It’s time for a rant, and man, have I been building up to this. This trope series has been rather positive so far, but now, it’s time to spill some tea. Today, I’m talking about my least favorite tropes in books.
First and foremost, we’ll start with on that is unbelievably popular, much to my confusion.
Harems and Reverse Harems
These always feel unnecessary to me, not to mention ridiculously unlikely. Unless you’re dealing with an actual celebrity, the odds of seven people being into the same person are just… too high for me to really accept within a book.
Not to mention… juggling that many people just seems exhausting.
I’m good on all that.
The Bookworm (Or the writer)
I know, another controversial one. Reading about a bookworm or a librarian who goes on adventures seems like something that should appeal to me.
But for some reason, it’s actually a pet peeve of mine.
Maybe it’s because I want to read about characters that I don’t have quite so much in common with, and since books are kinda my lifeline, a character with the same lifeline really isn’t breaking the mold for me.
Plus, from a writing standpoint, it just feels too easy for a writer to give the character the exact same passion that the writer possesses means that writing the hobbies of their characters requires absolutely zero effort or research.
And it means that while reading, I’m less likely to pick up some ridiculous little bit of know-how or some little quirk that’s unique to that character’s hobby. Because I already know how to turn pages in books and I clearly know what it feels like to sit at a computer typing for hours on end.
I don’t typically like ditzy people in real life, so it isn’t terribly surprising that I don’t like them in books.
I want strong, capable characters who can think about what they’re doing and the consequences it’ll have. I want characters I can relate to, and that means they should probably use their brain, sometimes using it so much that they actually hold themselves back.
I don’t want to groan in frustration the whole time that I’m reading because the character is walking into asinine situations and endangering their life and the lives of others simply because they have too much hot air in their head to think anything through.
I know that these people exist in real life, but much like the ditz, I avoid them.
Muscles are cool, don’t get me wrong. But they’re not the most important thing in the world. That view seems rather short-sighted. Though considering the average intellect of the meat-head characters, that short-sightedness isn’t altogether surprising.
Again, I want intelligent characters. I want them to think about their situation and their choices. Brute force works in some situations, but not all.
And these characters fall short when any amount of brains are necessary.
What exactly is the point of a character that never makes a choice? If they hang back and let the world dictate their entire life, why are they playing a role in the plot?
I like character-driven stories, and these characters refuse to decide anything, thus ruining their ability to drive the plot forward.
What’s your least favorite trope? Let me know in the comments below. Really let loose. I certainly did.
Keep reading. Keep writing.
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