Biggest Flaws in Your Favourite Genre


#1

Most of us have a genre of choice when it comes to our writing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of us also adore reading it as well. However, the things nearest and dearest to our hearts can often be the source of our greatest frustrations.

What’s your favourite genre, and what are the biggest mistakes you see its writers falling into? Outdated tropes, predictable plot points, horrible character cliches… let’s identify the worst our beloved genres have to offer so we can all better avoid the siren’s call of these tired formulas.


#2

A horrible trope I’m tired of is girl meets mysterious bad boy. Bad boy is vampire. OH NO she must choose, him or her humanity and they’re always named similar stuff like My Vampire Mate. There’s most likely a love triangle. It’s over used, boring, and predictable.


#3

This is mainly from the perspective who likes seeing a blend of Urban Fantasy, and Cyberpunk. Let me know if some of these seem familiar:

  1. A plucky male protagonist who is so manly, he doesn’t mind going drag to save his girlfriend from a prostitution ring.
  2. Swings around a crazy large buster sword, and despite this can still crawl through ventilation systems with other hackers.
  3. Somehow despite the Cyberpunk setting, somehow the plot still revolves around a love triangle.
  4. Lots and lots of Mako reactors. Planet destroying.

For the Medieval and Urban Fantasy.

  1. Damsel in distresses, way to much of them.
  2. Villains doing things for the lols.

You meant least favorite right?


#4

I love romance, whether it’s the main plot or a subplot. But I don’t like it when an author can’t really sell me on why the two characters should fall for each other, and it ends up seeming like the relationship was shoe-horned to fit the plot.

I also dislike and am tired of the trope of female characters in Fantasy who show how “strong” they are by refusing to wear skirts, scoffing at girly girls, and always wanting to fight with the boys. I’m over it. Nothing inherently weak about femininity.


#5

Urban fantasy: Cheesy romance.
Scifi: Awkward romance.
Fantasy: Clunky romance.
Romance: Trope-ish romance.

Hm. :thinking:


#6

I’m a sucker for stories with romance in them, and also stories that confront mental health issues, but there are some combinations of those two things that are just…ehhh.

Like when mental illnesses becomes almost an attractive quality to the guy, and the more tragedy happens or has happened to the girl the better, if that makes sense?

(Or the roles could be reversed, doesn’t have to be the girl who struggles! I actually think there’s not enough attention on guys who struggle with, for example, eating disorders. It just seems like this type of story more often has a female protagonist.)

It’s one thing to just really want to help someone through it, I get that — and those are the kinds of stories I like! Where the partner stands by them and supports them but understands that there are things they need to work through for themselves.

But when a romantic partner just swoops in and magically makes everything okay…idk. I don’t like it when there’s this vibe that it’s inherently cool or romantic to be “fixable.”

Maybe that’s a sensitive topic…I’m not trying to say to not write a character who struggles with mental illness. There are also a lot of stories that do a really good job presenting these issues, and it’s a topic that can be really powerful if done right!


#7

I don’t have a “favorite genre” as I love them all (I read and write in them), so it’s hard to say all of them.

Romance and teen fiction are the ones I tend to read and write in, specifically on here. The main flaws are the ones everyone typically knows. The writers mainly write one-dimensional characters, cliche plot lines or settings (like a high school that focuses on popularity and has bad boys), and usually has a predictable plot.

In the genre I’m currently writing (murder mystery), I think the biggest flaw I’ve seen so far is having a one-dimensional villain. I mean, their reason for murder was understandable (somewhat), but it just wasn’t satisfying and it could’ve been prevented if the characters did something else or left or something… leaving the murder to be unneeded, honestly. :woman_shrugging:


#8

I appreciate all of this.

I think far too often, romance as a side plot in popular literature follows Avril Lavigne “Sk8er Boi” logic. As in, “he was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it any more obvious”. It’s taken as a given rather than actually letting have any degree of chemistry or a visible, reasonable evolution of their relationship.

And I agree that women who shame other women in fantasy are incredibly grating. What’s worse is when they’re shown as these ideal, progressive role models when half of their character is just written to make a certain kind of woman feel lesser. I think that’s something that a story like the script for Mad Max: Fury Road did incredibly well. There were so many varied women on screen that they could be strong and combative or quiet and nurturing without being the only named example of what a female character can be in that world, and none of them ever thought they were superior to their companions. They all had a degree of mutual respect.


#9

Historical Fiction: Mostly romance plots that deal little with the times. Unless it comes to corsets. I like romance, but I love plot.

Supernatural: Again, the forced romance and not a real plot. I need something other than “I love you” and shacking up.


#10

Romance: Just because it’s a romance, people think it has to have a pretty basic storyline. Like no, go nuts, use your imagination, and stop sticking to the norms/cliche. If you’re going to write a story, please make it a story. Take your readers on a journey instead of some cheap soap opera type of cab ride.

Another thing I’m not a huge fan of (in romance, in particular) is when writers develop a character just to sort of… undevelop them in a random chapters, what’s the point of coming this far if you’re just going to regress lmao. And if it’s done deliberately, then okay, but most of the time, this is done accidentally, where characters who have come a long way (most typically “bad boys”) go back to the way there were for one or two chapters.


#11

Fantasy: When it’s mistaken for “fantasies” and filled with more romance than anything else.

Fanfiction:

  1. Overload of smuts.
  2. People ripping off a series’ plot (without any change) and either insert an original character or replace all the characters names and claim the whole thing as original.

“Anime-Inspired” Originals (usually Fantasy):

  1. Teens save the world and adults are totally useless.
  2. In fights, all the fighters do is TAAAAAAAAALK. Bonus points if, in the context of deathmatch between big good and big bad, the talk consists of the fighters explaining how their powers work to each other.
  3. Big flashback in the middle of a fight.
  4. Overchoreography like “I pirouetted counterclockwise,” “I swung my sword diagonally upwards to the left,” “I punch his left eye with my right hand,” etc.

#12

Battle skirts are a thing, people! Thanks!


#13

I used to like bad boys until met one in real life. Talk about abusive and manipulative. :joy:


#14

Boy is magical

Girl is not.

They live in magical world.

They fall in love.

They fight something I think.

They fall in love.

They live happily ever after.


#15

But how on earth is your opponent supposed to know what your super-duper-cool attack is called? It’s basic etiquette.


#16

Ughhhhh… Time to bingo this one. :joy: :clap:t2::clap:t2::clap:t2:

Protagonist as a young child fights off an adult villain along with the help of a bunch of adult friends. Actual plot runs as him being a 21 year-old smexy lad.

Hardly happens. They yell out spells though. :thinking: Much like Harry Potter does.

Flashbacks every other chapter so I don’t have to deal with it. It’s annoying, and sometimes people do want to skip it. It’s easier to skip flashbacks this way.

I pirouetted. I didn’t know the hero took ballet lessons. :joy:


#17

I feel like a lot of traits that are genuinely harmful get overly romanticized in fiction. It truly saddens me how many people have to discover the harsh truth for themselves as they grow.


#18

Of course they do. Usually they start off with an echappe, takes out a few bad guys with a well-executed grand jete before finishing it off with a lethal arabesque.

(I didn’t do any research for that joke. You have no proof.)


#19

I don’t really mind if it’s “Calling Your Attacks” trope because it’s still pretty cool (and a justified case in magic battles or such). But talking about your allegiance/what you’re fighting for/“why I’m good and you’re bad” and other attacks commentary (“Not bad,” “Nice shot,” etc for every single attack) dominate the fight more than the movements, it’s starting to grind my gears.

Commentary from spectators is a different story however.


#20

Lol, I’m with those who say “Why does it have to be some teeny weeny teens with (usually reused) bishonen designs instead of badass gruff manly men like Guts slaying all those humongous monstrosities?”

Pirouette wouldn’t have been that ridiculous if the author hasn’t been abusing (counter)clockwise throughout the fight, like those 180-degree-arc and downward-leftward-diagonal slash.