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May 11th, 2007, 03:29 PM
There is of course (as always) no right or wrong answer. Just looking for random and general opinions.

I've been recently opening myself up much more to what's out there and being so closed for so long makes it difficult for me in my writing to know whether i'm using something that's too overused or straight out biting off of another accidentally.

So a few questions. Is kidnapping royalty overused??? Or how about a basic modern day murder mystery taken back to a complete fantasy element??

Are these things or anything close to them just beaten to death by now and not worth diving into?? Thanks in advance for the feedback.

James Carmack
May 12th, 2007, 01:07 AM
It's not the what that's important. It's how, the why. "Nihil novum sub solis." There is nothing new under the sun. Any what you can think of has been done time and time again. How you use the what, that's what'll compel people to read your stuff. Why the what happens, that's what'll keep 'em talking afterward. It's all in the execution.

May 12th, 2007, 09:12 AM
I'll second James' comment.

Some advice that I've read and heard from many different sources:
The vast majority of successful authors are avid readers, both within their own genre and outside of it.

The best way to know whether something is cliche, or overused, is to read what's current and hot in the market you're gunning for.

That being said, the kidnapping of royalty occurs with reasonable frequency in the fantasy stories that I've read. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that ransoming nobility was a pretty common thing in medieval feudal systems - that was just the way things worked. As for murder mystery, I'm sure it's been done, although I haven't read anything like it. (Although I have read some stuff where suspense is generated with a little mystery.) I do know that "dwarf private investigators" and the like are high on the rejection list of many short story fantasy publishers.

James Carmack
May 12th, 2007, 08:23 PM
I would so read "Thromburn, PI". He's a private eye... with a battleaxe. Yes. ^o^