Top 5 Wednesday: Book Trends You’re Tired Of

Hey Epic Geeks,

I am hopefully going to be more active in the Goodreads Group “Top 5 Wednesday”. This is a group that every Wednesday you name the top 5 books (or TV shows) that fit into the category. I loved this because it helps prompt you for a blog post or YouTube Video! This week’s topic is “Book Trends You’re Tired Of”. Make sure you let me know down below what book trends you are tired of.


Underdeveloped characters is easy to do when you’re writing, but I really hate it. I want to read about a great main character and side characters. I don’t want to see how the main protagonist is oh-so-amazing when everyone else it so much worse. I want to see everyone being “powerful” in their own ways, but they also need flaws! Underdeveloped characters just show a lack of attention to detail. This is a major trend in YA, but it’s also in other genres.


My number 4 goes with number 5. I hate meaningless characters. These characters are the characters that the author just didn’t want to edit out. They realized that the character wasn’t worth it and just kill them off. However, the character usually is underdeveloped and the death doesn’t actually have meaning or an impact on the book. When you realize you don’t need a character, don’t just kill them off, edit them out. YES, this takes a ton of time, but this is actually a tip that I found from YouTube. If I find the video again, I’ll link it here.


One that I had to include somewhere is romanticizing abusive relationships. This is way too common in YA. I cannot stand romanticizing physical or emotionally abusive relationships. One that was popular among many ages was Twilight. Edward and Bella matched every sign of an abusive relationship. I think it can be very dangerous for younger readers (and any other age range) to see this, especially if they don’t know any better.


Number 2 on trope I hate is the lack of diversity in many books. This year I am trying to read more own voice books, which are diverse books that are written by an author who has actually experienced what a character in the book has experienced. I plan on going much more in depth in a blog post about own voice books. I really hate the lack of diversity in characters and experiences in so many books. I love diversity in characters. Stop many everyone the same.


The number 1 on this list is …. insta-loveI cannot stand insta-love. Occasionally this can happen in real life, however, you normally don’t act on it immediately. I really hate how many books have insta-love rather than depicting how falling in love usually happen. Of Fire and Stars is a great example of a book that doesn’t have insta-love. You see the main characters fall in love slowly over time. I loved all of the small tid-bits you could pick up on each side. Honestly, not having insta-love in a book makes you fall more in love with the book.


 

Do you dislike any of these trends in books? What are your top 5? I’m really curious because sadly, there are too many trends to hate. I’m trying to write a novel at the moment and I will be trying to avoid any of these tropes!

 

Keep calm and stay epic,

Kayla

  • Kind of linked to 2 & 4, I hate “token” characters, like including a gay or black friend.

    Sometimes you feel the author, just changed the sexuality or ethnicity of a character to make the character more interesting or to fill a quota.

    • Agreed … it’s like when Hollywood has a “diverse” cast when it’s obviously forced.

      Most token characters I’ve seen don’t even have characteristics that make the character seem real. They literally just changed the ethnicity. =/

  • I love lists like these because they make me go back and look through my own work for such flaws. <3

    • Oh absolutely. I noticed that in my older writing (ten years ago). I wanted to create the “perfect” character, when in reality, they’d become a Mary Sue. Now, when reading and writing, I realize that those amazing characteristics can be split up into multiple characters and everyone can also have flaws.

      This is why one of my favorite quotes AND biggest tips for writing is “read more”. Everyone can learn from reading other works.

      And that was a really round about answer, so TL;DR, lists like this can help improve writing in a wide spectrum. I don’t, however, hate your characters and writing. I’ve not noticed any of these trends. (:

  • Erica Robyn

    Oh my goodness, yes; romanticizing abusive relationships seriously needs to stop!

    • Exactly! I cannot stand it, especially when it’s emotional abuse … not because it’s any better or any worse, but because it’s harder to detect especially when you’re in that situation. I love books that come out and say “No, I can’t stand how so and so is treating me. I have to get out” over “he must love me soooo much”.

  • Mariah Kaercher

    Insta love is definitely annoying.

    • I love seeing authors create magnificent stories and making characters fall in love quickly … but instant is a little much.

      The Sun is Also A Star is a great example of quickly falling in love (within a day) BUT it definitely wasn’t instant. A lot went into it, including science! (:

  • Yup to all the list. And yup: insta-love is super annoying 🙁 Urrrghhh

    • I thought I replied to you, SORRY!

      Yes. Insta love is ughhh. As I told Mariah, The Sun is Also A Star is a great example of falling in love (within a day) but it wasn’t insta-love. They had science to back it, as well as tragedy, and a lot happen in one day.

  • John Michael Sharp

    Agreed on all, and particularly on the romanticism of abuse. I feel that everything you have covered actually could be explained by the increasing ease of self publishing. My writing life goes back over a decade and I am only now confident in my prose and ability. I reread some of my earlier stuff, be they short stories or roleplaying scenarios and cringe. The stuff that made me cringe, is what you are talking about and stems from lack of experience and lack of critical appraisal. Without meaning to patronise a genre, it sounds like bad fan fiction (I haven’t read much good fan fiction, truth be told, but I don’t dismiss it as a medium). I believe 50 Shades is a good example as it started life (unlife) as twilight fanfic

    • I love how self publishing is rising due to the advancement in technology. Amazon and other companies is making it easier however, you have to do a lot of marketing yourself and it’s still very hard to get going and become successful.

      Progression is good. If you can’t look back on your work and cringe, you’re doing something wrong. Hopefully in ten years, you’ll do the same thing (even if you’re writing amazing works). (:
      However, I hope you don’t fall into bad tropes still. 😉

      Yes, I know 50 Shades was a fanfiction and I haven’t read it still yet. I picked it up for under $2 recently and still cringe when I see it. Maybe one day I’ll read it and laugh. Who knows.

      • John Michael Sharp

        Actually, self publishing was one of the reasons I started the blog. My target audience included gamer-geeks so it just made sense to start building up a free-ish following online even if it takes months (which at this rate it will, but that is to be expected). Weirdly, my parents have the entire trilogy and both enjoyed it. I remember one of my creative writing lessons, the tutor had basically found an audio file of some really awful phrasing from the book that was repeated over and over and over. I won’t buy. I have more time for fan fiction than I once had, I won’t dismiss it simply because it falls into that category but I won’t 50 shades. I tried Twilight. I had to stop. Story was unappealling and the writing was sloppy (which I could have forgiven if the story appealled to me. )

        • That’s awesome. Blogging is a whole new world in it’s own and it’s amazing. The community is great. (:

          I enjoyed Twilight as it came out … but I was literally 11 at the time, haha. I have found much better writing since then.

        • That’s awesome! Blogging is it’s own world within itself. The community is great. I love it. (:

          I loved Twilight as it came out … but I was literally 11 years old. I didn’t know any better. I have found much better writing since then and also know that those are NOT healthy relationships.

          • John Michael Sharp

            I don’t actually look down on Twilight, not anymore at least. blah blah technical stuff, I am not in the target demographic. Though, yes, it is not healthy and I wonder at why the target audience does find it appealling. That being said, it is hardly the first time abusive has been romanticised. Love potions spring to mind as they are analogous to date rape drugs