- Clumsy Female Protagonist:
AKA, the writer’s only way of making this character “unique, cute, and quirky” was to send her adorably tripping over air every page and a half.Under the push to write more on “female power”, there was a misunderstanding between the readers and the writers; readers want unique female characters–not the same carbon-copy of the “not your typical girl” that bashes every other girl to make herself SEEM different.
Believe it or not, women can be interesting characters on their own–just pay attention to the ones you actually know.
- Broody-Bordering-Abusive Boyfriend: Most YA readers at one point have actually liked the scowling, brooding love interest. That’s fine and all, but it’s a little worn out, and it’s really easy to stray into abusive territory with this sort of character. If he’s dictating the protagonist’s every move, not only do you have an unhealthy relationship–you also have no need for the protagonist, since at that point she’s not even driving her own story plot.
- The Chosen One:
Predictable and overused, if plots could be compared to meat, this trope would be beef jerky. Dry and unwanted except by a rare few.Why does the main character always have to be born within a certain bloodline/picked out by the super villain, etc? Where are the protagonists that WANT to lead? That WANT to help out in any way they can, even though they have nothing special about them except their natural aversion to danger that makes them want to help in the first place?
- Zero Best Friends:Often, the main character only has about one friend in their universe/life, if that.All of them seem to have an aversion to people. If they’re popular, then the lesson of the story is a trial of their character and teaching them that being popular “isn’t everything”, and in the end they may drop their friends to end up with one or none.
I understand that most of us writers are introverts ourselves, but come on. Stop demonizing people having a lot of friends. Mix it up a little.
- Alternate Universe Where MC is Powerful:In modern (city) they’re a normal girl/guy, but once they enter a separate reality, they’re the most powerful *blah blah*, the only one who can take down *blah blah blah*
- Girl VS Girl: Branching off of some of the others, almost every book with a female protagonist has that protagonist judge every other girl. Either the other girls are too “superficial” for her taste, too “perfect” or “popular” or catty. Can there not be any healthy female/female friendships/relationships? Come on, now.
- In Love With the Brother’s/Sister’s Best Friend:There’s nothing exactly wrong with this trope–it’s just overused, and I have yet to see it used in a unique way.
Do you disagree with my list? Or do you have another trope that wasn’t mentioned? Comment and let me know!