I have a friend who reads a lot. Like, a whole lot. Like, more than even some of the most avid readers, as she works in a library. Today I asked her which tropes she finds most annoying, and she came up with several straight away.
First on her list –and I believe her suggestion was to do the entire blog post on this one trope –was the love triangle.
If you have read books, particularly YA fiction, you know the love triangle. It’s rampant in bestsellers –and for good reason. How does one choose between two preternaturally gorgeous suitors? Such excitement. Such intrigue.
But is it a “cheap” way to create drama? How often are you equally romantically attracted to two different people, a la the infamous example that is Twilight?
This trope has existed since Romeo and Juliet, making it tried but true. Or maybe it’s tried and tired.
If your WIP has a love triangle, however, don’t take offense. A twist of some kind can spice up this age old drama, creating something fresh and interesting for your readers.
This trope is commonly found in romantic genres. It occurs when a character witnesses or overhears the other doing or saying something that is innocent, but compromising out of context. Both characters then proceed to be fucking obnoxious people, refusing to have a three second conversation to sort out the trifling ordeal.
Faux Action Girl
The author tells you she’s a badass. Other characters tell you she’s a badass. She tells you she’s a badass.
And yet, Faux Action Girl seems to always play the role of damsel.
More often than not, it’s her unwarranted level of confidence that gets her into trouble in the first place.
Boring Main Character Attracts All the Love Interests
I couldn’t find an actual name for this character outside of Mary Sue, but what my friend specified was a little different from the standard Sue.
The character she described is average, uninteresting, and not exceptionally attractive… and yet the other characters in the story are madly in love with him/her.
Not to pick on Twilight, as it has been picked on enough both by me and the rest of the universe, but Bella is an oft-cited example of this character. I’ll have to take other’s word for it, however, as I’ve never read it or seen the movies.
I do feel the main character in The Circle is this type. Mae Holland is not extraordinary by any stretch of the imagination, apparently, but it’s no time before she’s sleeping with
Mark Zuckerberg Calden Ty.