Top Ten Tuesday

Contemporary Elements I Want To See More Of In Fantasy {Top Ten Tuesday}

180807 Contemporary Elements I Want More Of

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Welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!

Today’s topic is a super fun one, but honestly also one I struggled with, because  my creative well is a little dry at the moment and also because when faced with this topic I suddenly forgot about every single book I’ve ever read. But since I did want to post something today, I decided to tweak it just a bit and talk about some elements or tropes that are most often used in contemporary books, that I want to see more of in fantasy. Because I already love these things, so imagine if you add dragons and magic to the mix!

Pen pal romance

 Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I love me some penpal romances, but I hardly ever see them in fantasy. But what about a penpal romance set at Hogwarts? Or a penpal romance where the heroine’s mystery pen pal turns out to be the misunderstood and lonely reformed villain?


Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Honestly, I think we could use more asexuality in ALL genres, but I am definitely here for a magical fantasy where the hero(ine) comes to terms with his/her asexuality while saving the world at the same time.

Mental health

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde a-quiet-kind-of-thunder-by-sara-barnard

Admittedly, we are slowly getting more and more of mental health rep in all genres. But that doesn’t have to mean I can’t still want more!

Love triangles but with an LGBTQIA+ element


Okay, hear me out. I know love triangles are one of the most hated tropes out there. And for a good reason. But every single crappy love triangle has also been overwhelmingly straight. Add some LGBTQIA+ rep in the mix, and an overused trope has the potential to be fresh and new again.

Career Stuff Is Important Too

Roomies by Christina Lauren When It's Real by Erin Watt

Seriously, why can’t fantasy characters worry about their careers too? Like, Harry Potter graduating and wondering which career is the best fit for him? Or Feyre having some self-confidence issues as to whether or not she could perform the task of High Lady or if she’d not rather become a full-time artist? Anything career wise is just so welcome.

Introverted, Homebody Main Character

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Why do all fantasy heros and heroines have to be so badass, extraverted, sassy and adventerous? I want the homebody hero, who saves the world and invites you over to celebrate with homemade cake while showing their scrapbook of their journey. I mean, the introverted hero can be just as badass!

Tell Me:
What is a commonly used contemporary element you’d love to see more of in other genres?


  1. Fun tweaks, Lindsey! Loved reading this. I’m all about the Pen Pal romance, and like the idea of an “INTROVERTED, HOMEBODY MAIN CHARACTER” in more novels, especially when it comes to fantasy. They are all kick-butt. It’s a thing. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rissi! Yeah, the introverted, homebody characters are most definitely kick-butt and nobody can convince us otherwise 😀

  2. Mental health *nods* Yes more please! And I love the idea of penpal romances- would definitely be all for more of that. Your ideas sound fun!

    And yes introverted, homebody MC’s. So much yes.

    1. Thanks so much! I’d love more penpal romances for sure 🙂

  3. Your ideas are super interesting. I love the mental health one and totally agree that it needs more reps. Great list!
    Amber ♥ The Book Bratz
    My TTT!

    1. Thanks so much!

  4. I also adapted the prompt this week. I agree with you that it would be great to see these elements in the fantasy genre!

    1. Thanks! Yeah it definitely was a tricky prompt 🙂

  5. Wonderful ideas. I hope some fantasy author will read this post and take these ideas and run with them.

    1. That would be amazing 🙂

  6. Lindsey! I’m finally back by your blog again. July was such a crazy one for me so I didn’t get around to ANY of the catching up. Gah! However I’m hoping August will be so much better!

    I’m sorry you’re feeling a bit of slump creativity wise. I hope you are feeling better now?

    Asexuality in books is something I’ve seen a bit of in the YA fantasy world actually. Island of Exiles is coming to mind first and foremost in this category, but also Mask of Shadows/Ruin of Stars although Ruin of Stars wasn’t a hit for me.

    Introverted hero makes me think of Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer. 🙂

    I don’t generally read contemporaries so I’m failing on the Q front, sorry! 🙂

    1. Di! I’m always happy to see you around the blog! I know catching up seems to take forever, but everybody’s just happy to see you back so don’t worry too much about it 🙂
      OMG, how did I not know about those books? I mean I did know about Island of Exiles but I didn’t know about the asexuality aspect so now I need to read it even more! And Strange The Dreamer, aah it’s been on my TBR for too long!

  7. Ooh a pen pal romance in a fantasy would be fun. And I’m all about LGBT+ rep in general, but yeah, I’d like more love triangles if that aspect was included more and it wasn’t just a girl and two guys and a guy and two girls. BOOOORING. haha


    1. Haha exactly! Love triangles are boring but I’ve never read any LGBT+ love triangle so THAT might be good!

  8. Yes, it would be nice to have more books about asexual characters.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

    1. Definitely, such an underrepresented identity!

  9. These are some great ideas. I’m currently developing the storyline/world/characters for my NaNoWriMo novel that I hope to write this fall… not sure if the above will work for my main characters, but my elven dutchess does have a little brother… and since he isn’t going to inherit the duchy, maybe he can worry about what he wants to do with his life a little bit ;-).

    1. Ah that sounds like so much fun! Best of luck with your novel!

  10. Can’t wait to read both Tell Me Three Things and Simon! I loved What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum that’s why I’m looking forward to reading TMTT.

    1. Hope you love them! I hope to read What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum soon so glad to hear you loved it!

  11. YES TO THE LONELY REFORMED VILLAIN PEN-PAL FANTASY STORY!!!! I WANT THAT!!! I would love it if the hero/ saviour of all in a fantasy book was all, “Oh! Hey guys come into my house. You want some cake? I made it myself!” And then everyones like “?????” This dude who saved our world is baking cakes?!?!?
    Double-points if the hero saves the world because of the cake baking!
    I love all these ideas!!! They would definitely spice up some fantasy tropes!
    I’d really like to see the pen pal thing in fantasy, I feel like it has so much potential.

    1. Haha yeah they would be totally awesome, I’d love to see them in a fantasy book! 🙂

  12. I just said yup to all of these. Totally agree with all of them.

    1. Thanks! Let’s hope we’ll see them in fantasy someday soon 🙂

  13. I would totally like to see these elements! 😀

    1. Here’s hoping we’ll see them soon in a fantasy novel 🙂

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