Book Tropes I Have Yet To Get Tired Of

I already did my rant about book tropes that I hate and I’m glad to see that a lot of you feel the same way. As I was thinking about that, I realized that there are also book tropes that I still find endearing. I don’t feel books need these tropes in order to be be good but, if they show up, I thoroughly enjoy them. Let me know if any of you like these too or if you have some beloved book tropes that you enjoy.

Opposites Attract – I already talked about how I hate uneven couples but this is a bit different. I like the couples or friendships who have opposite personalities or ideas but still connect. Whether you have the optimist and the pessimist or the overachiever and the slacker, these relationships are charming in how they both see the world differently but compliment each other’s differences. These character pairs also provide a good foundation for character development. (The gif below is an example.)

kirk and spock

Villain Turned Weird Ally – I don’t see this one too often in literature but I love this trope regardless. There is nothing quite as funny (in my opinion) as seeing the once mighty villain end up befriending the hero in some way, even becoming their best ally. It’s a weirdly specific trope but I think it’s a good one. (Again, I present another example in gif form.)

crowley

The Grand Romantic Gesture – I have never been a huge fan of romance novels but I’m a big sap at heart so when I read about some heartfelt romantic gestures I tend to melt inside. I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic somewhere deep in my heart so I can’t help but find some unique expression of sincere love.

princess bride

The “Alice in Wonderland” Plot – Honestly, I really don’t mind the plots that involve a relatively normal character suddenly finding themselves in a topsy-turvy world unlike their own. I think they can be done really well. As long as the story isn’t trying too hard to be like Lewis Carol’s most famous novel then I will continue to eat up the general plot.

alice

The Over-Eager Hero – While I am a fan of the reluctant hero trope, I do find the over-eager hero to be an enjoyable trope as well. I think it’s quite entertaining to have a character who only wants to help in whatever capacity that they can. They’re typically young and wide-eyed but they have all the best intentions. The budding young hero must transform and mature in order to fulfill their dreams of saving the world. (This character can sometimes come across as annoying but they mean well.)

spiderman

Girls Who Don’t Take Anyone’s Shit – You’ve got to love a well-written, strong female character who is not there to mess around. She knows exactly what she needs to accomplish and she will not let anyone stop her. The world may look down on her but she doesn’t care because she is so sure of herself. These fictional girls should be known the world over as the inspirations that they are. The world can never have enough of these characters in any medium, not just literature.

katniss

The Reluctant Companion – This kind of ties into the “Opposites Attract” trope but I love the relationship between the one character who wants to do dangerous and stupid shit and the other character who can’t stop their friend from doing dumb shit so they might as well tag along to make sure their friend makes it out alive. I relate to both of these characters and I love to read about them.

watson

 

 

 

 

Book Tropes I Absolutely Hate

I talk about many books I love and a few that I was unimpressed with but I haven’t done a full-on rant yet. I’m not going to be ranting about any books in particular but I will be highlighting tropes that I feel need to be thrown in the literary trash heap of things writers need to stop doing. These are in no particular order. I hope some of you share my opinion or maybe have a horrible trope that I didn’t mention.

Questionable Consent – I don’t know when we started thinking it was sexy for one character to reluctantly give into another character’s romantic desires but I think this one needs to die. Either both characters are in a relationship or they aren’t. Pressuring someone into a relationship isn’t attractive and we need to stop portraying this in novels.

confused

Indecisive Characters – Indecision is a perfectly viable plot device that can be used correctly to develop a character but your character ought to make a damn decision. This especially happens with female characters who are caught in some stupid love triangle. If you’re going to have your character face a tough decision, make it matter.

i don't know

Needless Character Deaths – Character deaths can be essential to a story, especially depending on the genre of story. That being said, even if the character shows up just to die or begins the story being dead, make it matter. Don’t let this person die for no good reason and don’t forget about their death. Make sure to refer back to the death as being important, regardless of if the character is good or bad or in between. Don’t kill off just because you want to.

time to die

Mental Illness as a Quirk – If you want to write about a character with mental illness then go for it but make sure that you are giving a realistic portrayal. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I can tell you that panic attacks aren’t “cute” nor am I looking for someone who will “cure” me. Don’t try to romanticize mental health issues, or even physical health issues.

nervous

Uneven Couples – It’s a perfectly normal part of romance literature to create couple that are opposites but don’t make your characters so opposite that they are basically incompatible. I hate when you’re reading a book and one half of the couple is some sort of perfect, successful, angel while the other person is basically a pile of trash. It’s especially worse when the perfect one tries to “fix” the garbage one. Write your couples better.

what

Main Characters with Stupid Problems – The whole point of your main character is to give them actual serious problems to solve. Don’t juxtapose your character’s problems with a side character’s problems who are significantly worse. I’m not going to care if the main character can’t pick which shirt to wear when their friend is dealing with a broken leg or something.

stupid

Too Much Perfection – We want our characters to have redeeming qualities but you have to balance them out with some weaknesses. Even if we’re talking physical qualities, don’t make your character unbelievably perfect. Make them a little human, at least.

perfect

The Punching Bag – If you’re writing an action-based story, make sure your character actually does react to pain like a normal person. Sure, your character might have a more strength or endurance than an average human but they should still react to an injury like any other person. Don’t make them a punching bag that can just take hit after hit without problems. Eventually, your character should get knocked down and not get back up right away.

punching

Lack of Consequences – When you do something bad or questionable, then the result of your actions should catch up with you. Regardless of if we’re talking a protagonist or antagonist, their actions should somehow result in consequences even if its karma taking place.

consequences

The Pseudo Nerd – Your character is allowed to have interests but make sure that they actually know what they’re talking about. Just because your main character can name all of the planets in our solar system, it doesn’t mean that they are an aspiring astronomer like the writer says they are. Don’t be lazy and not do research.

nerd

Too Much Crying – I feel like a hypocrite writing this because I am a bit of a cry baby but I still eventually suck it up and go on. This should be the case for your characters. I don’t want to read about your Mary Sue sobbing non-stop for no real reason. Keep the crying to a reasonable amount please.

crying