It’s always interesting to see which of my posts were the most popular over a given year. Of my 10 most popular posts, only two were actually published in 2018.
For whatever reason, my most popular posts are often from previous years. Here are 10 posts that I think should have gotten more love last year.
10 Reasons I Love Happy Endings: Some people think happy endings signal a book that isn’t as important or good. I disagree.
The 10 Worst Couples in Fiction: There are just some couples who irritate me or who are just terrible for one another. These are the worst.
How Querying is Like Online Dating: It really, really is.
Do Happy Endings Exist? Maybe?
#sorrynotsorry 5 Books I Love That Others (Claim To) Hate: I don’t think anyone should apologize for their choices in entertainment.
Ten Things I’ve Learned From My Writing Critique Group: Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without them. I’ve learned way more than just ten things.
Please Stop- Tropes I Hate: Enough is enough. (These mostly apply to YA)
Shut Up And Take My Money! Tropes I Love: I’ll never stop loving these. (Again, mostly YA)
7 Reasons I’m (Mostly) Over Sequels: With few exceptions, sequels tend to be meh.
10 Ways To Waste Time Instead of Writing: Why do writers dream of writing, but when they sit at their computers, waste time? (No, seriously… why?)
As I said earlier this week, I love me some tropey goodness as much as the next person, and YA (my preferred genre) is full of them. But there are some tropes I’ve seen enough of, and here’s a few.
- Girls who don’t know how attractive they are. Okay, I get it. We all thought we weren’t attractive in high school, even if we were. But the reason we (I) thought that is because none of the guys were interested in me. I’m pretty sure that if I’d had a bunch of guys fighting over me telling me how pretty I was, I would have been like, “Oh, okay. I’m gorgeous. Cool.” Why is it such a terrible thing if the protagonist is attractive and knows it? It doesn’t have to be her only characteristic, (PLEASE don’t make it her only characteristic) but when everyone else comments that she’s the fairest of them all, and she’s clueless, I just roll my eyes. Make her confident and gorgeous and own it, or maybe she can just be average. Lots of people are.
- The love triangle. For the record, I don’t hate all love triangles. Some of them are done well. The fact is that most of us have never been involved in a love triangle; they just don’t happen that much. The love triangles I object to are the ones that seem to happen just to make the main character more interesting, or so that she has someone to fall back on when her main love interest breaks up with/ cheats on/ tries to kill her.
- The best friend pining for the main character. This one is my absolute least favorite, especially if it’s just a pawn of the love triangle. How to fix it: Have the relationship actually be platonic. Platonic guy-girl relationships are great.
- The main character has no friends. This one drives me crazy, especially in mental health fiction. Sure, there are some people out there who are isolated, but not everyone gets dumped by their friends when bad things happen. This is just a plot device so that the love interest who comes along can save them. Because there’s always a love interest who saves the day in these books.
- The main character is so different/ special/ not bitchy like other girls that she has no girlfriends. This one really needs to stop. I tend to get along better with guys, but I have plenty of girlfriends. If a girl gets along with no other girls, she’s probably a problem. Let’s all support one another and realize that our differences make us awesome. It doesn’t have to be Manicures vs. Getting Your Hands Dirty. We can all coexist.
- The love interest is really an immortal creature who’s been around for hundreds of years but still acts exactly like a teenager and falls in love with a teenager. Maturity is not a function of what you look like! Just because you look like a 16-year-old doesn’t mean you should still be acting like one forever. If you are, that’s a sign of a serious problem. There are reasons why maturity level might not happen and this relationship could become plausible. In Anna Dressed In Blood, Anna is a bloodthirsty ghost who loses her identity. When she falls for Cas, it makes sense because when you’re just tearing people apart, you don’t have much time for personal growth.
- Stalking = love. It doesn’t. No means no, and go away means go away. While we’re on the subject, possessiveness and jealousy don’t automatically equate to love either. I can give these somewhat of a pass in YA fiction because teenagers are immature and hormonal and do stupid things… but let’s not act as if it’s romantic.
What tropes do you hate?
Related posts: Shut Up and Take My Money! Tropes I Love
Every genre has tropes, those basic devices that repeat in plots. Readers and watchers like to be surprised, but we also like to know what to expect. Murder mysteries are supposed to start off with a body. Romances have to end with happily ever after.
We all have tropes we love and those we hate. Here are some of my favorites.
- Undiscovered powers. I don’t love the “chosen one” trope, but I do love when someone finds out that they’re part of something bigger than normal life. I love when a character makes choices that set them on a hero’s journey. Though Harry Potter was the chosen one, he also made choices. He didn’t just sit back and let fate happen.
- Angry, overprotective men as a romantic lead. I’m sorry, but I really do love this one. There’s a fine line to walk between angry/ overprotective and possessive/ stalkerish, but when it’s done well, it’s a lot of fun to read. I’m a sucker for a bad boy, especially one who will do anything to protect his beloved.
- Strong, irritable women. I love when a female character is having none of it and lets everyone around her know. When she’s got great character development and I can live vicariously through her snark.
- Friends to lovers. I’m a fan of the slow burn, and there’s nothing slower burn than two friends realizing they have feelings for one another.
- Hate to love. This one is even better than best friends to lovers, in my opinion. (This is assuming it wasn’t insta-hate, which is almost as bad as insta-love). Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite books, and I’m a sucker for all those intense feelings.
- The underdog. Though I’m not a fan of the chosen one, I do love when someone succeeds against all odds, overcoming their fatal flaw and becoming someone even they didn’t dare imagine. I want to cheer that person on all day long.
What tropes do you love?