A/N I'm upping the rating on this just 'cause of the sarcasm anda few other things. Hope it doesn't inconvience anyone.
The last, (admittedly brief) chapter of this highly informative treatise (if I may say so myself) has finally arrived. You are almost finished with your cliched masterpiece.
You already have a main character, a villain, a truly trite plot, and maybe even a few plot devices, if you're the creative sort. Now only one more thing is needed: secondary characters. You know who secondary characters are: those minor people who get killed in the first battle scene, or who add angst or drama to the plot. They may even be nothing more than the background characters who come and go throughout the story. You can really stick them in wherever you'd like. In this chapter we will take a brief look at possible secondary characters.
And as with many aspects of cliche fantasy, there are a few tried-and-true choices.
Elves are an absolute must. You probably know a little about them already. They always have pointed ears, live in the woods and shoot things with bows and arrows. Elvish secondary characters are highly encouraged, and are often close friends with the hero/heroine. To add a little spice, your elvish character may be disowned from the elvish community due to some evil deed, and can run around doing Stupid Things because he is trying to redeem himself. Elvish women have also long been a favorite choice of love interests for the brawny heros. After all, what brawny hero wouldn't appreciate a willowy, immortal blonde?
Demons and angels (not to be confused with angles), are also favorites. They are sure to spice up any otherwise dull story, especially if they are involved in love triangles. Demons and angels are invariably forbidden to fall in love with mortals, and invariably do, and demons, especially, make excellent angsty secondary characters.
Demon/Angel half-breeds are also sure to delight, never mind the theological repercussions. If you are attempting to write a more contemporary cliche, a demon/angel half-breed who is struggling with his/her heritage would even be an acceptable choice for a main character.
Unicorns are a perennial favorite. The traditionally cliche unicorns have horns and tails of spun gold, and can only be ridden by pure-hearted maidens (This is an excellent opportunity to indulge in risque innuendo. It's expected). Be sure to give your unicorn a proper name, like "Lightdancer" or "Rainbow Moon". Unicorns can provide excellent transportation when neither dragons nor horses are available.
There is also a new variety of cliche unicorn becoming very popular. These unicorns usually have inky black coats, and blazing red eyes. Their names include "avenger" tacked on at some point, and they are often outcasts who join the travels of the hero/heroine due to some bitter past they want to forget. Of course, some might think that these unicorns are supposed to be "evil", but because you are an educated author, and understand that such concepts as "evil" are really outdated, you will understand these so-called "dark" unicorns are actually as acceptable as "light" or "good" unicorns. It's all a matter of perspective.
Elementals must also be discussed, and in fact these secondary characters are so popular that they are rapidly becoming a valued main character, much like angel/demon halfbreeds. Elementals are people or beings that have control over one or more of the elements. This means you get to give them cool names like "rainblower" or "earthchild". The traditional elements are earth, air, fire and water. However, nothing is to stop you from adding your own elements, such as sunshine, flowers or happy bunnies. If you are writing cliche, and cannot decide which element you would like your elemental to have control over, it is encouraged to just make him/her a master of all of the elements, and to give him/her a name such as "Elemental adept", or "Mistress of the Elements". This is also useful because if your elemental has unlimited power, it can be used to rescue the hero/heroine from impossibly sticky situations, and no explanations at all will be necessary.
Of course, there are other secondary characters: everything from useless flunkeys to enchanted frogs, but we do not have time to deal with every single possibility. Use your imagination (within reason), and you will undoubtedly come up with other options.
And now, before you go, a few final words.
Now that you have been given all of the major plot elements for creating a cliche fantasy of truly mind-blowing proportions, there is still the matter of getting people to read what is so clearly the next masterpiece of the century. And we're not talking about the whiners who say "That sounded like a Tolkien rip-off, and furthermore, you can't spell." We're talking about real reviews, from people who will actually appreciate your genius. On fictionpress, there are a few special tricks you can employ.
The first thing to do is to pick an appropriate title. A good formula to follow when doing so is this: First, pick a long, unpronounceable name. Type it into the title box, and add a colon. Then type "Part one", "part two" etc. Then add another colon. Then type some appropriately soul-stirring subtitle, such as "The Journey Begins". The finished product should look something like "Zandhyvryhndas: Part One: Tears of the Sea".
Also, try to be as bland as possible when coming up with a summary. After all, you don't want to give anything away. Just tell your readers that your story is about a teenager who makes a startling discovery, and goes on a journey with her friends while struggling with her new-found powers. Everyone would love to read something like that, right?
And that's all! As you can see, writing a masterpiece isn't really that difficult. Just follow the simple steps outlined here, and before you know it, you'll be well on your way to fame and fortune.
And if you're not?
Well, in that case, you can write essays about how to write fantasy cliche, in order to help other poor innocents on their way.
A/N – Thanks, everyone who's taken the time to read and/or review this. I really appreciate it.
Dusk Has Fallen – (shhh) I think everyone has cliches in their stories. Everyone. Including me.
Kaptain K – NO! No dragons named Alf. It simply Isn't Allowed. Stop asking such ridiculous questions!
Celyn – Moles. I hadn't thought of that. Moles... hm...
DarkXasXnight – Pink squirrels? Quick! Lock up the peanut butter!
Naughty little munchkin – yes, actually, several people have threatened to write according to my guidelines. That would be very... interesting.
Hatrack – It's not cliche as long as it doesn't have a stupid name! Seriously though, the object being the impetus of the journey could be interesting, if it was handled well. Heck, even cliche can be interesting if it's handled well. If you don't like it, you can always change it later.
Jezriana2.0 – Well, it's probably been done before in some shape or form.
Katrina – I believe you're the second person to suggest it, lol.
Alianne of Pirate's Swoop – You wouldn't believe the cliche-ness of some of my stories. And no, as of yet, fantasy is the only category I've written one of these for.
BuffLie – I hope it's as fun to read as it is to write!
Hail the Warrior – why thank you. D
Kalayna – Lol, and here's your next chapter.
Brooke ORiely – I'm so glad that you enjoyed it!
Madienwarriour – did you really try the name thing? I bet you got some interesting results...
Malerie – Yes, I am so pleased with myself, I actually have finished this!
Sean Taylor – I've read quite a bit of cookie cutter fantasy, 'tis true.
Fiorenza – Lol, I've got several cliche characters running around too. Don't tell anyone.
Laraine-14 – thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Ratsorizzo – oh DARN. How could I forget the poor old Sensitive Effeminate Male Love Interest? For shame.
Tessabe – I'd be interested in seeing how it turned out!
Topsecret32 – well, don't take anything too seriously!