This is partially a personal wish-list, partially a gathering of opinions I’ve acquired from my writerly mutuals on social media.
The following are tropes/characters that are either severely underrated or missing entirely.
- Faulty Characters: Enough perfect characters–no matter the gender. Give us books with characters who are selfish. Give us characters who thirst for power, who want to lead–they want to be “chosen” (even when there is no “chosen”). Perfect characters aren’t relatable to anyone. Give them realistic, intriguing faults.
- More Friendships: Most YA books, even fantasy and science fiction, have subplots that circle around romantic relationships. I, personally, (and many others that I’ve noticed) want more books about groups of friends who have their own issues–who go through their own struggles together. Give us more supportive friendship dynamics, and show all the ways that friendship can be just as important as romantic relationships.
- Smarter/More present Parents: If the characters are orphans (which seems to happen frequently), this doesn’t apply. But if the character’s parents are around, usually they fall into the background and don’t matter, or they’re completely oblivious to what is going on. Give us more parenting characters who actually care about their kids, and are present and interested in their lives. Even if they have no need for the plot, at least mention them a few times. When characters go off on a grand adventure and never hear about their parents and vice versa, it’s not very realistic, and just implies that parental relationships don’t matter, which is far from the truth.
- DRAGONS: Enough said.
- Diversity: In any and every way. More. There will never be enough.
- Male/Female Friendships: This may fall under the “more friendships” category, but I personally wanted to make this one on its own because I think it’s important. Enough with all of the female and male characters becoming entangled in a love triangle. Give us more books wih females and males that are friends and nothing more, with neither of them desiring more.
Have a personal wish list of your own? Comment below and let me know!