How to Write a (cliche) Masterpiece

Everyone talks about not writing cliche stories. Not writing tropes or things everyone else does.

Want to go against the wind and do it anyway? Look no further.

If you apply everything in this article, you’re sure to have a *coughs* masterpiece.

Here goes everything:

Be obvious. No one is going to get some weird, thematically twisted religion or society. Make sure your good guys are based off Saxons, your villains are based off the Huns, and your evil religion smacks of the Catholic Church.

You need a chosen one and your chosen one needs to be the main character. Otherwise, who will care about them?

how to write a masterpiece of clichesYou also need a prophecy for the chosen one to follow down to the last detail. Full of lots of vague wording, it’s going to take your climatic events for your chosen one to figure out its actually been referring to some ideal he carries safe in his own heart, and it will only be at this moment that he realizes it even exists and is able to use it.

This will probably be because your chosen one hates the idea of being different and just wants to live a simple, lonely life back in his little village without any excitement. Because we all know everyone likes being the same as everyone else.

Don’t forget that your chosen one will also be better with the blade and the bow than your prince who has trained his whole life, despite having only practiced with wooden swords. He’ll have the added plus of being well-read and understanding politics and battle tactics with his unique perspective (again, better than all the older men who’ve done this their whole lives).

Whatever you do, make sure you add a strong sword woman. Or maybe an archeress. She doesn’t have to have character or a reason or motivation for knowing and being able to fight. She just has to represent her gender on the battlefield.

When it comes to fighting, for that matter, your chosen one and all the rest need to be battling for the whole world. Nothing small. Nothing personal. The bigger the danger the bigger the stakes, right?

Your chosen one is also going to be beautiful or rugged or handsome. Failing that, he will be a normal looking person with the strength of his character showing through his hearty, strong features. He’ll never be weak. Or ugly. Or crippled. Scars are fine, but not disabilities.

Your chosen one also needs to be involved in a love triangle with two different characters. And should spend the night before their climatic battle trying to decide who they like better.

On that note, your characters must never get married in the story. They might be able to marry at the end, or perhaps get betrothed. After that, no one really cares.

Planning the marriage whenever your characters want is probably easy since neither of your characters will have parents. They’ve grown up as orphans and if you review the cast you’ll find most of the others don’t have parents either. Because who needs them?

Back-stepping a little, there’s no need to worry about details when it comes to the climactic battle. Everyone knows it only takes one battle to win a war. Everyone also knows that all nations have standing armies of thousands of men, who can be summoned at a moment’s notice. And after the battle is over, someone will take care of the wounded. It’s nothing you have to worry about.

Unless the chosen one is wounded, in which case it will be in the shoulder and he’ll be fighting again in the next chapter. If it’s his love interest, she’ll almost die, then recover. If it’s the mentor, then he’s dead already.

Once your characters get into the climatic battles, make sure they have plenty of time to find the main villain, then let them talk to each other in the middle of a bitter fight to the death.

If your chosen one is using magic, he’ll probably have trouble with it through the book. The solution is simple. He just needs to feel the truth and rightness of his cause. If he wills it hard enough, the magic and power will follow. No need for training and no side-effects of the magic.

Finally, whatever you do, make sure your storyline can be boiled down to plot points that heavily resemble Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. You can’t go wrong.

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14 Comments

  1. That was hysterically awesome!!! 😂😂😂

  2. Ah man this is all so true! LOL
    Have you seen the YouTube Channel “Terrible Writing Advice”? You should check it out if you haven’t, about halfway through this post I was reading in his voice because the sarcastic tone was so similar. XD

    “Make sure your… evil religion smacks of the Catholic Church.”
    LOL This always turns me into a little ball of rage when I stumble upon this trope in fiction. I haven’t read His Dark Materials, (don’t ever plan to either) but I’m pretty sure Pullman’s most famous for using this trope.

    “Whatever you do, make sure you add a strong sword woman. Or maybe an archeress.”
    Bonus points if she IS the main character and/or chosen one!

    “If it’s the mentor, then he’s dead already.”
    Those mentor characters are too cool to live usually.

  3. So very true! Well put, Hope!

  4. This was so funny!! It reminded me of the old Kingdom Pen videos (loved those!)

  5. When I read “He just needs to feel the truth and rightness of his cause. If he wills it hard enough, the magic and power will follow. No need for training and no side-effects of the magic.”
    I immediately thought of The Force Awaken’s final battle scene between Rey and Ren….
    Hmm – I wonder why
    😉

    GREAT job on this post, Hope Ann!! You gave me the laugh I needed!

  6. “Unless the chosen one is wounded, in which case it will be in the shoulder and he’ll be fighting again in the next chapter. If it’s his love interest, she’ll almost die, then recover. If it’s the mentor, then he’s dead already.”

    😂😂😂

  7. As a Catholic, I can definitely say EVERY SINGLE MODERN MOVIE does the “evil church is Catholic” thing really hurts and NO ONE has publicly acknowledged this except here. THANK YOU!

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