Last week I compiled a list of things I’m stick of reading about. I asked around for inspiration, but I did not take a poll. These are my personal conclusions. Feel free to reply with some of your own! 🙂
1. Rich people. It often seems to me that 99% of the stories are about the top 1% of the population. I get that money makes a lot of other things easier, but it has become a crutch. And, I realized recently, I am particularly sick of feeling like I (representative of comfortably middle class America) am supposed to personally sympathize with the “hardships” that comes with wealth, which brings me to…
2. Poor little rich people who can’t find love because of their money. But if us middle class readers are supposed to love all those heroes for themselves as opposed to their money, why aren’t more of them middle class? (See #1 🙂 )
3. Modern-day values in historical settings. When I asked for help coming up with items for this list, modern day feminists who came up in historical settings came up, and I agreed, but I thought there was more to the issue. In a way, it’s understandable. It’s hard for people (and I’m not just picking on writers here, they are writing to an audience after all) to accept that our present-day value system isn’t somehow universal. But it’s not. For me, this issue is a reason that I usually avoid any romance set much before the 1800s, when love became a realistic basis for marriage. But it also rears its ugly head in stories set during Civil War America (especially the ones abut rich Southerners who do not own slaves), and yes, in those long-ago feminists behaving pretty much as us modern feminists do.
4. Protagonists who don’t get pregnant despite having sex five times a day for months on end without any form of contraception. (Could also be… authors who don’t seem to understand the link between sex and pregnancy.) I’ve almost written an entire article about this point alone on several occasions, but it always gets away from me and ends up being too long. So, for the sake of brevity, I’ll leave this here. 🙂
5. Related: Infertile protagonists who miraculously become fertile by the end of the story, or who find out they were never infertile to begin with. It is to the point where I very simply DO NOT BELIEVE you when you try to tell me your character is infertile. I have read dozens of stories like this, and in only one (1) very recent instance to the heroine turn out to be infertile. I gave the book a higher rating for pure nerve. Authors: If you want to deal seriously with infertility and the challenge this may pose to a romantic relationship then great, but somehow you’re going to have to convince me early on that you’re not going to work a miracle at the end, because at this point I’m likely to toss the book before I ever find out you meant it.
6. Vampires. Especially the romantic ones.
7. True love/soulmates. I do believe in love, but come on… give me something real. It’s honestly more compelling if you do.
8. The chosen one. Fantasy has really done this one to death. Prophecies in general are a bit overdone, too, and can break the plot far too easily.
9. Serial killers. This was one I’m echoing after at least half a dozen other voices shared it. I’m not sure I’m as sick of them as others, but then, I haven’t sought out this type of book so I haven’t read about them as much. It doesn’t take much to see that they’re everywhere, and probably overdone.
10. Kick-ass female protag. I want to be careful not to confuse this with STRONG female protags. But ever since Buffy, women have gone from being strong in a sane and reasonable way to being Rambo in high heels. And yeah, it’s a bit much.