As a reader, writer, or general consumer of fiction, there are just certain things that rub you the wrong way. Whether it’s a cliché that’s been done to death, or a trending fad that seems to be found everywhere, some tropes need to be buried. Let them rest in peace. Resurrect some new ideas and incorporate something fresh into your work. Below is a list of the things that I’m totally over.
Especially female assassins. This seems to be hugely popular at the moment in fantasy novels especially. Like, yes, I understand that being an assassin is a career choice, but it’s pretty dark, don’t you think? And while one or two stories are awesome, I feel like assassin stories are everywhere recently. Focusing on a character that has been trained to kill, while really cool, is also a little depressing, and I’m just sort of over it. Maybe this just means that my reading tastes are changing as I get older and read more.
Whitewashed horror movies
I am so over the white people horror movies. Specifically, the trope of a white middle class family moving into a new house that ends up being haunted. There are literally so many other story lines that can end in being stuck in a haunted house. I’d really like to see some variety here. The horror movies are so white washed, and have been since their birth. The most refreshing thing was seeing that Sabrina’s best friend in the new series is a woman of color. Can we get more of that please? (Also, can I just say that the new Sabrina series hits all the points that need to be hit in the best way possible. I love it so much.)
The one inept guard
This is a perfectly boring and lazy trope to write. Your heroes need to do something sneaky and the only way to get this thing done is to outsmart the one inept guard who either has no idea about the heroes antics, or is unable to shoot straight or keep up with our heroes. Yes, it can be funny if used right, but it’s lazy writing! It’s a plot-saver when you can’t think of any other way for your heroes to get away with something. I’d rather read or watch something where the guard knows the heroes are up to something, but because he’s human and not getting paid enough, allows them to continue on without stopping them, or asks for a bribe to keep his mouth shut, or actually succeeds in thwarting their super sneaky plan and forcing them to think of another way to get the thing done. Literally anything would be better than assuming the guard doesn’t know how to do his job, or worse, sleeps the whole time. Have you, in real life, seen a single guard fall asleep on the job? I haven’t. The guards are usually super nice, super human, and definitely not getting paid enough to chase after some trouble-making heroes. In fact, the closest to perfect representation of “inept guards” was in one of the new Star Wars movies, when Kylo Ren is having a temper tantrum and the guards slowly back away and decide to take another route. That was pure writing genius.
Total hardass female characters
She can outdrink the boys, she can kick anyone’s ass, everyone seems to want her, and she looks damn good covered in car oil. The hardass female characters trope is something I’m totally over. Playing the “anything you can do, I can do better” game with the male characters is getting old. Women are strong and powerful, yes, but in other ways. I don’t want to see a female character written to be a man in all but the floppy appendage. I want to see a female character kick ass because she is female.
What a depressing image to have in your heads after reading a anything dystopian. It reminds me of the trend in the 80’s, which followed basically the exact same paradigm. The world gets destroyed in some way, the governments break down or are run by corrupt men, and it’s every man for himself. I think at this point in time we need a more positive message. I’m a little tired of always feeling sad after watching or reading dystopian future fictions. And I know that art imitates life and vice versa, so why don’t we try to shift that mindset? Why don’t we focus on creating uplifting art in the hopes that life will imitate and improve?
What are some of your least favorite tropes? Link me to your posts down below!
Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!