It’s Fantasy month! October is my two favorite things: spooky season and fantasy. So I thought why not talk about my favorite fantasy tropes (as a writer and as a reader).
The classic hero’s journey is the standard fantasy trope and honestly, it’s something I love. It’s just something cozy and familiar to myself. It was something I grew up with and fell in love with early. It is the formulaic way a story is done in fantasy. There is an incident, a journey, and then the resolution. It is basically the foundation to most fantasy stories. A good foundation allows for a writer to create a fantastic story.
Listen don’t judge me but half the reason I love fantasy is because of dragons. I don’t know what else to tell you. Dragons are just fun. They are large creatures than can be evil or can be kind. I love playing Dungeons and Dragons because of the dragons. Skyrim is so popular because of dragons! It’s a huge part of fantasy and I love it.
The other half of why I love fantasy? It’s magic. It is so fun to see how magic can be used to create worlds, create conflict, and create character growth. I loved magic long before Harry Potter and loved reading so many books with young magic users.
Good vs Evil
This is another classic trope with fantasy. It can be done poorly just like the Hero’s Journey but it’s a great foundation for any fantasy story. The good versus evil can be seen in most YA fantasy. It is the standard conflict. The evil wizard and the young apprentice pitted against each other.
The Reluctant Hero
This is not a standard or foundational trope but is used frequently. The hero that is thrusted into doing the journey against their will is one of my favorite tropes for a hero. It can be a perfect place to have an anti-hero. It’s perfect to drop a more relatable character into the main spotlight. I doubt many of us want to be the hero to fight a dragon…but if we are forced to, could we do it? That’s something I love to read.
And those are my favorite fantasy tropes. Fantasy has a lot of formulaic tropes and I tend to love a lot of those. A trope being good isn’t just by being a trope, but how it is applied.
Let me know in the comments below what books you’ve read that have applied these tropes well and which tropes are your favorite.