S&S: Phoenix Studios – Genre And Writing Tips

I’m keeping notes on this. See them below the vid. The one knock on this video is that it’s based on pop movies more than literature.


Descrip: Today we’re tackling the subgenre where the first rockstars of fantasy fiction were born…Sword and Sorcery!


Underdogs, dark atmosphere, brutal violence… This describes a lot of my fiction already. Sweet! The narrator references Beowulf and the Epic Of Gilgamesh.

General Tropes:

  1. Protagonists are bad-ass.
  2. Antagonists are cookie cutter bad guys.
  3. Supporting cast usually includes lancer, lovable rogue and / or mentor. Also non-human companions, animal familiars.
  4. Setting is minimal, soft magic system, focus on physical action instead of exposition. Strong virility component.

Examples: Kull The Conqueror, Deathstalker, Barbarian Queen, Beastmaster. Also Conan, Red Sonja, Elric of Melnibone, He-Man, She-Ra. Others are mentioned, but they’re meh.

Related sub-genres are Sword And Sandal, Wuxia.

TV Tropes Sword And Sorcery page.

TV Tropes How To Write Heroic Fantasy page.

Their recommendations: include magic, heavy world-builidng, reckless, selfish hero. Keep magic consistent and topography real-world.

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