Hi! Let’s talk book tropes, shall we?
If you’re unaware what tropes are – look them up! Just kidding… A trope is a common motif, theme or a convention in a book. It can relate to the character, or plot or the world building.
I love ranting, so I decided to compile a list of all of my most hated tropes in literature (but mostly in YA). Those are in no particular order unless I state so.
- ‘Not like other girls’
Being ‘not like other girls’ is not a personality trait. I honestly have no idea why authors still do it.
See that main character? She’s not like other girls. She doesn’t care about boys or make up. She’s smart and aloof and has no friends, because no one understands her. She’s above all the superficial.
Give.me.a.break! Individuality makes for a great trait, yes, and I want to read about those characters, but this is not the way to write them. Being like other girls is not something to be ashamed of. Let characters like what they like and be who they are. Stop this sexist bullshit – let’s learn from the past mistakes and not write another Bella Swan.
- One-dimensional villains
This one is just being lazy. The story has a hero – so it obviously needs a villain. They are terrible, so evil and bad to the core. Why? Who the hell knows *shrug* What made them so evil? Nothing – they’re just bad, worse even, because they hate our hero. There’s no back story for why they’re the way there are, no explanation. They’re just bad, and all they do is sit around tent their fingers together and evil laugh. Thank you, next!
- Instalove/love at first sight
I think any mention of love gets ‘I don’t like romance in general…’ from me, and everyone knows it by now… yet I was still going to type it. I’m incredibly hard to please (title of my sex tape… any Brooklyn 99 fans here?) when it comes to romance, I need something believable that feels like it could possibly happen in real life, to actually somehow enjoy it and let’s face it – instalove is not one of those. It usually means the characters aren’t developed properly, either, the whole thing lacks atmosphere and… at that point, why even write that damn book?
- Token diversity
Any token characters are wrong and writers should just stop, but when it comes to diversity, it just boils my blood. It is better to not have ANY diverse characters (though, it’s not great), than have those painful, one dimensional stereotypes (of very regular, very REAL people, whether it’s POC, different sexualities, religions or maybe people with disabilities – all of which are crazy common in real life and hence should be in fiction) to pop up every now and then to teach the main character something, or to move the plot a bit, or just to be there for the sake of it and not have any input. It’s a cheap shot. Don’t do it.
- Love triangles
And last but not least – my absolute most hated trope in the entire world!!! Love triangles make me want to throw the book I’m reading across the room and never ever pick it up again. I don’t care what the author’s reason is for having a love triangle – it NEVER works. Unless it’s a romance novel, it just distracts from the main plot. It’s cheap, pointless drama. It makes everyone frustrated. AND usually the only way to solve it is to kill off one of the characters or make them into a villain. Ugh, I don’t hate anything more.
Are any of these your least favourite tropes? Or, better yet, your favourite tropes? Let me know down in the comments.
I’ll talk to you all soon