Last week I spoke about the tropes I’d researched that I liked the best, this? Well this is the complete opposite. These are all of the worst tropes that I hate! Some of them just annoy me, and some of them I just can not read. Let’s get into it!
Let’s start with the most innocent one, the character letting out a breath they didn’t know they were holding. This never used to bother me! And to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if other people hadn’t mentioned that it was occurring so frequently. But now I notice it when it’s in a story, and it pulls me out of the world. So it’s not the authors fault on this one I don’t think, but I still don’t like it!
One that I don’t like but I don’t tend to actually notice it until reflection? A world which never progresses. Seeing 300 years back or forwards in time and the world is static and unchanged. As I said I don’t tend to notice it while I read, but it does make my subconscious not settle fully into the world and it can tell that there’s something not quite right. Unless it’s specifically mentioned as a plot point it’s just annoying.
In a similar vain, homogenous species. So all elves are beautiful, all orcs are vicious, that kinda thing. It’s just lazy writing. If it’s a viewpoint of a character who’s never met the species then sure, that’s them being closed minded. But when we get to meet different members of the species and they’re all cardboard cut outs? Try again.
Lucky novices make sense, but it just pulls you right out of the world! And I don’t mean when someone discovers they have magic and are able to wield it a wee bit better than expected for no training. I mean my man has never picked up a bow and arrow in their life and they’re suddenly a master archer at the head of the monarch’s army. Nah. Nope. Noooo. Do not like. You can have a natural aptitude for something sure but you still have to work on it to actually reach the stage of other people who’ve trained! Come on guys!!
I’m going to lump these all in together, all the romance ones. I don’t read romance as a genre myself (just never tried it out, I will one day) so these are all from reading contemporary/SFF reads where romance isn’t the main focus of the book. The most basic is the one dimensional love interest. The only reason they’re there is to be hot and to distract the main character. They have no emotions of their own. Is this meant to make me care about the relationship? Cause if so it fails big time. Then we have insta-love. Again, why would I care about this relationship? There’s been no build up of chemistry, we don’t know one of the characters at all, it’s just… empty. Love triangles are a pet hate of the bookish internet and they’ve been so overplayed that you can’t blame people! But the name is possibly the most annoying bit. 99.999% of the time it’s not a triangle! It’s a damn V!!! For it to be a triangle the two who love the main character need to love each other as well! Now that I would read. And finally. Cheating. Can’t stand it irl, can’t stand it in books. No thanks.
And the last thing I’m going to bitch about today? The “I’m not like other girls” protagonist who “can’t see her own beauty”. I can’t lie, when I was younger I liked these. Because it made me think that this could be me. I felt ugly and if I can’t see my beauty maybe everyone else can? But not only is it used to excess, but also it’s just so annoying. “not like other girls” usually falls flat on its face cause the protagonist is exactly like so many other girls (give me a face eating pole dancer who spreads marmite over her victims before she eats them and then we can talk about not like other girls) and with so many “can’t see her beauty” main characters it’s just lost it’s charm by now. Physical appearance really doesn’t matter all that much and it just seems excessive. I can understand it more in YA literature but I see it a surprising amount in adult books too and I just *eye roll*.
And that’s it! (she says after writing an essay) Those are the tropes, that I know about, that I don’t like for one reason or another. Have a different opinion? Or even more bad tropes? Let me know what they are in the comments!! Thanks for reading!