I feel like I’ve been flying through books the last few months of this year. So much so that there are several I’ve read that I won’t even be doing a review for. But I was inspired by Brie’s Christmas List of Stories, Tropes, and Characters and want to discuss all the trends and tropes I’ve noticed in fiction this year that I NEVER want to see again, and those that I would LOVE to see more of.
In this part one I will discuss the trends and tropes I find to be oh so tired, and part two will be the ones I’d like to see more of so I can end this series on a positive note! Now, I’ve touched on a few of these trends before, but some were a just a mere mention.
Trends and Tropes that need to end IMMEDIATELY!
The Willful Damsel:
I’ve talked about this one extensively in this post! But it really burns my buns when a female character is repeatedly told that she possesses unimaginable power, and then does absolutely nothing to try and learn how to harness and use their powers. They are content to let the boys in their lives save them time and time again. What and why is this? I get the fantasizing of being rescued by a fantastical young man. But if I have the ability to take care of and rescue myself, best believe that’s what I’m going to do. Authors, can you please give these girls some motivation to figure out their powers and not is some cop-out miraculous way? It just makes no sense that a character has not practiced using their powers but then miraculously obliterates the enemy with it. STOP THIS and make these heffas learn their skills so when they overcome the enemy it’s at least halfway believable.
Examples: Meghan Chase from The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa and Clary from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
I actually discussed this recently, but this is yet another trope that wears me out. I have a huge problem with these female characters who are bitchy and hateful for no reason. I understand that the author may want the readers to understand that these women are strong Alpha females who are totally kick-ass. But making them nasty and cold towards people, particularly the men who are trying to win their affections, when they have done NOTHING for them to act that way really ticks me off. Readers are not dumb! You do not have to make your strong female characters hateful for us to know they are the shiznit!
Examples: Calla from the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer and Rose from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and the girl whose name I can’t remember from the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.
Lazy World Building:
This one is simple and straight forward. If an author can’t be bothered to explain and build the world they have written, then I can’t be bothered to continue reading. This is especially true with dystopian novels. Dystopians requires special detail when it comes to world building because many times it is infinitely different from anything we’ve ever known. So the fact that some authors leave you with so many unanswered questions about how their world works baffles me. What’s the point in writing about this world, if you’re not going to totally flesh it out so the reader has no questions about how your fictional society operates?
Examples: Possession by Elana Johnson and Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
The Black Outs:
If I read one more book where the hero/heroine is just about to get into some action and then blacks out only to wake up confined and drug riddled I’m going to SCREAM! This is just lazy writing. The reader and the MC end up totally missing the action, and have to be told what happened to them. This is a complete and total cop out for the author and beyond frustrating for the reader. I get maybe using this once, but I have read books where this happens to the characters repeatedly. Not only does it make me mad, but them waking up confined makes me anxious and claustrophobic! This is a tired plot device and I would love for authors to stop doing this to their characters.
Examples: The Broken Heart series by Michele Bardsley and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.
Filed in: Discussion