Friday Fives | Tropes I’m Tired of Reading

Posted September 3, 2021 by TheNonbinaryLibrarian in friday fives / 5 Comments

As per usual, I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

There comes a time when I just get tired of certain things in books. This can be genres, topics, tropes, etc. For this one, I’m going to focus on tropes in books.

Love Triangles, especially in young adult novels, are just overdone and boring! They get in the way of the story, and then it becomes all anyone talks about or focuses on. I mean Katniss has more important things to worry about than whether to be with Peeta or Gale, and there never was a love triangle between Harry, Ron, and Hermione, so just stop it.

The best friend turned love of my life but I only realized it when we were in serious danger. It’s just more annoying and also I’ve never actually seen it play out in real life, so maybe that’s my issue with it. Most childhood best friends just remain best friends.

The damsel in distress is plain insulting to women. Even if women need help, what’s wrong with that? Whether a woman (or man) needs help or not, it doesn’t need to be a major plot point in a novel.

An author who writes a token diverse character that is only there to prop up the main character and to make themselves “feel” better. Try to actually write believable diverse characters. If you don’t know what that looks like, well then find people who are diverse. Have people who are LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and other minority groups read your story to see what they think. And for god’s sake don’t retroactively say there were diverse characters when they’re really weren’t (looking at you she-who-must-not-be-named)!

Writing the protagonist as an outsider who focuses on only super obscure literature at 15, has a specific routine, and the boy she falls in love with says the line “you’re not like other girls.” When did this line become romantic? It’s not romantic, it’s a dig at other women. What’s wrong with being like other women? Nothing! Write real women and girls in your books.

Happy Reading Darlings!

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5 responses to “Friday Fives | Tropes I’m Tired of Reading

  1. Oh, damn. So, I try to pepper in lgbt+ and diverse characters in my books, but not make them super obvious. In my first book, the best friend was black, but I tried to just mention “biracial babies” and leave it at that, and my friends who are a biracial couple felt that was fine. (My mom did guilt me into mentioning skin color in the very beginning…😒)

    In my second book, though, there are a trans sister, a gay aunt, and a bi character who isn’t actually mention as bi. 😬 And now I’m wondering if I did it wrong. It just is who they are, not a big “look how wonderful i am” moment for me or the other characters. I’m just hoping to represent the people who populate our world.

    Thanks for giving me something to consider in my editing process.

    • I think your focus on wanting to do well is such a great thing, and honestly is the first step. I hope you know I wasn’t trying to come of as mean 🙂

      Also, I think books who don’t have a big coming out moment and their sexuality or gender is just a part of who they are, are the best books!! (P.S. I’d be happy to read over anything….this is not a ploy to read your book(s) early)

      • I know it wasn’t. I truly looked at it as a “hey, do better, authors.” I’ll add you to the list of betas. I definitely welcome all constructive feedback on my stuff. I’m not precious about it. Allyson and I are working through the nitty gritty of my seemingly bone deep aversion to commas at the moment, but once we get through that, I’m going to send a few people a PDF or something for reading and get some feedback. I have asked my sister, who’s trans, about a few of the trickier trans things, making sure I’m treating that character with respect. I’m basically treating her as a woman, who just happens to be trans. I feel like that’s maybe the best approach, since I’m a cis het woman. She’s been super gracious about the whole thing.

  2. I read a book recently with a love triangle that worked, what was it… Vampire Hearts & Other Dead Things! I swear it makes sense in that book and I highly recommend it.

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