Biggest Flaws in Your Favourite Genre


Sci-Fi / Dystopian Future

I am trying so hard not to fall into the same tropes as many Sci-Fi books do, but I’m running into the same character arcs as many books I’ve read in the past. Main character puts his everything into main power in the universe, finds out they’re corrupt/evil/against his ways, joins previously “evil” group, takes down original organization.

After writing the first few chapters of the book I’m writing at the moment, I went back and decided to change it, so there’s conflict within the reader themselves. I’m deciding to make it a morality question, with no clear winner, or correct side. Now I’ve got two protagonists who are each others antagonist, and I’m loving it.


And I’m just gonna throw this in here too, cause it covers a lot of genres I read.

Needless romance. You know what? I love romance in some stories. Sometimes it flows well, and the characters have legitimate chemistry. But most times it comes out of no where and makes absolutely no sense. The best example I have is Akame Ga Kill. I love this show. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it, but the “love interest” made no god damn sense, and came out of no where. No development, no set up, no nothing. It takes two episodes, and it’s worthless. A complete waste of time.

Too many writers seem to have this need to set up a love interest. This is something that needs to change. There can be two main characters, or a main and a side, who go through the story without ending it by walking to the sunset together or any of that. Just once, I want to read a book with two badass characters who are good friends, who don’t end by confessing their love.


Awh, I’m sorry you had to go through that… :cry:


In fantasy,

  • same basic races and societies [elves! kingdoms! only white people!]
  • The runaway royalty trope is. kinda dumb?
  • Farmer being immediately good at fighting and shit. Different skillsets.
  • A bunch of intrigue over Some Big [Race, Faction, Type of Magician] and MC realizes halfway through the book that they are this thing
  • The Guild of __ - especially if it’s like. the guild of assassins or some dumb shit. I read one popular fantasy book in a book club that did this and just. it makes no sense?
  • Everyone can survive on a knapsack filled with hardened bread and cheese.


My favourite is when the Thieves Guild is a known, established organization but somehow no one has raided the place to arrest them all.


god right? Like. Who is your police force, or law keepers or… whatever here???


This is by far the best term for this I’ve ever heard and I’ll be using it from now on. Hot damn that’s good.

Okay, favourite genres:

Historical fiction: why do all the women have to get raped? Like, people didn’t just go around getting randomly raped all the time 200 years ago. What kind of nonsense is this?

Urban Fantasy: USA is the only country in the world :slight_smile:" Like it’s okay to base your story there, but maybe just put some twist on it? Make the characters travel around? Not everything has to happen on the streets of Brooklyn or Manhattan or whatever.

And maybe the thread it somewhere else too? Why are all the baddies only focused on the US?


“It’s realistic for the time period,” say the authors that refuse to give their characters sub par teeth and their women body hair, or accurately describe clothing appropriate to the time.


I hope to never find myself in a situation where I have to defend myself and fight for my life…with that being said, if I ever do find myself in a fight, I will declare myself the King of Life and War if I ever exhibited the courage to shout out my attacks before they happened.


Sworn Enemy: What are you doing?


Sworn Enemy: No. Can- effortlessly evades kick Can you stop?

Me: You are a worthy foe.

Sworn Enemy: Am I?

Me: Now, prepare to meet my awesome power!!

Sworn Enemy: Oh, boy.


Sworn Enemy: What does that even mean?


I’ve never agreed with something more. Can we please get a good story that takes place in like, London Ontario or something? Or like, Dublin Ireland? Something that no-one ever reads about? There are more places in the world that California people!



For real. I’m all for being historically correct but having all major female characters raped is dumb. And not historically correct.


Right? What about a protag that speaks with a heavy southern twang?

“Oh holy hot damn, you just went and fucked up good, son!”

While they kick the magical baddies’ asses.

But no, everything happens on 23’d street in New York City. It’s a really odd trope, and I’ve definitely been guilty of setting things in the US too. But like… They still travel around. Baddies are everywhere and why the hell would you stay in one place if you’re being hunted down by :sparkles: magic :sparkles: ?


Holy shit, I want an entire fantasy book where the hero speaks with like, the heaviest southern drawl on the planet :joy:


Let’s talk about issues with steampunk, or SteamProblems, if you will.

  • air pirates in a big dirigible make no sense because airships are, in general, slow and bad at turning and bad at doing nearly everything pirates need to do in order to pirate
  • we’ve got a lot of runaway royalty in this one too
  • in steampunk, English people make up 95.8% of the population
  • magic thrown in randomly when the author realizes they don’t want to deal with physics
  • broken physics when the author realizes they don’t want to deal with magic
  • too much time spent describing the main character’s black lace blouse, brown and black leather overbust corset with bronze chains on the side and red lacing, crimson knee-length bustle skirt paired with several utility belts, cream knee-high stockings, brown combat boots, and of course, goggles and a top hat
  • everyone’s either a snobby aristocrat, a streetwise urchin, a genius mad scientist, or a free-thinking aeronaut fighting the oppressive dystopian government
  • stories set in the future with no explaination of why they’re using tech from the 1870s
  • everyone wears goggles but no one ever really uses them
  • the main character has an animal companion, either organic or clockwork
  • ~quirky~ and ~rebellious~ main characters
  • so many freaking teenage aeronauts who ran away from home to chase their dream of flying
  • ray guns (freaking ray guns; what are they doing in 1895???)
  • really stupid names, like Professor Zebulon Barnabas Chimesmith
  • gears that are just kind of… there for ambiance, I guess?
  • elephants and octopi everywhere
  • automaton love stories that’re basically badly-disguised Steam Powered Giraffe fanfiction

I’ve fallen into like 80% of these myself, and despite my annoyance with them, I really do love these tropes that make my favorite subgenre so silly and wonderful :heart:



Or a heavy Glaswegan accent.

Or an Aussie one! Just super heavy and uses a bunch of slang!


** Gasps in Zebulon Barnabas Chimesmith **

But for real, it’s true and I’ve never even thought about it. Or questioned it. Now I can’t unsee it.


How about a heavy Irish accent? Like, full on, swears like a sailor, constantly insulting everyone? I want the Lord of the Rings to be re-written with Frodo being an Irish Drunk :joy:


The stupid names are my favorite :heart::heart::heart: There was one really amazing person on a steampunk forum who would take the scrambled letters of your name and rearrange them into a new, ridiculous steampunk name and it was so fun


Hahhaa, I have an MC like that actually. It’s hilarious :joy: I didn’t go heavy on the Irish slang though, but there’s probably every swear word under the sun there.

@Xenoclea I… I want a steampunk name!


I suppose it’s my turn to list a few of my pet peeves about the fantasy genre. Brace yourselves, this is going to get a little ugly. This is by far not a complete list, but some of my biggest complains off the top of my head.

  • “I don’t have any black characters because that’s not historically accurate. No, I won’t read the article you’ve linked me about ancient trade routes and travel. And why does it matter I also have elves and a talking dragon?”

  • Authors who write twelve different cultures for their setting that are somehow all homophobic because they can’t comprehend an environment, past or present, where queer folk are just a regular part of society. (Note that this doesn’t include queer authors who are exploring their own oppression through fiction, just straight authors that seem really creative and who ignore historical president.)

  • The elves and the dwarves hate each other, because it’s what Tolkien would have wanted.

  • “I’m writing an epic fantasy story. It’s five novels long and has extensive world building and a huge cast of characters. There are exactly two women: the waifish elven maiden and the fiery haired, buxom tavern wench who hits people with a frying pan”.

  • Stories that get weirdly obsessed with dynasties. I know that prophecies and royal bloodlines are fun and all, but North American media has a weird obsession with stories where every protagonist is from a rare bloodline and destined from birth for greatness. Let some regular people rise to greatness. Let the orphaned hero discover he’s just from a family of dirt farmers but still save the world.

  • Eurocentric settings are the default. The majority of characters? White. The architecture and structure of government? English castles and social classes. Everyone is named Willam or Kat.

  • “You’ll pry our obsession with absolute monarchy from our cold, dead hands.”

  • “If you want more diversity, write your own stories. Creators aren’t obligated to cater to you.” Five years later, when we did. “What’s all this gay/racially diverse/etc pandering nonsense.”