Heroic fantasy owes a great deal to the ancient myths, legends, and traditional folktales, from which are derived themes, plot structures, even characters and settings. Once youre aware of character type, youll find yourself noticing it more and more in what you read and watch. Here are the most common types of characters found in fantasy writing. And to me, a heavy dose of any of these three types of characters often ruins an otherwise perfectly good book. Roleplay gaming and fantasy novels have gone handinhand for most of their existence, but its a. The types of firearm we see in fiction tend to be mapped pretty directly to melee weapons a shotgun, for example, tends to be written with the same personality as an axe this may be useful information when deciding on the fantasy variants you want to include in your story. Stock stock characters are those types of characters who have become conventional or stereotypical through repeated use in particular types of stories.
Some of the most famous examples of fantasy fiction are the chronicles of narnia, the lord of the rings, his dark materials which begins with the golden compass, and the wizard of earthsea collections. Dungeons and dragons, easily the most successful early rpg, is the trope codifier. While its important for your characters to be individuals, if your character is reminiscent of others in the same genre it may not be a bad thing, just as long as theyre not a carbon copy. Even when conjured characters inhabit a recognizable world and speak to the human condition, fictional stories can pull readers out of their own heads. Often, writers of fantasy fiction devote a series of books to the same world or characters. Many of the books written involve generic characters, as described earlier, but others include multifaceted and complex individuals. This category is for fictional characters in written fantasy. For many readers, literary fiction provides desperately needed escapism so they can endure the difficulties of everyday life. Not every story will include every type of character. This category has the following 47 subcategories, out of 47 total.
Take a look at the results from a recent poll about the top fantasy characters of all time. The oldest type of game system was mostly used in speculative fiction medieval european fantasy settings that were heavily based on the works of jrr tolkien, jack vance, and the 1930s conan the barbarian pulps. Protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, mentors and love interests may seem like stock characters of fantasy fiction, but they are also the blueprints for welldeveloped, complex characters that readers will fall in love with and follow throughout quests, battles and potentially worlddestroying conflicts. You can then use this awareness to study that character and see what elements you can use in your own writing.
But there are some types of characters that every story must have. However, these tales are popular, as authors throughout history have written them. As with any novel, its often the characters in fantasy fiction that truly get. Anthony ryan on naming fantasy charactersand making sure. Knowing what role your characters play in your story helps you to refine your plot, choose your. The heroes of fantasy learn about some of the top heroes in fantasy also find one by theme such as assassin, wizard, antihero or orphan turned hero. Characters in fantasy novels have progressed since the days of frank baum and lewis carroll.
I only included one book per series usually the first book because i know my fantasy readers and i know how hard it is for us to read out of order, and i picked only. All you have to do is scour the page of 300 unique, original fantasy names and keep this list a reference while you write that fandomworthy novel of yours. Fantasy character classes all the tropes wiki fandom. A class is one of the most important choices a player can make, although many game systems allow. Each and every one of them has a job to do and they need to do it well. Whatever your story, it must resonate with some kind of magic to fit into the category of. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games. Note that the harry potter series also qualifies as fantasy fiction, even though the books take. The best inside information and resources for writers of any genre and readers of young adult fiction, including secrets from popular authors, tips, howto advice, and indepth articles, plus giveaways, contests, literary agent and editor insight and much more. Characters those appear in this kind of fiction are fantasy characters. Modern fantasy usually stars a likable protagonist and their struggle between good and evil or right and wrong. If you love to read literature, especially fiction stories and novels of if you are an aspiring fiction writer, you would be knowing about some basic character types, i. Apart from the basic types, there are confidante character, foil character, round character, stock character, and a villain. Most stories outside of fantasy and scifi dont have mentors, for example.
It doesnt matter if theyre a minor character, a main character, or secondary. Fantastical settings, creatures, powers, and situations are often found in fantasy fiction, whether it is a modern story or one set in an ancient land. Untethered from scientific and societal laws, and limited. There is no fantasy story without a hero and a quest that needs undertaking. I have to admit that ive been reading some ian fleming lately i know, i know not related to fantasy, and its piqued my interest in. Modern fantasy is distinguished from other genres by story elements that viloate the natural, physical laws of our world. There are more types than these basic ones and they have their unique characteristics. The four types of characters refer to the way a character changes throughout a story.
As a writer or reader of fiction, youll encounter many types of characters. The hero is the single most important character in any fantasy storythey must undertake the quest and defeat the villain. Does anyone know of any books that revolve around spying or secret agents within the fantasy genre. Lewis, 1950, the book of three lloyd alexander, 1964, the hero and the crown robin mckinley, 1985. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy literature and drama. Over the years fantasy books have featured many a surrogate gandalf, frodo or aragorn, sometimes to good effect, sometimes not.
The above types of books can be further divided into many subcategories and each of these subcategories is a genre. The types of characters encountered in fiction writing. Less a fantasy series and more a complex dedication to worldbuilding. This effect is even more pronounced in the fantasy genre. Fantasy is generally distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of scientific and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three, all of which are subgenres of speculative fiction. Thats how it was compiled and how the order of books is determined and updated. That being said, these characters pop up so often i am beginning to think there is some english lit 101 class ive missed out on that all fantasyscifi writers attend and learn how to write these people. But at the end of the day, most fantasy and scifi books are really. However, these tales were original and written by known authors. The characters in fantasy writing give the reader someone to root for. Fantasy fiction is a literary genre that includes stories that deal with characters or events that do not exist in the world as we know it. Fantasy is such an established genre, and one of the most popular on goodreads, so older books have a distinct advantage over newer books.
He also manages several blogs, including the writers handbook blog. Walk into any book store, and you will find shelves and shelves of fantasy books. We will discuss the different genres of books under fiction and nonfiction categories. Finding a succinct list of the most notable ones particularly a list with definitions and examples is not always straightforward. From round characters and flat characters to stock characters and protagonists, all characters have their place. Modern fantasy on the shelvesbooks for children by. Award winning childrens fantasy books awards are a sure fire way to find the best books in childrens fantasy.
As a writer, you may want to avoid or handle some of these character types delicately. There are some types of characters that every story must have. Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, andor setting. But the more youre aware of the different character types, the more you can make a better informed decision about which character. Finding these kinds of characters in multiple fantasy books is like seeing the exact same cast of characters playing the same roles in. When we talk about stereotypical characters in fantasy, were referring to archetypes of the genre that is, predictable, recurrent character types and traits. What are some unrepresented character typesplotlinesoccupations. Martins arya stark, to locke lamora of scott lynchs gentleman bastards.
I dont see as colorful an array of painstakingly produced personages in other forms of literature that i see in fantasy fiction. With the different terms floating around out there it can be easy to confuse or overlook key subgenres. Protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, mentors and love interests may seem like stock characters of fantasy fiction, but they are also the blueprints. If you receive critiques telling you that your character is flat. Strong characters are important to fantasy fiction for many reasons. Here are a few examples of stereotypical character types that have been overdone in fantasy. I have noticed a distressing trend that characters in ya novels or movies must either be homosexuallesbian, bisexual, have tourettes syndrome or autism, be an ethnic minority, or have some truly godawful psychological problem, such as being bi. Fantasy is distinguished from the genres of science. There are a lot of types, but here are the 9 types of characters in fiction. Do you know how many characters types are there in literature. Stories in this genre include such elements as talking animals, imaginary worlds, fanciful charachers, and magical beings. Fantasy often tells the story of events on a grand scale, and having characters. He is series editor of the new writers handbook, an awardwinning annual anthology on literary craft and career development, and is author of several books himself, including a guide to fantasy literature 2009.
What types of characters do we need more of in ya novels. There are four types of characters in fiction as the question states. Everything you need to know about writing fantasy weapons. Fantasy fiction is full of compelling characterssome of whom wed love. Theres a wide range of different types of characters here, from death in terry pratchetts discworld series, to george r. Fantasy is generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of technological and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three collectively known as speculative fiction or science fiction. The sword of truth series is 14 books, all of which are designed to be standalone stories, totally independent from the. The chosen one a main character who is prophesied or destined to fulfil some great purpose.1034 1331 1147 87 86 863 1241 1534 172 867 1597 1224 1238 111 1255 1006 430 563 1592 664 1524 1087 252 995 778 1289 407 596 1251 931 1569 1449 1487 1371 816 1120 177 1219 1076 1141 1442 614 432 113 168