Guess who's back with a brand new guide? Me, and I'm going to get a bit more specific. Today, I will tell you nothing about fantasy and how to write it. How nice am I? And, of course, this will involve all of the usual areas, including 'sue's and cliches. I will also talk you through the different types of fantasy, without saying anything helpful. That is how I do things.
This is typically the ones with dragons and faries. It is often set in other worlds, normally in a medieval type era. Usually it is of the 'hero's quest' plotline, involving the proagonist going on some sort of quest. The most common are looking for some magical artifact, trying to escape something, reach somewhere, or trying to to rescue someone. This is the most conventional form of fantasy, the least restricting due to an author's ability to bent the world they have created to their whim, and the easiest to form storylines for. However, it is also commonly done, so it is near impossible to come up with an orriginal high-fantasy story. The easiest way to get around this is to combine different aspects and areas so it resembles multiple things, rather than just looking like a cheap rip-off of one thing. The best know examples of high-fantasy are 'the inheritence cycle', 'lord of the rings' and 'the chronicles of Narnia'. I'll leave you to decide which are good and which are bad.
Also known as modern fantasy. This is easy to fit in with other genres, action/adventure and romance being the commonly done ones. Typically, all vampire romances fit this, except those set in the middle ages. Anything in a high school with monsters tends to fit it, too. This is an easily adaptable genre, and can fit in anywhere, but it is also very restricting. If a werewolf starting rampaging through London, ripping everybody limb from limb, people would notice. Such a thing would be too dificult to cover up, and the public would make an issue out of it. This is where many new authors go wrong. Now, as awesome a film as transformers is, the ending is illogical, as the amerrican government would not be able to cover up global destruction. (Transformers still rocks though). Then take Harry Potter, there is a whole system to stop muggles finding out. Only a small amount of non-magical beings know about magic, and most of them have magical relatives, so they aren't going to make an issue. The non-magical beings are not involved, none of them are killed by death-eaters, and the only real problem is when Harry blows up his aunt. They wipe her memory and get on with it; that would be a little difficult with the entire American population. Men-in-black mannaged it as they had an explanation before hand, they have the mind-wipey things, it makes sense that they have a giant one. The government couldn't afford to pay everyone to keep their mouths shut. Some of the best known examples of urban-fantasy are 'twilight' and 'Harry Potter'.
You really should have seen this one coming. Fantasy is a mary-sue hotspot, second only to romance. There is a reason for this. You see, a mary-sue can include various different types of characters. The big one being a character that's too good at something. But look at it this way, they need to be strong to win the fights, fast to escape, and smart to win. If they are an uber-arsehole the reader won't like them, so they have to be nice. So you have to give them intelligence, strengh and personallity. But on the bright side you're allowed to make them ugly. No, but seriously, don't make the characters perfect - unless they're elves - but they need to be good enough to get by. At the risk of being flamed for defending Paolini, if Eragon had been useless beyond measure, he would have been captured already. Considering the bad guy eradicated all the riders but two, I assume he's pretty tough. People complain because Eragon isn't useless, but if he were he would be too lucky not to have been caught and Paolini would get slagged off anyway. As I have always said with characters, if they fit, put them in there.
There is also wish fulfilment and self-inserts. Sorry to tell you, but all stories are wish fulfilment and all characters are self-inserts. That's part of being an author. Do you know how much I would love to be a bandit, or a dragon rider, or a con-artist? It's the same for most authors, except those trying pathetically hard and listening to the hypocrites in the forums. Same with self inserts. Every character shares a trait with the author. For example, one of my fics, there is four major characters so far. One bottles everything up for ages then suddenly blows up. One is stubborn and unruly and doesn't think before he acts. One over-analyses everything and seriously lacks people skills. One is a devoted and loyal friend. What do you get if you put them together? You get a stubborn, brainless geek with no interpersonal skills but loyalty to turn a dog green, who doesn't express themselve unless they're shouting at someone. You get me. It is all my differnt traits split up into different people. Which is what most authors do, just more subconsciously.
No. Anyone who likes Anti-sues should be shot. End of.
This normally consists of people hitting each other with sharp pointy things or throwing hexes at one-another. There is no need to describe what the air smells like and tastes like, this is an action scene, get to the butt-whuppin. A lot of these involve big armies or groups of people, though you do get a few one-on-ones. What you'll find with fight scenes is tgat if you're too vague they are dull but if you're too descriptive they're... also dull. It's a strange thing, action scenes, something I'm still working on. There isn't much advice I can give you really, beside just do your best.
This normally involves people either shooting one another or throwing hexes around. Though you do sometimes get sword-fights, too. This tends to be more one-on-one or small groups rather than large armies, though you do sometimes get full-scale wars. However, due to the common magic-is-a-secret situation, these can be difficult to pull off. But hey, if you can do it, why not?
Now, let me tell you, there are a lot of myths out there. You don't have to stick to conventional myths. There is nothing stopping you from combining different myths. You'll probably get slated for it, like Meyer combining half a dozen different vampire myths, but when have I ever told you to take flames seriously? There is also the option of coming up with your own creatures, races etc. Then you will either do really well, get called unique and original, and become very successful, or you will fail epically and most likely be accused of ripping off somebody elses work like Paolini with the urgles (although he kind of did). You don't have to research all of the ins and outs of a myth, in fact, Meyer did and she gets slated for it. You can if you want, and you'll look really smart and make me feel like a retard, and that'll probably feel good, but most people only know the hollywoodified version of myths anyway.
If you're setting it on earth in a particular time period, it helps to know what it was/is like. If you made a whole new land for your story, it doesn't matter a s*** and you can have people dropping nukes on pirate ships if you like. You'd probably get brownie points for originality.
If it can be used to kill someone, it is a weapon. Yes zombie lovers, that includes shovels. It is irrelevent how your characters fight, as long as they kick some ass. Whenever I write high-fantasy, I have archers as my main protagonists and surround them with swordsmen to stop them getting hacked to pieces. You can give characters whatever weapon you like as long as it makes sense. Heck, you don't have to give them one at all, it's your story.
And that is my non-helpfulness and not-so-good-deed for the day done. Aren't I great? It'll make me feel really good if you tell me I am.