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A quiz to determine if your book is Cliche.

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Aegrus, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Aegrus

    Aegrus Scribe


    Click this link to go to a quiz which, as the title says, will tell you where your fantasy plot ranks. I saw it in another post, but decided it deserved its own thread.

    It's not perfect, but it covers a pretty good range of things. Remember: answer honestly. You're not helping yourself if you cheat. :)

    I got a 0-25% cliche level. I couldn't believe it. I kept dreading getting something like 70% or above.
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Ok...had to run this through a number of my stories:

    'Falling Towers' - 0-25% cliche' (about half finished)

    'Labyrinth' - 50 -75% cliche ('done', but slated for a major rewrite/expansion)

    'Shadow Sea' - 0 -25% cliche (been about a quarter of the way done for about a dozen years now)

    'Empire' - 75 -100 cliche (current project, most of the way through the first draft - yeeouch!)

    Most of the questions and their possible answers were not all that relevant to my tales.

    'Falling Towers' is a grand 'political epic'; not so much good guys and bad guys as it is deals and feuds between powers that are fading and powers that are arising. Makes answering the 'villian' questions difficult. There is some romance, but its not a major focal point, hence most of those questions are irrelevant. Falling Towers is set on another world from most of my other stories, though there are 'casual links' between the two (same monsters, that sort of thing).

    'Labyrinth', I will admit is a straight forward adventure tale. The protagonist is on a quest for a family heirloom that was secreted away in a continent sized maze generations ago. He does have family and marital issues (he's maried, but his wife is 'at home', so he strays a couple times. As to the villian...yes, there are a number of 'evil' creatures that call the maze home (as well as many benevolent ones, and quite a few that are simply 'different'). But the main obstical or villian is the maze itself, which simply 'is'. I am surprised it rated that high on the cliche meter, and figure it should have been a little lower.

    'Shadow Sea' is another straightforward adventure tale, set at the beginning of a devastating war which forms the backdrop for many of my stories. The protagonist is a refugee military officer in an arranged marriage which surprisingly enough was working out fairly well. Much of the story revolves around his actions to find his wife (she was separated from him in a storm at sea) and get back to the empire to stand up for god and emperor. Along the way, he encounters a number of evil foes. This is the one I would have thought would have scored fairly high on the cliche scale, because it has a lot of stock elements.

    'Empire' is set in the empire, in the aftermath of the war that is just beginning in 'Shadow Sea'. The idea was to visit the empire 'in depth', since most of my other empire stories are actually set either outside the empire or at its fringes. The main character is a young noblewoman and her companions (veterans of that war) who act as roving troubleshooters for a very wealthy merchant (normally trying to get deals on road tolls, investigate problems with suppliers, ect), turning up all sorts of dsturbing things just below the surface...even as the empire is undergoing major social turmoil at the same time. Now...tjhere are cliche elements here...but...the protagonist doesn't have a central love interest, many of the other characters are married with varying degrees of happiness, and the real villian only makes a couple of appearances.
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Mine has 0-25%, which doesn't surprise me given the nature of the story.

    That said, this sort of thing really isn't that valuable because any of these familiar elements can be used effectively by an author who knows what she is doing and writes a compelling story. So, while quizzes like this are fun, I would not recommend that anyone change any aspect of their story based on the results of an online quiz like this. In the hands of a capable writer, a story with a high score could be quite good, while in the hands of an unskilled writer a story with 0% cliche in this quiz could still suck.
  4. Aegrus

    Aegrus Scribe

    I agree completely. The quiz is flawed in nature, so while it is fun to take (which is why I posted about it,) I advise people to take it with a grain of salt.
  5. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

    Hmmm 25-50%... I know that can't be right ROFL. But, it was fun anyhow.
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Yeah, they're fun :)
  7. Haha, 50-75% for my draft. Okay Aidan, have to think now. Great quiz cheers.
  8. ScipioSmith

    ScipioSmith Sage

    I got 50-75% too, but I probably won't make too many changes. At the moment the plot clicks in my mind; changing things that would lower my score would ruin it I think.
  9. Ghost

    Ghost Inkling

    I'm going to study before the quiz. I aim to score 100%.
  10. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

    I got the 0-25% but really, with only four apparent score divisions, it wasn't that hard, just don't tick anything.

    Sent from my Blade using Forum Runner
  11. W.k. Trail

    W.k. Trail Scribe

    My story, The Vampire's Daughter, scored 25-50%. It uses a lot of standard fantasy elements in strange ways, and while I definitely don't want to be the guy screaming "NO IT'S THE TEST THAT'S WRONG," it does illustrate that these tests are a lot more useful for proving a point against works that you're already suspicious of.

    You know, like when your friend writes a story that is incredibly hackneyed and stale and you have to shoot it down without making the friend mad at YOU.
  12. terence.soule

    terence.soule Dreamer

    My novel 'The Seventh Bridge' scored well - low. I think the mix of horror and fantasy helped, but it also seemed pretty easy to tell which answers were going to score high or low and (subconsciously?) avoid them.

    [email protected]
    The Seventh Bridge
  13. mythique890

    mythique890 Sage

    I scored 50-75% on both of my stories. What's the secret to passing this thing, ha ha? Oh, well. Neither story is actually finished and like others have said, I believe it's in the way you put things together. Harry Potter probably would've scored in the 75-100% range, and I bet J.K. Rowling isn't complaining about how things turned out for her!

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