Friends Who Stop Trusting Each Other
Your friendship doesn’t seem that strong if you can suddenly turn against your best friend of years because someone else informed you they “must have changed” because of some life experience. Why don’t you go talk to them to find out yourself before jumping to hurtful conclusions?
Pretending the “Bad Boy” Is a Viable Love Interest
Let’s get this straight. The murderous vampire is not a real love interest. He is not worth our time. Once he solves his issues, our protagonist can consider him. But it’s not her job to try to save him and to suffer when she inevitably can’t.
Couples Who Break Up for No Reason
It seems that marriage is so awfully boring that almost none of our protagonists can be saddled with such a fate. If, by some miracle, they get together before the end of the series, it is a truth universally acknowledged that they must break up over fake drama so we can have the pleasure of seeing them getting back together again before the end.
The Scourge, The Orphan Queen, The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, Castle of Shadows… they all have convoluted plots based on premises that don’t make sense. I want motives to be realistic and politics to be logical. Otherwise I can’t be fully immersed in the world. I’m just confused.
Random Plot Twists for the Sake of Drama
Plot twists should make sense, not come out of the blue. They may be unexpected but readers should be able to look back and see the clues they missed. Suddenly changing a character’s entire personality just to surprise the readers is poor writing.
Foolish Characters the Narrator Assures Us Are Super Smart
Characters can certainly be foolish or just not overly bright. I just don’t want to be constantly informed by the narrator that someone who repeatedly does silly things is actually a genius.
Lord of the Rings Knock-Offs
Tolkien did it first and he did it best. When I see orcs and Tolkien-esque Elves walking around in someone else’s world, I inevitably compare them and the other author inevitably loses because Tolkien’s characters don’t feel organic in someone else’s world.
Fake Medieval Language
Adding “eth” to the end of every word doesn’t make it medieval.
Everyone Ends Up in Bed Together
Some couples do decide to wait, but it seems like these characters are only portrayed when they are being ridiculed. I’d like to see some more inclusive stories that take waiting for marriage seriously and really consider it from the perspective of the people who do it. Especially in historical fiction. I’m sure many people broke the rules of society, but it seems like historical characters never really think about the weight of doing so, whether it’s the potential for ruining one’s prospects (or their love’s reputation), or potentially getting pregnant. They tend to jump into bed cavalierly as if they can’t imagine any potential negative consequences. And yet I find it hard to believe that the average 19th-century woman wouldn’t take a little pause or at least come up with a better scheme for doing it undetected.
I suppose these characters are supposed to appeal to modern sensibilities, but it’s rather weird to read a series of historical characters who all talk and think like they’re from the 21st century. How can it be that they are ALL so enlightened and forward-thinking? Odder yet, most of them never seem to suffer any consequences for being so far ahead of their time….
What are some of your bookish pet peeves?