Okay I'm going to be all-- Sorry, not sorry-- and post something sorta negative. I mean, well, you say negative, I say constructive criticism?? Okay, I'm a Negative Nelly, what can I say??
I want to talk about things in writing that I see a lot and could really live without.
Disclaimer: obviously I read a lot of YA and accordingly a lot of these are from YA books. Also, some are full-on tropes and some of them are tiny nit-picky things, but all annoy me equally-ish.
We all know the dreaded phrase- "I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding" is the big one. BUT of course, it's not the only one. Here are a few that when I come across them, I immediately go
- Blushing-- cannot stand a character that blushes every time a dude looks at her. Why are all the characters doing this these days?
- Clumsiness-- It's too Bella Swan for me. I see clumsiness as a character trait and I automatically feel like it's there to make the female appear weak. Like they're all just waiting for their Edward to show up and catch them when they trip. (Maybe this is just a me thing??).
- Biting their lip-- Can we do something else cause this is played out.
- Shoulder shrugs-- do people even do this a lot IRL?? Cause I feel like the characters I read about do this every time they don't know something or feel uncomfortable.
- Whiney characters-- Nothing worse than a whiner.
- Main character that talks inside his/her head too much-- you know the ones who tell you every single mundane thought and why they had that thought and why they said what they said and couldn't say what they really wanted to say-- BLAH!!
- Villains who stop and take time to explain exactly why they've done everything they've done and what they're about to do to finish the fight.
- Random colored eyes-- seriously how many people out there have violet, yellow, and gray eyes?? True violet eyes only happen in people with albinism, gray are one of the most rare, and green represents 2% of the world population, so why are so many YA characters having eyes that are these colors? Authors-- brown and regular blue (not the bluest blue the world has ever seen) can be beautiful and attractive too I promise!!!
- Pretentious characters-- the ones that are just "so different" & non-mainstream from everyone else, and that somehow makes them so much better & smarter than everybody else.
- Rushed endings-- massive build up & then it's like the author got bored and hurries through the all-important reveal. Feels like a rip-off. I just read 400 pages of climb! I want more than 10 pages of reveal.
- Super Selfish characters-- you know the ones... no one else's problems matter because it's ALL ABOUT THEM. Don't get me wrong, I think the teenage years can and should be a somewhat selfish time (finding out who you are and all that), but there is a line.
- Girls that don't know they're pretty. Just STOP.
- The overly obvious love interest- when the girl meets the love interest in the first page and it's obv that he loves her instantly. AND he comes on super strong and she acts like she doesn't know he likes her. OMG I can't. I actually read 2 books recently where the guy started telling their friend group that she was his girlfriend without even asking her if that was their status. He just told her he liked her and BOOM it's just assumed they're together. HELL NO!!
- The Oblivious Captain Obvious-- when you can tell a writer THINKS they're being super stealth, but it's SO damn obvious. Like the girl has sex and the author has her puking/feeling nauseous all the time and then we're supposed to be all OMG when she finds out she's pregnant. Umm, no. We're not dumb.
- Frenemies-- I'm slightly over the best friend being a frenemy. When the main purpose of the girl M/C's best friend is to do all the "bad" things so the M/C can look "good". Also, I'm into healthy girl/girl relationships these days. The boys get a TON of healthy friendships in books!
- Girl Virgins-- Sighhhh. It's really hard for this trope to go right for me. If talking about the girl's virginity adds something to the story or is a natural progression in some way, it won't completely irk me. But if a girl's virginity is brought up in a way that makes her seem "pure" or if the guy starts getting all talky-talky about her being a virgin and how special that makes her and getting all possessive over her virginity... I'm OUT!!!
But really, we all have those THINGS that make us eye-twitch a little when we read it for the 999th time. And I'm a lover of books not a hater, I swear. I just want to not read about another purple-eyed person ever again.
Do any of these things irk you?? What did I forget to add here?