What do you think of the hero’s journey plotline and, specifically, the cliches associated with it such as “the farmboy becoming the hero”? Or the inclusion of “destined heroes” and “prophecies”? Do you think the concept has become more and more difficult to make fresh or is there still potential in using this very popular trope?
For me, it’s all in how you approach it. I’m reading the Dragonships of Vindrash series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and they have a prophecy of sorts. I don’t mind it at all. They don’t harp on it. We understand the main character is supposed to do something great and they focus on his journey, rather than the prophecy, or his destiny to help save the gods. If writers decide to include a prophecy or a destiny, don’t beat the reader over the head with it. Use it as you would foreshadowing. Give the reader a taste and let them salivate for a while until giving them the whole meal. Just one guy’s opinion anyway.
True. I hate it when writers chock everything up to prophecy. Then again, it is also used (as an advantage or lazy writing, I’ve heard both sides) to bring the hero out of his normal environment and into the meat of the plot.