What are your fantasy novel pet peeves?

The fantasy writer at Badgerish.net begins a post with this:

Sometimes the Fantasy genre (or any genre, I suppose) gets so caught up in trends that one can almost lose hope. Right now a certain sparse writing style seems to have preempted the delectable prose of writers like McKillip, Kushner and similar, let alone Tolkien. A lot of series are never-ending serials, often involving a magical detective, with writing that’s the equivalent of a one-two punch. Written in first person perspective with sarcastic voices, these books don’t usually have a lot of substance and just generally get on my nerves.

I gotta say, I share her aggravation at such things.

Here are some more of my fantasy-genre pet peeves:

  • Problems solved by time travel. Once time travel becomes possible, almost anything in a story can be fixed, and the suspense starts draining away.
  • Wizards who show up and know everything. (The Auralia Thread has a wizard who shows up and talks like he knows everything. Does he, though?)
  • Obvious allegory.
  • Dragons. Do something really new and worthwhile with them, or avoid them.
  • Stories that build to a big battle or showdown, unless the author’s got something really surprising to make it feel fresh and memorable.
  • Writing that, read aloud, has no trace of music in it.
  • One-dimensional villains.
  • Sequels that tell you the author doesn’t have a sense of the arc of his story. Sequels that tell you this will go on endlessly, so long as the author can milk it for money.

And by the way, I’m deeply grateful for everything else the aforementioned blogger has to say about Auralia’s Colors in that post.

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