5 Fantasy Cliches I’m NOT Using

Fantasy_World

This week I found myself researching and reading about the most common cliches found in YA fiction (especially fantasy). As a writer, I like to think that I have some original ideas, but I was beginning to feel like everything I wrote lately has been done before. The more I researched, the more I realized that I wasn’t using ANY of the YA/fantasy cliches I read about, and that made me wonder if I can even claim to be writing a “proper fantasy!”

The main fantasy element in my current story is a portal to another world and some amount of world building, but even that isn’t very much (I don’t like spending too much time on detail). Anyway, here are five cliches’ I am NOT using:

  1. The Chosen One: My protagonist happens to get lost playing manhunt, and falls into a glowing white pool which transports her to another world. But so far, she isn’t “chosen” to do anything (and likely won’t be). She just wants to find a way home. Now while I know the plot I’m using isn’t new, I am trying to make it happen in a different kind of way in the story telling. The land of Verdant isn’t on the verge of destruction anyway, although there are lots of other weird things going on…
  2. The Magical Artifact: Ok, so I wasn’t sure if trying to find a glowing white pool that is really a portal home counted. My characters aren’t trying to find this pool so they can have powers to save the world, so I think I’m in the clear. In my fantasy world, magic itself is almost non-existent. There may be a little, but certainly no magic system or magic weapons.
  3. The Love Triangle: I will admit, I did use this one before in my other novel. But it seemed to work then and I wasn’t really aware that it was a “standard YA” cliche. I have gone back and forth with adding romance in my current story and I think I won’t this time around. That doesn’t mean my characters won’t flirt with each other though…cause teenagers do that – A LOT.
  4. The Evil Villain: My story has a sorceress surrounded by rumors and superstition. But the sorceress (so far) really hasn’t done anything evil. I have some ideas about her and none of them include taking over the world. But initially, the characters do see her as a threat, and it isn’t like she couldn’t have some kind of evil plan if she wanted to…
  5. Medieval Setting: There are parts of the land of Verdant that feel European, but not really Medieval necessarily. I actually like the idea of Verdant having advanced technology and weapons development, so perhaps I’m mixing some sci-fi into the story. There is no kingdom, but there is a big city with a government, which has certainly been done before.

What are some more overused cliches I might have missed? Comment below!

Published by

Cana Gauthier

Cana Gauthier is an indie publisher and author who writes across genres, including sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and suspense. You can find Cana's published work on Amazon.com.

2 thoughts on “5 Fantasy Cliches I’m NOT Using”

  1. I recently saw a trailer for some SF/F movie that started with the words “war is coming,” to which I rolled my eyes and murmured “well of course it is.” The big, great war to save/destroy the world is an overused trope, I say. Doesn’t sound like you’re not writing one of those, though, so good on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think sometimes a subtle threat is way more interesting than the “end of the world.” There are also some other themes I want to explore and that’s tough to do if the characters are worried the world is going to end any minute!

      Liked by 1 person

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