Stereotypes

I just plain don’t like stereotypes, except for playing with them.

In a lot of fantasy books, you find stereotypes. There are exceptions, but these are what you are more likely than not to find in most fantasy novels:

  • There’s often a young able-bodied  wizard who’s just learning about magic and the world.
  • There’s usually the older wizard who serves as mentor and father figure.
  • If there’s a thief, he’s either young or in his prime.
  • Any person swinging a sword is far more likely to be male than female.

As I said, I like playing with stereotypes, so my current cast of heroes includes:

  • The mage I mentioned yesterday, who is disabled, in his fourth decade, and knows a lot about magic, but is naive about the world at large.
  • The main sword is female, and is streetwise but doesn’t know a lot about magic.
  • There’s a thief, but he’s a con-man as opposed to a street thief, and he’s at the point in life that his skills are starting to deteriorate.

Hardly the usual fantasy characters, but I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring them and the interactions between them. Hopefully my readers will find that the non-stereotypical characters I’m working with bring a fresh new perspective, one that they will enjoy as much as I am. If not, well, at least I tried.

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7 Comments

Filed under Writing

7 responses to “Stereotypes

  1. Messing with stereotypes is always fun. Have you ever looked at the Evil Overlord list? (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html) It’s always good for a laugh, as well as pointing out a few ideas that may be getting stale.

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