Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fantasy Trope Quiz

Writing Unique Fantasy

In a sub-genre of Urban, Epic, Chosen One, Quest, Paranormal, Euro-centric, Contemporary, Otherworldly

About Demons, Angels, Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, Magicians, Sorcerers, Witches, Warlocks.

When the main character is non-human or half-n-half (like coffee creamer).

And the secondary character is a hot human, non-human, or half-n-half.

And the villain is an insane, megalomaniacal, just-plain-evil, human, non-human, or half-n-half.

Class, your assignment is to provide a few more subgenres. Also, name some additional Abouts, main character types, secondary character types, and villain types.

When the list is complete, look it over and write some kind of fantasy that does not fit in ALL of the lists above. That is each instance when your fantasy has a different item than those listed above, you score 0 trope points. Score 1/2 or 1 trope point for those that match or pretty closely match.

Provide the title, author, and a link with the Trope Score in a comment.

Extra Credit: Explain how the book that claims not to use the same old tropes still uses the same old tropes.

Can we come up with even one absolutely unique fantasy book?

I'll give this a stab with Setara's Genie:

Subgenre: It's closest to Quest, but since there aren't any quests for magical items or imprisoned princesses, I'll have to call my subgenre silly. Still, given the legendary status of 1001 Arabian Nights, I'm going to have to score 1 trope point.

Main Character: Setara's a plain old human being with no magical powers of her own. She's a lucky gal, though, to have a lot of magical friends, but that won't count in the MC category. Yea! No trope point here. 0 trope points.

Secondary Character: Basit is a full-fledged genie, which has been used, but I don't think it's reached the trope status. I'd say 1/2 trope point since genies are fairly rare secondary characters. More likely, they're a villain since that's what they are in mythological terms. Other secondaries include demons, flying horses, a historical figure, and a merboy, I'll take that extra 1/2 point. 1 trope point.

Villain: There are several villains, but other than a bunch of pirates, the only real villainous villain is another genie. He is really evil, however, so score 1 trope point.

Total: Three Trope Points.

How does your fantasy rank?


  1. First, a new theme trope: Entering a magical parallel world. Now I'll try it out for LOST IN LEXICON.

    It's a combination of Entering a Magical World and Quest. The quest is not for jewels or magic. It's a quest for missing children. 1 trope point.

    Main character: two of them, Daphne and Ivan, both ordinary 13-year-old humans. 0 trope points.

    Secondary character: Well, there are a bunch of them, most of them non-magic. But there is Emily the Thesaurus, a beast who whispers suggestions for the word you're seeking. No dragons, wizards, vampires, fairies. 1/3 trope point.

    Villain: There are a few villains in the story, but on the whole, they're misguided rather than deeply evil.
    0 trope points.

    So the total for Lost in Lexicon is 1 1/3.


    As for THE ICE CASTLE, the villain is more evil (still human), the quest story is less clear (but the"entering a magical land" trope is at the forefront) and there are fewer magical beings, so the total trope score is 2.

  2. Thanks for playing, Penny. It looks like you have an almost unique fantasy (since unique, as Emily knows, means absolutely one of a kind).

    You win a free ebook of your choice. I'll email you to get your preferences.

  3. hey. seems very interesting activity. would like to know more.

    Quizzes for Fun