12/26/18

Tropes We Need to Leave Behind in 2018 (I'm begging you, please just stop).


2018 is ending, and with it, I hope a few horrible (in my opinion) tropes end with it.
















1. Characters without character arcs. 

Look, if your character has a sin issue such as pride, selfishness, the habit of being a grump, ect. ect. That's fine, flaws in characters are good, it's what makes them interesting and human...

HOWEVER, if there is never a point where they want to change their ways, or even where they realize they have some shortcomings, there's a problem, sis.

I'm really tired of characters never being or even having one moment of self-awareness.

Leave this in 2018! 


2. Emotionless girls.

The whole feminist "girls are just as strong and wicked cool as boys and go girl power!" YA movement was cool at first, but then we got the same female protagonist in every YA book.

EMOTIONS ARE OKAY. CRYING DOESN'T MAKE YOU WEAK. NOT ALL WOMEN (OR EVEN MEN) HAVE TO BE PHYSICALLY STRONG IN ORDER TO BE A STRONG PERSON!!

There are many different types of strengths, and I really hope 2019 will be the year of exploring emotional diversity in books.

People react and cope to things in different ways, some cry in order to process things (I do), some don't, I'm tired of cookie cutter girls, I'm tired of some people thinking that girls have to be just like boys in order to be strong.

Leave this in 2018! 

3. Love triangles.

FOR THE LAST TIME, WHERE'S THE LOGIC IN THIS WHOLE MESS???

Leave it in 2018!!

4. Cheating. 

I've read too many books were the main character will cheat on their significant other and then justify it.

Listen, I don't care if your current partner is a jerk, if you want to leave them, leave them. Don't lie to them and see someone behind their back, that's disgusting.

LEAVE. IT. IN. 2018! 

5. Glorified abuse.

Please, no more Colleen Hoover books with abusive males and no more Fifty Shades of Grey wannabes. This isn't cute, staph.

Leave it... just please leave it.

6. Girl hate. 

You know, I really thought that this whole trope would end in 2018, but no. Stop pitting girls against other girls!!

Leave it in 2018. 



So, I asked some of you guys on Goodreads what other tropes y'all were tired of and a lot of you guys gave really good answers that I wish I thought of. Here are just a few:

"Can we please let authors write characters the way they see them, not the way we, the readers, feel they need to be. Being on both sides (reader and writer) you can't force something."

Yesss, although, authors should be listening to the voices of their readers, it is also ultimately their choice for what they do or don't put in the book, and trashing and hating on them for not following exactly what you think they should do isn't okay. 

"ALSO GLORIOUS DEATH to love triangles, glorified abusive relationships, and bad boys falling for the good girls. (Done tactfully, these can be used for something epic. Done in the cliche manner they're usually used as, these are horrible.)"-Ivie Brooks 

"I'm tired of shy nerds who are not a) not allowed to be the hero for some reason, and b) not allowed to stay shy nerds because "there's something wrong with you."'-Katie Hanna

"^definitely agree with Katie on shy nerds. And let’s not forget the “person who is strong and brave” by name only and never ever acts like it. And also the idea of the ONLY strong girls being the ones who can throw a punch. I need my soft sweet cinnamon girls. And I don’t need the boy version of the damsel in distress in either."-R.F. Gammon 

 "-Female characters who demonstrate how "strong", "empowered" or "sassy" they are by casually smacking men around. Sorry, she's not strong, she's a freakin' bully. 

-When it comes to romances especially, can we please have some body-type variance?? I tire of "Ken and Barbie" being the standard.


-Probably gonna attract a bit of disagreement with this one, but I personally am sick of female "bad*****" who plow through multiple fights while looking like a Maybelline advertisement the entire time and never so much as crack a nail. I'm sorry, but as a published author on the subject of self-defense and violence dynamics, I find the trope ridiculous even when it IS "justified" with magic or pseudo-science or whatever. Violence is messy, and people who use it get messy. -Eric Plume (He had a lot more than this list, and I cut and censored some because I try to keep this blog as clean as possible, but you can read all of his on this thread). 

- Instalove.

- "Sci-fi" dystopias that have no chance of ever becoming reality/that only serve as mindless, shallow entertainment fodder.

- Introducing a cultural-minority character only to hurt/kill them because they're of a minority. (Well, if their death progresses the plot realistically, that's different, but killing them just to be edgy is a massive no-no in my book.)

- The usage of deus ex machina
 outside of deliberately-comedic material."-K.C. Nicola 

"– Tired of the awkward teen always finding love and that love “curing” them. (How about having to live without it in high school like 99% of us?)

– Hot girl being “not like other girls” when she really is and has no personality yet has all the guys falling for her.

– Characters who aren’t models never being taken seriously or finding a romance that’s not with another quirky-looking person."-
Audrey

"Characters, especially teenagers always glorifying sex, language, drinking, and drugs. Also, as showing it as the norm. So, maybe I led a sheltered life, but this isn't the norm for me and it isn't the norm for my friends, many of whom go to public school."-Nicki Chapelway 

"Probably more of a niche thing but authors that retell a story to try and make it more 'diverse' and then completely throw away what already made it diverse in the first-place. Also, fewer heroines that scorn femininity and act really tomboyish".-Elizabeth 

"The same old teenagers who are always partying and drinking and if they don't do those things, they're somehow 'too pure'. Like, stop that nonsense. I'm just not into party scenes because these parties seem so boring. I'd like more characters like Lara jean (not the same but still teens who are into baking and stuff). I'd like to read about a black girl like Lara jean because usually black girls are written as super loud and sassy. Just more black introverted characters because there are literally no black characters I can relate to on personality alone? And that makes me kinda sad.


I'd like to see confident introverts. I'm not one but I know we're not all shy. Also confident quiet people?

We don't really see teens with a more conservative upbringing except for the ones who eventually turn rebellious *rolls eyes* And conservative doesn't automatically mean judgemental."-Adesuwa Grace




"The “I’ll kiss ____ and everything will be fine” trope. All this is doing is shutting up one of the characters (and usually from saying something important)"-Lauren 
"The conflicting "I'm so clumsy but I can fight like a ninja" or "I'm so plain looking but I am also drop dead GORGEOUS" thing that keeps happening to way too many MCs."-Gabi
LET'S LEAVE THESE IN 2018 and Happy New Years!!

37 comments:

  1. Emotionless girls - yes!!!! I want FMC's with humor and smiles and fears and tears and all the feels!!! Not walking concrete slabs with some killer fighting skills. :) Girls who love girly things (like the color pink, or baking, or flowers) but can do dangerous things and save the day.

    Here's to a 2019 with some EPIC characters, plots, and themes!!! *raises tea mug*

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  2. AMEN to all of these. *applause*

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  3. Yes!!! Yes!! I am so tired of reading all these things! Let's say goodbye to them in 2018, and see new amazing things in 2019!!! Great post, Gray!

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  4. Um, can I just say that ALL OF THESE RESPONSES ARE GENIUS, and these tropes need to go! Great post, Gray, and maybe this is the first step to getting rid of these tropes!

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    1. Yes, they are!
      Thanks, Nicole, let's hope so.

      Delete
  5. This is a great, thought-provoking post, Gray! (Awwwww, I love how you included everybody else's opinions too . . . that's so cool! <3 )

    I'll be honest: I am tired of BOTH "feminine" girls AND "tomboyish" or "masculine" girls because NONE OF THEM REMIND ME OF MYSELF, and that's really really annoying that so many authors seem to think there's only 2 kinds of girls????

    I'm extremely sensitive but I have a really hard time crying. I'm very fastidious but I hate frills & makeup. I loathe sports but I love spending time outdoors. I have low self-esteem but I'm also very assertive, even ruthlessly so, at times. And I CAN be a bundle of all those contradictions and still be a perfectly legitimate girl . . . even though most authors seem to think I have to be "one or the other."

    So as a writer, I really hope I can write female characters who don't fall on either end of that "masculinity/femininity" spectrum--cause I do believe I'm not the only one! I believe there are a lot of us out here.

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    1. Thanks, I thought it would make the post more inclusive. ^_^

      SAME HERE!!! I'm more feminine but also kind of tomboyish in some areas.

      Delete
  6. Amen sister! Pretty sure you nailed all of the tropes I can't stand. XD

    Wonderful post!

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  7. Yes, lol! Especially to all the romance stuff, such as Instalove, kissing is a cure-all, and such ;0 Hey, and my novel Let Me Meet Death Dancing is about a conservative girl that doesn't go rebellious. Just has a really hard breakup and depression ;D So that should make some people happy ;D haha,

    keturahskorner.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, death to instalove, more like instalust.
      Yay! I look forward to reading your book even more in the future, those sound like such great themes and topics to bring up in fiction.

      Delete
  8. Honestly, I've felt myself drifting away from YA in the past year because so much of it feels the exact same due to these tropes and more. For example, I'm totally with Jessica that there are more than two types of girls. I just finished a book called Pride by Ibi Zoboi with an awesome female main character named Zuri. She's proud of her culture, will protect and defend her sisters to the end, and is super driven + intelligent. But she also loves sundresses, writes poetry, and cries when really hard changes happen in her life. I'd love to see more heroines with her mix of traditionally feminine and traditionally masculine traits. She's that kind of actually strong, actually real female MC that temporarily revives my faith in YA.

    Glorified abuse -- whether it be physical or emotional or drug or alcohol abuse -- is kind of like, oh, hmm, what's the word, the worst. It's so unhealthy for teens to be reading that, especially since they may be encountering similar situations for the first time in their own lives.

    Very thought-provoking post, Gray. It's good to get talking about this, especially when it comes to racial or gender-based tropes that some people might not realize exist just because they don't happen to be part of that group. (And lovely graphic choice, with the silver and gold stars on a string. ;) )

    Eleanor | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. Same here, but at the same time it's so hard to find good adult books asides from classics. :/

      Zuri sounds so amazing and authentic! We need more girl characters like her in YA. I'll have to get my hands on that book.

      Yes, it's so horrible and unhealthy.

      Thank you! I wanted to do stars when I was thinking about a news years post a while back, but your lovely post inspired me. ^_^

      Delete
  9. I was a little worried what you were gonna say when I read the title, but I actually...agree with like almost everything you said??? I agree we need more female characters who are emotional and aren’t afraid to cry! 💖

    YES CAN WE PLEAAAASE JUST STOP GLORIFYING ABUSE OF ANY KIND?!?!? Quick side note: I have a character in one of my books that is super abusive to his daughter (and it’s strictly just physical abuse, like he hits her, and it’s never sexual) and i NEVER imply that this kind of behavior is okay. In fact, most of the story is about her trying to reconcile her feelings about her father and learning to forgive him for the terrible acts of violence he made against her. So yeah, that one hits really close to home with my own writing.

    AND YES GIRL HATE WHY???? WHY WAS THIS A THING??? I MUSTA MISSED THIS TROPE BECAUSE I HAVE NO MEMORY OF WHY THIS IS A THING IN BOOKS?!?!? LIKE WHY WE GOTTA PIT GIRLS AGAINST OTHER GIRLS WHEN WE CLEARLY ALREADY STRUGGLE WITH JUST BEING NICE TO OTHER GIRLS DANGIT!

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    1. Well, I'm glad my post didn't worry you too much. 😅

      YESSSS, JUST STOP. Oh, no! I didn't mean that writing about characters going through abuse or overcoming it is bad, in fact, I believe it's such an important topics, however when the abuse it glossed over and even romanticized we have an issue.

      NO MORE GIRL HATE, GIRLS ALREADY ARE MEAN TO EACH OTHER, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

      Delete
  10. Aww, you used my comment. I feel special. :D :D :D

    (Also, if anyone can figure out which show the term Glorious Death comes from, we can be besties forever. Hint, it isn't HTTYD for once.)

    I love this post. You made so many awesome points. Another trope that's annoying is adding a diverse character just to check off a list. Like, add diversity because it progresses things, please and thank you. ;)

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    1. Awww <33

      I cannot figure out where that would be from, lol.

      Thank you! Yes, if characters aren't authentically written it shows through.

      Delete
  11. Agree agree agree. We need to drop this stuff, and you know what else we need?

    WE need more boyfriends that are really sweet and aren't just out for hot kisses when the parents aren't looking. I've written blog posts on this and I will continue to rant about it until I see it more often.

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    1. YES FOR SURE.
      I don't have a boyfriend, but I have friends who have these types of boyfriends and guy friends who are these type of boyfriends and it's the sweetest purest thing and I love it. <3

      I'm off to go read said blog post of yours. ^_^

      Delete
  12. Ugh, thank you for this post! I really hope that authors will start leaving out some tropes or at least bring a creative twist to them >.<

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment! And let's hope. >.<

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  13. I agree with all of these! Especially love triangles.

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  14. YES YES YES!!! LEAVE THEM BEHIND. I 100% AGREE!

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  15. Oh my gosh yes this was so interesting go read!! Loved this post!!

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

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  16. THE ABUSE ONE. seriously. we need to stop glorifying emotional and physical abuse and codependency. THOSE.ARENT.CUTE. they're devastating.

    I hope we leave these all behind in 2018. they're boring at best.

    great post :)

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    1. It really does need to stop, the romanticization of abuse isn't okay at all.

      Thank you!

      Delete

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