I first read game of Thrones until those dragons, I was gonna say until those dragons were born, it was lacking a lot of magic. I like a little bit more magic than that, but it eventually peaked in there. So there's some, and there's magical realism, which is, you know, very much minimal magic at times, but it's still there. I think I can't, I can't think of anything. I would classify as fantasy that doesn't have at least some magical creature or magic magic.
Autumn (19m 52s):
I can't think of any,
Jesper (19m 54s):
No. Do you know, I just thought of this because we talked about Malachi before. Right. But have you heard the whole debate about what Shanghai star Wars is?
Autumn (20m 5s):
Yes. I have a hard time. I mean, to me it's science fiction, but it's kind of science fiction fantasy.
Jesper (20m 12s):
Yeah. It's just, I know I'm going to probably going to piss off. A lot of people, people have, especially when it comes to star Wars, people have very, very, they're very, very opinionated,
Autumn (20m 23s):
Passion, passion. Oh shit. That was the wrong word I use.
Jesper (20m 29s):
But because I can sort of follow the logic when people say in star Wars that the force power is magic because, and then at some point they threw windows. What is like Mikel, Lori and wa how do you pronounce that stuff? Don't
Autumn (20m 48s):
Ask me, I'm horrible with English words.
Jesper (20m 50s):
I can't remember what, whatever it was called, but those things that you have in your body that you can measure. And then the more I have it, you have the more force power you have and stuff like that. And of course, and it can Skywalker was off the scale and whatnot. But I think that was sort of like, at least to me, it felt like an afterthought that they plucked in later on in the, I don't know if it was always the intention, but I also know a lot of people complaining that they felt like the force got to explained at that point. Whereas magic is often not that explained, but at least in my view, you know, I'm yet to read a fantasy book where a star ship, all of a sudden flies by.
Jesper (21m 29s):
So I would still say Star Wars is Sci-fi, but
Autumn (21m 33s):
I think that's that genre mashup of scifi fantasy or science fantasy. And that is a genre of itself. And that's kind of a fun one. I mean, I think dr who fits into science fantasy because I always complain that this stupid screwdriver, what, he just, he has this thing that it's supposed to just do one thing and he uses it like a magic wand and can fix anything with it. And I just get pissed off whenever it happens. Cause I want rules with it and it just doesn't exist.
Jesper (22m 4s):
No, Actually in the coming weeks here, I'm going to interview Chris Fox for our podcast here. So he's going to come on in the coming weeks. But, and I know Chris is actually writing dragons in space.
Autumn (22m 16s):
Oh, that's cool. That's pretty cool as well. I think that might be breaking a lot of tropes, so good for him.
Jesper (22m 24s):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Okay. So what's the more we wanted to say about Metro?
Autumn (22m 29s):
No, I think that is definitely, I think the foundational fantasy trope, I would say after that one is a, like the fantasy creatures, almost a fit. It would say a fantasy world, but sometimes, I mean, urban fantasy is becoming very popular and that usually takes place on earth or something. That's very much like a parallel earth, but is still got the fantasy creatures of the werewolves and the vampires. And so that's, I can't imagine a fantasy story that has no magic or none of those fantastical creatures at all, because I don't think that would be fantasy at that point.
Jesper (23m 9s):
No, I agree. And of course this does not have to be UL and auction and whatnot. I mean, sometimes it could also be like unique species. The author actually created themselves, so it can be a lot of things, but yeah. Fantasy needs to have some fantastical species. Do I need to say dragons?
Autumn (23m 26s):
I think they kind of get the implication. You already said dragons in space, so that's pretty cool. Oh yeah, that's true.
Jesper (23m 35s):
But at least some sort of fantastical species are usually part of the mix. And I would also say, you said a bit about the setting there because I really feel like at least most of the time the setting is a secondary world. Of course, in urban fantasy, like you said, you know, can be our world, but a lot of the time it will still be like, there is this sort of shadow world within the world that people don't know that there is werewolves.
Jesper (24m 6s):
Maybe, you know, the general public doesn't know, or maybe it's like a hidden fantasy world within the existing world or something like that. Otherwise I think if you don't have it like that, and I know I'm generalizing a lot in, and I'm sure listeners are screaming at the headphones right now saying with a ton of examples of the opposite. But, but my point is just that you quickly transcend over into something sort of huge superhero kind of thing. If it's all, everybody knows about it, everybody knows about fantastical heroes and creatures and that kind of thing.
Jesper (24m 43s):
Or what don't you feel like then it becomes very Marvel kind of way very quickly.
Autumn (24m 47s):
So I think it does. I think that does move more towards the Sierra superhero, which I would still say under, if you would be fantasy, a massive umbrella, I would actually put superhero under there, but you know, way to the edge it has that it has magic. And I don't know, I was please don't put it on this fence,
Jesper (25m 6s):
Like superhero thing. So please don't put it into the fence. She's young. I want to keep it up.
Autumn (25m 10s):
Oh, I read X men and stuff. When I was a teenager in the sand, I mean, Sandman comics, that was still, it wasn't really superhero, but it was written very much superhero like Neil Gaiman. He's fantasy. Sorry.
Jesper (25m 23s):
Now, well, I guess to be fair, I mean the original superhero stuff I think is probably absolutely fine, but it's just like within the last, probably five to 10 years, I feel like the big Hollywood studios, Marvel and whatnot, they they've destroyed the superheroes young or by just retelling the same stories 200 times in a row. And I don't know, it's just destroyed it for me. I have no pleasure in those movies anymore. Now it's just time a new one comes out. It's the same one as the last one.
Autumn (25m 53s):
I agree with that on so many levels because it does seem like every, like they wanted to do a new princess bride and there was such a huge outcry of don't ruin perfection that I think they kind of decided not to do that because they would have pissed up too many people in our age bracket. Maybe, maybe we would probably torch the theater, but yeah, let's move on to, there's so many amazing writers in the writers who were coming up with these amazing stories, choose something new, but that was exactly what I was just saying.
Jesper (26m 29s):
Thinking that just as you said, it, because I must assume that Writers in those writing rooms are very, very talented. So I just like it, maybe it's because the studio sort of put them constraints on them and say, well, we want something like this and that, because we know we can earn a hundred million at the box office about, you know, maybe something like that. But I just cannot imagine that the writers in those rooms can not come up with something new and exciting. Like my laugh at you talked about when she wrote for star Wars, right? She also said that she was under very, very strict constraints about what she could say and what she couldn't, but still she worked really hard as a writer to try to find ways in which she could talk about the character and the background, you know, all the smaller things that she could inject to make the story more original instead of it's just the same old, same old.
Jesper (27m 20s):
Right. Exactly. Yeah. I don't know. I just don't remember that,
Autumn (27m 26s):
But again, I think those, I totally agree. I actually prefer not to watch Hollywood and I love that that so many shows like Netflix and stuff we're actually filming in Canada in Vancouver. And I think it's just to get a little bit of fresh air, bring it in. Right. But yeah, so there's so many things, but those things do, whether you're looking at the superhero is a trope, but the underlying structure there are tropes their own. What is, it's fine to have the trope, but it's what you lay on top of it that makes it different and unique and fresh and new, unless you're using the exact same story and characters over and over and over again until the grooves are so deep that people are like, really again, Wolverine,
Jesper (28m 13s):
Autumn (28m 13s):
We need something fresh and exciting and new. And I do think indie authors have that so well, and there are other authors and there's some great shows out there that are really fantastic. We just finished up watching. Oh shoot. So I'm trying to remember what is warrior nuns. That was fun.
Jesper (28m 35s):
Autumn (28m 36s):
That's the ending totally changed the entire perspective of the entire season up until that point. And you're like, damn, that's awesome.
Jesper (28m 46s):
Wow. Okay. So it came up on my fetus weld warrior nuns, and then I heard some, I listened to these a couple of podcasts where they basically review new series. I talk about, and they were just dissing that series so hard. It's like, this is the worst thing, you know, kind of teenage kind of. And I was like, okay, after I listened to them, I was just, okay, I'm not going to watch it. It just felt or sounded way too hard.
Autumn (29m 16s):
So now I'm conflicted. I think I've looked at it from a storytelling. There were times there was narration from the main character that I got thought you could really do without. There was some times it took her to build up to building up until the actual true threads of the story. When they started coming together was a little slow, but I'm very patient. And when it got to that point where the, where the things came together and then the last episode really flipped entire perspective of what was going on. I was like, damn, that that is good writing.
Autumn (29m 45s):
That is such good writing. I appreciate anyone who can, who can take a story and flip it on its head and change your whole perspective. But believe me, up until that point, I'm leaking, we're talking about the Catholic phase phase and they're warrior nuns. They can't even become priest and you're giving them swords. This doesn't add up in my head, but they had some believers who are main characters and that, that makes it tolerable.
Jesper (30m 11s):
Okay. Well, I think there was also a bit in this setting there that I didn't like, but okay. We're getting off topic.
Autumn (30m 18s):
They don't care about our move. Our show we'll have to do a recommended show episode later. Maybe we should. So what's the next trope we want to think is pretty general. We're still not doing our worst favorite. Cause we settled still. Haven't gotten to the one that I can not stand yet. No, well maybe
Jesper (30m 36s):
You have more, you can inject it because the two I have left is the one I hate. And the one I like. So if you have some more, you want to inject and maybe you can do that.
Autumn (30m 45s):
Alright, well, I'm going to skip the one that is my least favorite. So I know one of the ones that is very often often use, that's not the news as much recently, but it's like the secret air. So it's the person who was born noble and doesn't know it. Okay. This is almost like sleeping beauty, I guess. I mean, she's the princess she sent off to, you know, grow up in the forest so that no one will come and you know, the curse will not happen. So that actually is a trope. That's been used. A lot of these fairy tale types of stories have these tropes.
Autumn (31m 17s):
So the older, older stories we have and they've been passed down for generations. And so they're still being used today. I mean, you think about it, Romeo and Juliet, the star crossed lovers. That's a trip to usually in romance, but I've seen it as a pretty strong sub genre sub plot to some fantasy ones as well. Right. And you did mention star Wars. So the evil empire, the evil overlord, believe it or not, that is not my worst Groaner, but that is definitely one that I've gotten tired of seeing where you start off a story and it's, you just have evil and they're evil.
Autumn (31m 58s):
And I mean, unless you're writing about Lucifer or the devil, or I don't wanna pick another cosmology that has, you know, a BA a good and a bad side, and they're just evil from the side of evil. That is another one. That's unless you're adding some gray tones and some explanation why they're evil. I definitely think that one's kind of been over done
Jesper (32m 20s):
Interesting because some of the stuff you're saying, I'm going to come back to
Autumn (32m 23s):
Totally be fine. Some of the other ones I've seen and you made me have to open up like my book of my filing cabinet, we were joking on Patreo and Irish and I, and that I, my, my organizational system in my brain is actually a massive cabinet, huge bureaucracy, immensely boring, but so well organized. So
Jesper (32m 47s):
Wants to get access to certain areas.
Autumn (32m 49s):
Times you asked definitely 10 different copies. Some of them are in blood. You got to watch out for those, but the, the reluctant hero. And again, I think it's another one where you, it's not as very, I mean, normally we have people, most of the heroes I think written about today are more go getters. They're very few are going, but I don't want to go have to go fight the dragon, but that is definitely something that's there.
Jesper (33m 18s):
Yeah, I agree. But, but don't, I would almost argue that that can, that can be in almost any stronger in thrillers or whatever. You can also have the reluctant hero who doesn't really want to take on the task ahead of them. I am not sure. That's a fantasy trope as such. It's just a storytelling trope, I guess.
Autumn (33m 37s):
Yes. But it's one that definitely crosses into it. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not sure. I guess, I don't know if you'd call it a fantasy trumpet, like the mentor trope, where you always have the kid who gets helped by the mentor or even you could have the one where it's like a young boy basically redeems the older hero who has done something in his past. And so that's another one that if it's done well, can be amazingly powerful and redemptive, but if it's not done well, you kind of feel like I've seen this before.
Autumn (34m 11s):
Yeah. But I guess you could say that with everything you have to layer on characters that are very three dimensional, you have to layer in a world that feels real, and it's all gonna become together to be its own driver. And without that, any of these can really feel like they just have been seen and done before.
Jesper (34m 29s):
Yeah, absolutely. I agree with that.
Autumn (34m 32s):
All right. I think that's all the ones I can come to mind. I'm sure. I'll probably think of more. Oh, I know the powerful article, like the F the quest for the magic sword Excalibur. I don't do our Dorian tails anymore. I love them as a teenager, but I, if I read one more thing about the lady of the Lake and Excalibur, I'm just going to, just to
Jesper (34m 56s):
It's another one that came up on my Netflix feed here recently was w I cursed, I think it was called <inaudible>. It was also a new one, but that was also some sort of a King Arthur kind of thing, whatever. I was just like, Oh my God. No, thank you.
Autumn (35m 16s):
Yes, I would. It would take me a while to go back to them. I see. He gave it out to be an amazingly good character as do, make me want to sit through one of those again. Yeah.
Jesper (35m 26s):
Okay. So should I do the trope that I hate the most?
Autumn (35m 29s):
Yes. And then I'll do my trip that I hate the most.
Jesper (35m 32s):
Okay. And this is going to be a bit interesting because you touched a bit on,
Autumn (35m 36s):
Okay. So the
Jesper (35m 38s):
One I hate the most is the one I call the one. Oh, so this is exactly what you said before. So this is the farm boy who discovers that he is the one and the only person who can save the world or the young servant girl who discovers that she's actually rightful heir of the troll and you know, those sorts of things. And my God, I just feel like this trope has been beaten to death. I wish those kinds of prophecies, or it was kind of meant to be a, I don't know.
Jesper (36m 11s):
I, I just hate those kinds of stories and I wish they wouldn't be written anywhere.
Autumn (36m 16s):
Well, I know something kind of funny. Yeah. That's my least favorite ones too. The chosen one. I will, I hate it. I do too. I mean, the Shannara tales, those, you know, those came out a couple of years ago, the remakes again, of the elf stones of Shannara books. And it's just like, there's no purpose. You have the right blood. You are the chosen one. You're going to get out there and do it. And there's no earning your place. It's just, everyone's like bowing down to them.
Autumn (36m 47s):
Oh, you were the chosen one. You were the golden child. And I'm just like, Oh, gag me. I want to see them suffer and earn it and become, come something greater because it is their journey. Not because they were chosen to be this person. And I definitely know.
Jesper (37m 4s):
Yeah. And even, I mean, I know now again, I, you know, I'm good at offending people here. Why not? Why stop now when I already started, but I know a lot of people love. Yeah. I know a lot of people love the wheel of time by Robert Jordan. I don't like it. And I guess as well, I, it would not be fair to say that rant L toward a main character in that, he's just the one. And because he's just the one, I mean, he has to work for it.
Jesper (37m 34s):
So it's not entirely fair. But on the other hand, it is still, at least in my view, and this is only my view and people can shout at me and disagree. That's okay. But just in my view, it is still the, it's one of those, the one stories, because rant is the one who's supposed to defeat evil and, and all that. And it's just like, it feels to ordain. What should we call? Yeah. Or more like artificial story, construction kind of thing, rather than it just being, here's your average, Joe.
Jesper (38m 7s):
And he builds over time. And one day he then turns out to be able to defeat evil if that's what you want to do. But instead of it just being, well, it was also always written in the stars that you were going to defeat the evil overlord or what it's like, what seriously.
Autumn (38m 25s):
I agree. And I actually poke fun at this trope and my first fantasy trilogy, where there is one who's like, Oh, there's a prophecy of this elemental. And he will go on to do something. And it's you and no, it's not, it's not him. You know, it was basically, they're like, they're reinterpreting it. There's like a few just minor. It's a very minor subplot. But every once in a while someone mentions it. And even the main character is like, Oh my God, if you had mentioned this one more time, you all don't even know what you're talking about. I'm just going to go over here and take care of business.
Autumn (38m 57s):
Jesper (38m 57s):
Right. That's good.
Autumn (38m 59s):
Yeah. I just, I got to poke fun at these things. Occasionally it's just in my nature, but yes. So we have, I guess it's a unanimous vote that the chosen one is it's was a very common theme. I think when we both were growing up reading fantasy, the seventies and eighties, it was just like, that is your main carers. They were chosen. They're going to go do this and they're going to win. And you just follow it along. And the stories of this decade is so much more nuanced. Good is not a hundred percent good.
Autumn (39m 30s):
They're kind of gray and evil. The evil characters have their kind of animals or something that, you know, there's something else about them. And those are the stories that really stick and grow, and everyone's got to earn their downfall or their nobility. And that is a much more interesting. And I guess maybe I'm saying that's what my favorite trope is now is simply the one that maybe flips a lot of the old tropes on their heads, even settings. I like, I like something unique. I like unique races.
Autumn (40m 1s):
I hacked my first story was I stayed away from the whole medieval setting and did sailing instead of horseback riding because I wanted something different. So I love it. When someone comes up with a story that flips something on its head and gives me something new. I mean, when Shrek came out, Oh, I was just in love with the movie because I was laughing my ass off at all. All of the, all the funny things that it flipped on its head and made it all new and fresh again.
Autumn (40m 31s):
I love that.
Jesper (40m 32s):
Yeah. Yeah. And actually that's a good point, you know, if anybody has not watched Shrek yet, then if you want to get a feeling of fantasy tropes, what's that movie, All of them. So you'll have one movie, you will have a very good taste and you'll see that even though you can have them all listed, you can do something completely different with them. And it's wonderful. Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. I think the one that I liked the most it's sort of placed off the one I hate the most.
Jesper (41m 3s):
That that sounded weird.
Autumn (41m 5s):
Yeah. So how does this work together then? Well, it's like
Jesper (41m 11s):
The one I hate the most is the one who saves the world. Right? Yeah. But at the same time, the ones that, the trip that I liked the most is the one where the world is in the balance. I like stories where the stake is the entire world, but I guess that's why right. Epic fantasy.
Autumn (41m 31s):
That's a good reason. I think
Jesper (41m 34s):
So. But the thing is, I just don't want it to be the chosen one who does all the saving there instead. It's I actually like when stories about saving the world comes as such a great cost that you can almost, once you sort of read the last chapter, you can almost start wondering, was it really worth it? What's the price really worth paying for what was saved? Hopefully you will say yes for saving the world, but you know, just that there is something in the back of your mind saying that was almost too great of a price to pay.
Jesper (42m 14s):
I like that.
Autumn (42m 15s):
That's a very good one. And I must say that that definitely is impactful and would make people think so. That's fantastic. I could get behind that, which is good because we'll be writing books together very soon. Yes, yes, I do like that, but it's definitely, I definitely think that yeah, pulling the other one, the chosen one on its head, like I said, even with the stories I've been writing, there's three or four or five potential people to save the world and oddly enough, the cost of what it's going to take. And I won't even say that the world is saved.
Autumn (42m 46s):
It's altered forever. When I get to the left third book, even though I'm only writing the end of the first one. So I guess I kind of agree with you because the way the story goes, it's a painful, painful cost. And the world isn't really saved. It's just not completely destroyed, but that's good. That is. So I guess I have to, again, as usual, even though we did not plan this folks, I swear to your listeners, we do not conspire.
Autumn (43m 18s):
We just happened to get along, which is a good thing. It meets the business. Isn't very solid hands.
Jesper (43m 25s):
Yeah, it is. Yeah. It's amazing. Well, we always tend to agree on things, even though we haven't coordinated any of our responses.
Autumn (43m 33s):
Yeah. Alright. Well, that's very good. I guess that's a good way of saying, you know, these tropes to wrap up they're important and they're underlying a lot of stories. And again, it's not necessarily, you should look around and see which ones people are complaining about. And if you're bold and brave, maybe you can do something to remake something that everyone else is seen way too many times. If you can make the chosen one into something new, fresh and exciting. Oh, that would be really kind of interesting.
Jesper (44m 5s):
Yeah. And I think exactly, that's also my conclusion on this because I do honestly believe that any trope can be done well, even the one I hate, but at the same time, any trope can also be done poorly. Even the one I like. Yeah. So it is a matter of how the trope is utilized in your storytelling and in your world building. And of course that's a million times easier said than done, but that's why we are doing the podcast and you're doing the writing very true.
Jesper (44m 36s):
Okay. So next Monday it's if all goes, well, I should have a very accomplished author on for an interview for you, but I'll keep it as a surprise for now.
Narrator (44m 50s):
If you like, what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support the am writing fantasy podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/amwritingfantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast going, stay safe out there and see you next Monday.