Practical Guide For All Writers.  Keeping Cliche-Free And Original.

Here in part two, we are looking at Fantasy Dragons, and there history.

First, we have dragons.  Now we all agree that dragons are AWESOME but, they are cliched.  I'm terribly sorry to say it, but if dragons in your book, you made it a step more cliched.

Look how many books have dragons in them.  The list is almost as lengthy as how many High Fantasy books there are.

And not only that, but in just about every single nation, there were legends of these mythical creatures - what we now call dragons.

This diverse and eclectically known (Princess Writer... ahem :P) creature was used in Japanese legends, Norse legends, Greek mythology - even the Native Americans, a continent away, had ancient drawings of seven headed dragons.

Originally, a dragon was the Devil.  No one liked dragons - they were hated and feared - but they certainly were famous.

In medieval days, an idea in Germany circled around that if you bathed in dragon's blood, you would become immortal.

I have only read about 2 of the German legends, but they are very interesting.  I also HIGHLY recommend a book called 'Story of the Nations.  Germany.' It is a part of a long series about several different nations, published in 1896, so it's hard to get, but worth the effort.

But why are dragons so popular now?

To some extent, it was because dragons have always captured the minds of the people.  Tolkien surely revived the fantastical idea of dragons, creatures like Smaug are unforgettable.

And in recent years, authors have popularized dragons.  Christopher Poalini comes to my mind first.

As you can see though, dragons are cliche.  At least how people imagine them now.

So what can you to make a dragon NOT cliche?  Well, make them different.  Dragons these days are noble and proud, almost all of them are that way.  So why not change it?

Doing extreme and exotic things is always an option with fantasy...

~The WordWeaver

P.S.  There is so many comments and I can't respond to them all today... sorry!  I was going to something that is really important today, but I was only able to write this up... even though all I have to do was move it to this computer and paste it... :P
A Practical Guide For All Writers.  Keeping Cliche-Free And Original.

I shall be posting a series of at least 3-6 posts on originality and cliches that - especially young writers - often get caught up in.  Now I'm not saying I've mastered this area, but I do know these things, and I shall share them for your benefit!  So, here it is!

Every good fictional or non-fiction piece of work has a plot - believe me, even soap-operas do, but that's about as low as you can get.

Often times though, the plots that we come up with are unoriginal.  Obviously, inspiration is what sparked it, and inspiration it good!  But there's a clear line between inspiration, and so much inspiration that it no longer is inspiration and turns out to be either plain copying, or just flat out cliche.

Now, I will not spare you the hard truth, your writing - undoubtedly - has or was inspired by something, whether or not it was too much inspired, well, you'll have to figure that out for yourself.  What I'm saying though, is that we all take off thing from others.

Since J.R.R. Tolkien published the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the genre of High Fantasy has never been the same.

After J.K. Rowling published her series, the genre was impacted.

When George Lucas released the Star Wars Saga, the Science-Fiction genre was entirely overhauled.

Yet, J.R.R. Tolkien wasn't entirely original.  No, in fact, he reaped a MASSIVE amount of inspiration (and really just took) from the legends of Finland, the Norse, the Anglo-Saxons.  You see, he was NOT original.

J.K. Rowling too, used an exponential amount of legends - primarily that of Witch-craft and the sort.

George Lucas himself said he was greatly inspired from Flash Gordon.

And the first humans undoubtedly got inspiration from God's creation and the nature around them.

So you see, no one, absolutely no one, is completely original.

But that's okay.

Being original won't get you published in and of itself - don't get me wrong though, it will help greatly.

Moving On.

So now that I've covered that, I'll let you in on one cliche that nearly every Sci-Fi writer falls into.

A mixture of world terror and romance.

Number 1, why does there have to be romance?  Sure, people may be looking for companions because they're scared, but does that really have to get into romance???  The answer, no.  Because do you really think, if the world is seemingly about to explode, people would go get married in the dozens?  No, they wouldn't.  At least I sure wouldn't. There's far more greater things to worry about, like, well, just from the top of my mind we'll say, SAVING THE WORLD, duh.

Certainly, some people would be doing that, but that writing tactic is cliche and boring.

I'm not saying you can't have the two, but having the two combined is overused.

Now it comes to world terror.  Why does it always have to be aliens?  Okay fine, if it's not aliens it's mind-control, if it's not mind-control it's a dictator who just invented an army of robots who will destroy the world.

Woopidy doo, I've seen it a millions times already, I KNOW what I'm going to get out of this book (or movie) - boredom.

What really annoys me, though, is when Science-Fiction is over fictionalized.  For instance, aliens coming in saucer spaceships.

A round ship couldn't even fly, nor would it be arrow-dynamic.  Yes,  fiction is cool, but Science-Fiction should be what it tells us it is - Science, mixed with fiction, not fiction mixed with fantasy.

~The WordWeaver