Ooh, such a good thread!
So fantasy is one of my all time favorite genres! I still re-read the series that got me into fantasy even all these years later. Let’s see here… some of my favorite and least favorite.
- The Fool and the Fool’s journey.
I don’t know if this phrase sounds familiar, but one of my favorite things is what is considered a Fool’s arc. It’s how the hero starts off this… we’ll call them a noob for lack of better word at the moment, and knows nothing and understands nothing of what’s going on. The series or book is the hero’s journey to reach a better state of being. It’s just like the Tarot Card named the Fool. In tarot, the Fool is Major Arcana 0 and the rest of the major arcana cards are the Fool’s journey until he reaches XX, which is called the World, where the Fool has gone on this wordly journey and has come out wiser and better for it after all of the trials and tribulations.
- Well thought out Fantasy races
When somebody takes the time to create a race and give them culture and history and makes the creatures/people of that race these wonderful additions, there’s nothing I love more. While cookie cutter races are something that don’t impress me, I do love well fleshed out ones. Especially in a beautiful, fleshed out world of their making. Eugh, I get so excited just thinking about! Let’s see some new elves, dwarves, sprites, creatures of whatever your design! I’m ready for them!
I LOVE stories where witches are the main characters, I just love witches in general, especially when the story has a well fleshed out system of magic. I like it when the witches are actually good guys and are just bad-ass heroes in general. I do have to say, however, that I can be picky when it comes to my witch stories. I look for specific magic systems and story plots.
- Black and white Good vs. Evil
I don’t like it when the good guy is just GOOD and the bad guy is just straight up BAD. Where there is no in between and it’s this battle where they fight JUST because one is supposed to be good and the other HAS to be bad. WHY does the villain do bad things? Why are they fighting? What does the villain hope to achieve? Why does the hero judge and dislike the villain so much? I often like it when the characters are more grey and there is more depth to the conflict other than the fact that they HAVE to fight because one is good and one is evil.
Okay, so this one definitely deserves a little more explanation. I don’t detest prophecy cliches, but they have to be done in a certain way for me to not my roll my eyes at this point. Usually, the prophecies, for me, just rule over too much of a story. It’s a tool a writer can use so they can be lazy and not find their way around easy plot holes or issues. “Oh! They can’t do that because of the prophecy, or they HAVE to do that because of the prophecy!” This cliche can definitely be spiced up to be interesting, but that doesn’t happen enough for my liking.
- Magic without a system/all powerful magic
When author’s have a magic system that is just TOO powerful. Where they put no thought into it, just that they want it to move their story forward. Magic can be a wonderfully complex and amazing system if you take the time to flesh it out! I LOVE magic in stories, but it needs to have some sort of system. It shouldn’t be that everything is available to you at the snap of your fingers. Which brings me to my next point.
- Chosen Ones with TOO much power.
While I typically don’t mind Chosen One stories, I usually have to turn away when they’re way too overpowered. WHY does your hero have to be able to do everything and be better than everyone at everything? Even those who have studied magic or sword play or whatever years and years longer than the hero? Give the hero weaknesses! Don’t be afraid to make them struggle and work for it BECAUSE they’re not the best at everything. They’re allowed to be talented, but they can’t automatically be a pro at everything they touch.
I might have more at a later date, but this is all I can think of for now!