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Cliches I want to stop seeing

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  • Cliches I want to stop seeing

    This is purely my opinion, and I don't mean to offend or attack anybody when writing this. I understand the appeal of using cliches; They wouldn't be cliche if people weren't entertained by reading them. However, there is a point where a common trope is used too much that it becomes annoying.
    More often than not, especially in these newer stories, authors have come up with a clever twist on a cliche that makes me want to read it.
    I've compiled a short list of cliches that I cringe at, no matter how well it's executed.

    Romance Cliches
    1. The girl that's out to get the MC. We've all read, or written this character at some point. She's usually a bottle blonde, rich, snobby girl that hates the main character for absolutely no reason. Whether it's creating rumors or sleeping with a boyfriend, she's portrayed as plain evil. This character will most likely have 2 servants, one that's dumb and one that likes pink! How can this cliche become less cliche? Make her (or him) a rival for a good reason! I continue reading stories with this character just to see if they'll have a good reason for being such an evil character. Make the MC actually have done something worth being hated for, not just being into this girl's boyfriend.
    2. The Cinderella complex. This type of story is about a girl who's treated super unfairly by her mother and/or siblings. This also applies to mean girls hating on the MC. Then, comes her prince charming. After they meet and go through their tribulations, he makes everything better and gets rid of her evil family members. How can this cliche become less cliche? That's a hard one to fix, especially if the central plot revolves around this, and needs these elements to work. I would suggest simply making her become her own woman, without needing her "prince charming" to get rid of her bullies. Make her move out and become independant. As the Cheetah Girls once said, " I don't want to be like someone waiting; For a handsome prince to come and save me." Let her rescue herself.
    3. Choose-a-brother/Pitting friends against one another for love. In more and more stories, I'm seeing the MC have to choose between a man and his brother, or a dude and his best friend. More often than not, I see these men hate each other because of this one girl. How can I fix this cliche? For me, it's not enough to let the girl be able to choose. Have them both give up on her. Make them have a bromance and become closer because of their feelings for one girl. Or simply, make the love interests two men who don't know each other so I don't have to go through the pain of watching close af people be pulled apart. To me, that makes the MC seem evil, especially if she just leads both of them on.
    4. Living with the ____ boy. Fill in the blank here. It can be bad boy, mysterious boy, nerdy boy. Any adjective you can put before "Boy" as a stereotype, we've seen. Sure, readers love the "omg I just walked in on this sexy man after a shower!" trope, but it's getting old to see plots revolved around moving in with some boy, a bunch of sexual tension and hatred, then falling in love. How can I fix this cliche? Simply. Don't. Do. It. There are a million and one ways that you can force your two characters together, even in a high school setting. Even having them be neighbors would be better than another not-so-surprising move in with the neighborhood bad boy. The only time I want to see anyone moving in together is if it's two characters that form a bromance or a sismance (I don't think that's a word, but whatever). It doesn't always have to be the resident bad boy/love interest that the MC moves in with.
    5. The girl who only wants love. This character is usually written with the mentality and naivety of a child. Her life is all rainbows and sparkles... Except that she doesn't have a boyfriend for X reason. How can I fix this? This is the 21st century, people. Any modern-day woman is going to have her own goals and aspirations that don't revolve around a man. Keep that in mind when you're writing, even women in romance stories have their own lives apart from their love interest(s).
    6. The gang-leader's lover. It's only natural to want a sexy, badass man to want you. However, it's getting a bit overused to see some poor MC become the target of a meticulous gang leader. How can this be fixed? Let's face it, a gang leader will have power, money and most definitely women. It's highly unlikely that he'll fall in love with some girl he sees on the streets and throw away all of the women he has on his disposable cell phone. That's just not the personality of someone running a gang. Have you ever even researched what a gang is? They kill people. They sell drugs. They instill fear in citizens. The leader of these people will not be some gold-hearted romantic that wants to settle down with the first average-looking girl he sees.
    7. The teacher and his student. Oh boy, let me clarify something. If your main character is in high school: DO NOT DO THIS. Being in college and of age is one thing, but being underage and having an adult (no matter how early he graduated college) pursue a relationship with you is kind of disgusting. If you're 16 and he's 24, and you're sexually involved, that's rape. He's a sick person, taking advantage of a young girl, and that should NOT be romanticized. It's not a love that defies age norms, it's not even cute to think that an adult man would actively pursue a relationship with a young girl... Unless this man has no morals and wants to no longer have a future in teaching. If you're in college, that's a lot more acceptable, but most college professors are old?? Also, it's just simply unprofessional for any kind of teacher or mentor to get involved with his student. Period. I'm not even going to offer a solution because I don't think this should be a plot option. The only thing I'll say is make it a TA (teaching assistant) so that he's not held at such a high standard as a professor would be.
    8. The cheating a-hole partner. *even I'm guilty of using this one lmao* Stories with cheating partners can be well written, don't get me wrong! If the plot isn't focused on the cheating and having him trying to win her back being the love triangle, it can be easily inserted into the story to help jumpstart it. However, do not let the MC actually have the choice of getting back with this person, especially if he cheated with somebody close to her (sister, friend, etc..) It only promotes unhealthy and unrealistic relationships, especially if the MC spend half of the story convincing herself that he'll change. No, if he had the balls to sleep with someone close to her, he'd do it again. Also, do not blame it on the other woman! Even if she knew about the relationship, and still chose to sleep with him, he was the one in the relationship - not her. Unless this character has done everything she could to tear down the MC for no reason (see #1) then there is no real reason to blame the other woman.
    9. Anything with "Pregnant by" in the titles. Pregnancy and childbirth is definitely something that happens in real life, and the number of teen mothers is definitely growing. However, think of something original if you want a pregnancy story. Make the child wanted, make the parents support the girl (especially if she's younger), do not make the boy abandon the girl then come to realize that he loves her later on. There are a million ways to come up with a fresh pregnancy story, you don't have to use what's already been done.
    Lifestyle Cliches
    1. Hogwarts. This cliche isn't /actually/ the magic school from the Harry Potter series, but moreso the fact that it's magic that these young adults would be accepted to more than a community college. I'm talking about high-status school such as Harvard, Yale, NYU. How can I fix this? Of course, you want to make your character go to the best school possible, but let's be realistic. A son of a gang member would not be going to Harvard unless he spends more time studying than he does threatening the livelihood of others. First of all, research. Understand what the requirements of getting into these schools are, and shape your character's lifestyle to fit those requirements. A girl that constantly sleep through class and never does homework would NOT be going to Yale... Unless she was some super genius with amazing connections. Even then, it's iffy.
    2. The overnight celebrity/Rags to Riches. Usually, this character is one that becomes a celebrity by posting videos on social media, or Vlogging. She may or may not be pressured by her friend because of her bottled up talent or whatever. Needless to say, this only happens to a small percentage of the population.Let me also add any kind of story where the MC was some poor girl who barely made minimum wage, but miraculously came to being rich because her parent is X (CEO, Gang leader, queen). How can I fix this cliche? Make her work for her celeb-status! Have her fail auditions, have her stay up and practice until she falls asleep on the floor. I want to see someone work for something like this, not just be handed it on a silver platter because of one video.If you want your character to be rich, see the #3 on this list!
    3. The princess that defies royal standards. This character doesn't even have to be royalty. He or She comes from a well-off family that has some kind of power, which means at least one family member is borderline corrupt/mean. This character will have always been fascinated with the poor person's lifestyle, and may or may not pretend to be poor as an escape! How can I fix this? Once, just once, I'd love to see a princess/rich person that actually wants to be where they are! No, I'm not talking Princess Diaries-style. I mean a person that grew up with royalty, or having a background with money and is happy to inherit her kingdom! A real princess would likely die out in the real world, a real rich person would have struggles. If you do continue with this trope, I suggest showing those struggles. A string of coincidences will not leave your .character with the perfect job for them and a nice ass apartment.
    4. The orphan. As someone with a close relationship with my parents, orphaned MCs only make me depressed. While this does evoke sympathy from readers, and death is definitely a realistic element... Not everybody has to live without their parents. How can I fix this? Make your character have some kind of relationship with a parental figure! If you think parental relationships are too much for your story, put the parent on the other side of the country! Maybe her mother retired in Florida and only has time for a phone call every now and then. Your parent doesn't have to be the most important character in the story, but it's not right to just kill them off because you're lazy.
    5. I'm fine, I swear. This cliche happens a lot after major, tragic events, such as death. Your character will mourn for one, maybe two scenes but be completely over it and ready to party by the end of the episode. How can I fix this? Listen, I get it. It's hard to write grief on episode because of limited emotions and such. However, there are ways to accommodate for a realistic story. Maybe have your character start on a self-destructive path. Maybe give her bottled up anger that she explodes on anybody or everybody. Show something throughout the next few episodes that aren't just the MC living life as if her best friend/mother/goldfish hadn't just died.
    6. Diversity. The biggest thing is no diversity anywhere. If there is diversity, the "good guys" are inevitably the straight white ones and the villains will be PoC, coded as somewhere in the LGBT+ spectrum, or both. Alternately, the only racial diversity is the main character's love interest, who is inevitably fetishized throughout the story.
    7. Self-Image. This main character will constantly think she's ugly and A) be bullied because of it or B) Everyone around her will try to convince her otherwise. Either way, there's no actual mention or possibility that she may have some sort of mental illness that is making her see herself this way.
    8. "I'm leaving for your own good, I promise!" This always just seems like a last minute effort for authors to throw in some more drama before the story ends. We KNOW they'll end up together, so please stop dragging it out with this predictable ploy where the MC remains unselfish just to break the love interest's heart, and then it'll all revealed that the MC had another reason. If I were to find out that the person I love is leaving for MY benefit, I'd only feel that much worse.
    9. "I'm hard on you because I love you" This usually comes from a parent, or adult figure during the course of the story after making the MC complete hate him/her. The problem isn't the sentence itself, but rather what it dismisses when a character says it. Often times, borderline child abuse is just excused away with the unoriginal sentence. What do I mean? Well, I'm not going to name any stories, but in general, it's the ones where a character's parents do things such as locking them away from the outside world (forbidding them to see their friends, taking their phone), hounding them about their studies/forcing them to follow a certain path that they don't even want, etc. I get that some parents can be overbearing, but I'm just tired of seeing this behavior and I'm tired of seeing MCs that put up with it. More often than not, it's a parental figure (such as an aunt or whatever) who's "Doing her darned best to give MC the best life he/she can have" when in reality, they're only making them suffer. I so DESPERATELY want to see supportive parents.
    Fantasy Cliches
    1. A prophecy/destiny/the chosen one. These days, it's like we can't have a fantasy story without having your character be the only person who can complete X task. Sure, it's a nice trope that you can rely on because there are very, very many prophecy/destiny variations you can think of, but come on. When are we going to think of something original, people? How can I fix this? There are thousands of ways to throw your character(s) on an adventure. He/She doesn't need to hear a prophecy ominously repeated by an old hag, make him/her want to go on this adventure, not just because they have to!
    2. Magic without limits. This isn't so much of a cliche as it is a pet peeve of mine. If your setting is in a world that uses magic, actually build that world and create the laws of magic. It's so frustrating to see characters able to perform their magic without constraints or any kind of backlash. How can I fix this? Always, and I stress, always set rules for your magic before you even begin writing. Even if the character doesn't know these rules, make them. You can even ominously hint at somebody not following these rules and dying... Or whatnot. Make sure the magic system has it's flaws and things that make it unappealing. Need some examples? Every time your character casts a spell, he/she loses 1 year of her natural life (and no, there are no legal spells that can extend that time.) Or, every power in the world is connected to one thing: The magic volcano on the highest mountain. Every time somebody uses their powers, that volcano gets fuller and fuller. Once it reaches the top, it will kill all of civilization.
    3. The dark lord. This man is always the story's main antagonist for no other reason than the fact that he hates the MC (he's the bottle blonde of fantasy stories.) He might be a king afraid of the MC stealing his throne, or an actual dark lord with magic powers. Either way, this needs to stop. Well, how can I changes this? Make the antagonist someone we wouldn't even expect at first! If it is the king afraid of the MC stealing his throne, make him kind hearted and have a soft spot for the MC. When he tries to kill him/her later, it will come as a surprise plot twist. Don't dress this character in all black and give him an evil laugh. Make him someone who has a reason for hating the MC, make him more normal and relatable.
    4. The puppet master. We've all read the story or watched the show where the MC is being threatened by somebody... But that somebody just turns out to be a puppet. He/She is being controlled behind-the-scenes by an evil puppet master that's manipulative and only self-serving. How can I fix this? It's usually more of a plot twist, so you could just simply leave it out. It's no longer shocking that the king has a heart of gold and is only following what his trusted advisor tells him.
    5. Supernatural existence. The MC of this story will be surrounded by supernatural existence and deny it, or maybe experience one supernatural phenomenon and vow to uncover the secrets of the world. This is a difficult one to fix because entire plots revolve around it. I suggest continuing with caution with this cliche.
    6. "I just want to be normal!" This character will have some sort of magic or supernatural ability but all he/she wants is to be a normal teenager! Well... That's just ridiculous, to say the least. If I found out I had some power or whatnot, I'd dig the hell out of that and use it as much as I could.
    Horror Cliches
    1. Killing off a character. In horror stories, it's only natural to want a character to die. It's not the killing them off that's the cliche, it's the person you kill off that rubs me the wrong way. More often than not, it's a background character or someone not of real importance to keep your story from moving on. How can I fix this? Think of every character as disposable. It's more satisfying to see characters struggle because of a death, rather than just being able to move on with no real character changes. Each death should be meaningful, even if you have to kill them off as a result of a dangerous serial killer.
    2. The ending. Happy endings in horror movies are like summer school. I don't want to see everything resolve all nice for the MC with a perfect little bow wrapped around it with every story. I want to see the MC go through trials and tribulations and heartbreak just to see her world crumble even more at the ending. It's unrealistic that the serial killer will be caught right before the MC gets killed. It's unrealistic to think the mystery will be solved within the allotted time. Of course, we do want the MC to get through it sometimes. Everyone deals with grief and tragedy differently. You will not forget about somebody trying to kill you for X reason in a year. It takes time to heal, and I can't stand when stories are so unrealistic to think that somebody can just be all happy-go-lucky if they saw X happen and thought they were going to die. How can I fix this? Simply add in some kind of anxiety or thoughts about what had happened. It can be the MC seeing the same blue eyes as the ones that stared at her while stabbing her while she's shopping. Just do something to show that everything that happened just completely disappeared from the MCs thoughts.
    3. The instant 007. Our heroine has exhibited nothing but Paris Hilton-level intelligence throughout the entire movie. But once she’s the only survivor left, she discovers the brains to build an incredibly clever, ingenious, and lethal trap/weapon out of nothing but a rubber band, shoelace, and half-eaten hamburger! How can I fix this? Even if you want your character to act dumb, make her father be some kind of survivalist or ex-military. Show flashbacks of him teaching her this stuff, so that it's not just her improvising and miraculously able to do it.
    4. Nobody will listen. No matter what is going on or how crazy it looks, neither the police, your parents, or anyone else will believe you. There can be a body ripped to shreds which clearly not even a group of teens can do; yet, you will still be blamed. How can I fix this? If you don't want the police involved in your story... Don't have your characters contact them! Police are a lot more serious about accusations than many story portray, and won't just dismiss you because you're a teenager.
    Mystery Cliches
    1. Confronting the past. This cliche is so often used in mysteries that I've come to expect it. Whatever the current crime/mystery is, it always, without fail, causes the MC to have to relive some kind of tragedy or have to face her/his past.Usually, the past is linked to a suspect or a location, and the detective, no matter how boozed up or depressively catatonic, is compelled to confront a dark episode in his or her own past. How can I fix this? If you absolutely must throw in the MC having some kind of tragic past, make it unrelated to the case or whatever is going on. It's a lot more refreshing to see the MC be able to compartmentalize and separate work from their personal life than it is to see the MC get worked up over this specific case.
    2. The suicide is actually a homicide! Even though in real life, suicides -especially by gun- far outnumber homicides, suspicious deaths in mysteries never turn out to be suicides. If police do classify the death as a suicide, you can count on the hero or heroine spending the whole book bucking the system before finally discovering that the crime scene was, in fact, cleverly staged, and that—omigosh!—the death was actually a homicide. Eye-rolling intensifier: in staged suicides, it’s become way too common to have the victim be left-handed, a fact that, for some reason, can only be discovered by the heroic detective who bucks the system. Handedness completely overthrows suicide theories when the bumbling police (see number 3 below) realize the left-handed victim could not possibly have shot himself from that particular angle. How can I fix this? Just don't do it, man.
    3. The police are bumbling idiots. You know the stories. The MC/detective goes to the police because of these grisly murders/kidnappings only to be told that they cannot help because of politics. From that point, aforementioned mc/detective takes matters into their own hands and solves the mystery. How can I fix this? As said above, if you don't want police involvement, don't add police involvement. They aren't just going to sit on their hands while somebody is out there killing people.
    4. Everyone has daddy issues. Daddy issues are an easy way to explain away prickish behavior. Got a protagonist with a fresh mouth, or who is quick to throw a punch? Just factor in some abuse by a father figure, and it’s like a free pass—you can’t really blame them right? And thusly, a dark character attribute turns into a storytelling crutch. How can I fix this? Think of a fresh, new reason why the character may act this way. It may just be his personality! It doesn't need to be some big thing to reveal his abusive past to justify his actions. A jerk is a jerk. A killer is a killer. Throwing in an abusive past does not make me sympathize.
    Adventure Cliches
    There's really only one I can think of for adventures, since adventure is usually more of a sub-plot to other genres.
    1. Magic Money. Not /real/ magic money, unless you're in a fantasy story. I mean money that you didn't even know you have, crawling up from the cushions in your couch to assist you on this road trip. Let's be honest, a high school girl that's working minimum wage will not have the luxuries that a lot of these adventure stories may provide. She'd be staying in a dumpy motel, she'd be counting her every penny. It's not realistic if an 18 year old girl and her friends just jump into the car and leave without any planning. How can I fix this? You can be realistic. Money will always be an issue in the real world, unless you're rich and just have absolutely no cares. Make your character stress, make him/her have to do odd jobs wherever they're staying just to have dinner; Especially if they don't have their parent's backing on this. (sorry for the overuse of road trip, that's really the only adventure I can think of that's not fantasy.)
    Again, please comment if you have anything to add!
    Last edited by catsharp53; 12-02-2017, 12:50 PM.

  • #2
    One thing I thought about yesterday is the fact that there is always a character/MC that gets into Harvard/Yale or NYU. For one thing, it's always these three universities that are continually being overused, and another thing is that in Episode stories, it is "pretty easy" to get into these universities. I was reading this story yesterday, the MC is the son of a gang leader, and he simply says that since he is moving to NY, he will be going to NYU. And in the story, there is not a single
    hint about him being academically inclined. Hell, there isn't even a single scene that entails him going to school or studying. Most of the time he's hitting up chicks or he's with his friends at the bar.

    You can't just get into schools like NYU without having the appropriate academic requirements nailed down. And that's what's so disappointing in stories these days.

    Comment


    • catsharp53
      catsharp53 commented
      Editing a comment
      That's a good point, I'll definitely be adding that one.

  • #3
    Try reading my story, Cat.

    Author: Audrey HuCares
    Title: Exchange Love
    Link: http://episodeinteractive.com/s/4862825299443712

    I don't think this story has any of the above cliches, except MC being single and bumped on a very handsome guy, and in the long run confused about her feelings towards him. No actual college, school or university mentioned, but I did research the background of what MC is currently into. Also, hell-oh-no fantasy.

    In my opinion, whatever the cliche is, as long as they nailed the directing and narrated 'beautifully' (lost of words), I can continue reading them.

    Comment


    • catsharp53
      catsharp53 commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll check it out!

  • #4
    This was really interesting to read, but do you know any overused clichés in other genres? Romance is... not among my favourites, to put it lightly. I'd love to see the overused clichés in other genres. I mean, I know a few fantasy clichés, but they are the kind that fit more in a high fantasy setting than on Episode, where the most fantasy you'll be able to make is urban.

    Comment


    • Gicaldo
      Gicaldo commented
      Editing a comment
      purplezombieattack Wow, awesome list! Thanks god, 11 is the only thing I'm guilty of.

    • purplezombieattack
      purplezombieattack commented
      Editing a comment
      No problem! And like with most cliches, #11 can still work if it's executed well.

    • 01000010 01001000
      01000010 01001000 commented
      Editing a comment
      purplezombieattack LMAO!!! Yes, to 7! Oh my god. It happened almost right out of high school. I started attending community college, but every freaken day, I was sharing the bus with a group of teens from the high school across the street. They drive me nuts! Half the stuff thses kids talk about is stupid and pointless. They're loud for no reason. I'm the pastry Chef at a local cafe. These kids come in for coffee and load it up with creamer and sugar so they don't taste the coffee. Teens that I HAVE to work with look and act like babies but expect to get treated like adults. Argh! Seriously, one of the buss boys (16 years old) called out of work because he had the AIMS test to study for "and [he] can't even". WHAT?! I took and passed the AIMS test without studying and still attended my full-time job without fail! In this state, School Districts design that stupid test so they are easily passed and the state doesn't cut their funds for not meeting standards. THANK YOU! #7 is legit!

  • #5
    I love this post.

    Comment


    • #6
      Well, this is officially my favorite post on these forums. I'm bookmarking it and using it as a checklist; not that I've used most of these cliches since I was a brand new writer, but it's always good to have a refresher. Honestly the only cliche I would actually like to see is a real, actual Love Triangle - the sort you see in Twelfth Night, not Twilight. I don't know if I've ever seen one on Episode, but the new, twisted version of a love triangle is almost unavoidable if you're reading anything, even if it isn't a romance, and it's just exhausting.

      Also, SCREAM #9 FROM THE ROOFTOPS. I am SO CONCERNED for all these young writers and readers who use this plot device. It is SO dangerous to think of a teacher and a high school student as a justifiable couple.

      Comment


      • #7
        i think it's scary how many episode readers have fallen into the "sexy gang leader!1!" stories ;; honestly - do you know how dangerous gangs really are? i think the reason so many people romanticize this is because of the whole "protective bad boy" thing. like no??? he's probably a controlling creep?? why would you want someone else to dictate what you do with your own body/life? the mc always seems to look past the fact that this guy is a fucking murderer and a druggie, just because hE'lL dO aNyThInG fOr Me!!

        i also think it's creepy when people do the whole "faLLINg for My StEp BRoTHEr??/////" that's just weird to me - even if you aren't blood related. i could never read those types of stories.


        Comment


        • AbbyGG
          AbbyGG commented
          Editing a comment
          It's not only dangerous - but I've seen a bunch of stories where the gang leader does something really nasty to the MC, like knocking her out, or in some cases, yes, even *raping her* - and then the MC forgives her abuser because he's 'hot as fuck' or something of the sort over the course of like 2 episodes.

        • 01000010 01001000
          01000010 01001000 commented
          Editing a comment
          YES! THANK YOU!

          I was going through the comments to see if I needed to add that last bit, but yes! Stepbrothers should be off limits. I don't care how old you are when your parents got married. I don't care if you're not "actually" related simply because you don't share the same genes. He is still, at the end of the day, your family! He is legally your parent's child, therefore your sibling by law! Stop it, you thirsty bitch!

        • Alexa_x3
          Alexa_x3 commented
          Editing a comment
          I totally agree. I have 5 step brothers, some of them are in my age, but I would NEVER EVER NEEEEEVER fall for them. Like holy cow, we are a family. o.O

      • #8
        Yes! For number one, there was only one story I've read where the mean girl actually had a reason for hating the MC, and that was in Dripping Mascara. When I found out what her reason was I actually felt sympathetic for her XP

        Comment


        • #9
          Adding on to #1, the queen always has 2 assistants. One Sassy and One dumb (who likes pink)

          Comment


          • #10
            I've seen quite a few stories, and a LOT of tween sitcoms, where the "popular kids" are horrible to everyone for absolutely no reason and yet everyone still likes them, except the main character. This isn't always the case in real life.

            In my first story, I tried to make the "cool kids" more realistic. They have their flaws, but they're not evil. I have them at least try to get along with everyone, because where else would they gain their social status?

            http://episodeinteractive.com/s/6293346033860608

            Comment


            • Mary_Jane_Doe
              Mary_Jane_Doe commented
              Editing a comment
              Shoot them up



              (I'm joking don't do that)

            • AbbyGG
              AbbyGG commented
              Editing a comment
              I know in my school, the people who are considered popular are actually just as nice as those who aren't, and most of the time hate when people call them popular. And yes, there are some arrogant popular jocks and stuff like that, but they're not so mean-spirited to the fact that they go out of their way to make one single person's life a living hell.

            • Emily Dickinson
              Emily Dickinson commented
              Editing a comment
              I do find this type of thing slightly annoying too (mostly because whenever the real terrible drama sets in, it makes my blood boil) but in defense of some of these stories, there is a realistic view in it all.

              #1. Bullying is everywhere, even if there was nothing that the victim has done to provoke the bullies. (The bullies may be bullying for personal gain, because they are insecure, etc.)

              #2. Sometimes if the popular people are the bullies, most people won't see that side of them quite as much and in some cases, the bullies make it seem like the bullied people are the real bullies. (Mine and my best friend's personal experience.)

              #3. Even if the popular people are the bullies, people don't seem to care and they still end of liking them because they can get them popular, or keep them away from being the ones who are bullied. (Again, mine and my best friend's personal experience.)

              #4. People may not actually like the really mean, "popular" people but they don't want to cross paths with them because they may become bullied, gossiped about, etc, not to mention that most people are afraid to speak up. (Once again, mine and my best friend's experience...)

              #5. In the beginning the popular people may have seemed or been nice, but things may have changed since then, (hence the good social status).

              Although I have made it pretty obvious that the majority of these reasons are from my own personal experience, it goes to show that as much as these, "mean but popular" parts in stories seem very much overused and, "cliche", they are also very much realistic everyday problems, and these stories only speak of the truth in most cases.

              -Emily Dickinson

          • #11
            I'd also like to add:

            1) The cheating a-hole partner beginning. Don't get me wrong, I'd still consider a story good if the main plot isn't focused on this, but I just see a lot of MCs finding out her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend or something which is supposed to kickstart the plot. What's even worse is that the stupid guy keeps trying to win the MC's heart back when he clearly doesn't love her, like ffs I just want to get rid of him.

            2) Pregnant by _______ titles. I'm sorry but I just can't relate to a whole story centred around pregnancy. I'm fine with it as an arc or a side-plot, but I'm not sure I'd be interested in the whole plot being "uh oh, this person got me pregnant" as if abortion and adoption don't even exist in this universe.

            Sorry if this offends anyone; just my personal opinions.

            Comment


            • GiGi is Me
              GiGi is Me commented
              Editing a comment
              Abortion and adoption are horrible. Not being rude, but with adoption the parents can easily be abusive. You should only do that if you have to.

            • Mary_Jane_Doe
              Mary_Jane_Doe commented
              Editing a comment
              Fair enough, but I feel it would be more realistic if the MC at least considered those options before deciding she wants to keep the baby.

            • AbbyGG
              AbbyGG commented
              Editing a comment
              I seriously didn't even realize how true #1 was until you said it. I've seen literally 15 stories with this beginning.

              GiGi is Me - Yeah, but the argument that parents who adopt 'can' be abusive is a irrelevant because technically *any* type of parent - even biological - can be. And I actually know more people in real life in which that is the case. Abortion is more of a democratic/conservative argument, but there are many plausible reasons for adoption. Making decisions like that isn't as easy as saying 'I'll only do it if I have to'. And like Mary_Jane_Doe said, it's always especially a *big* option for people who get an unwanted pregnancy and those who don't think they're in a place in their life where they can have a baby. And it's to her point that people don't look at the plausible options as characters in the story just so they can get an active plot.
              Last edited by AbbyGG; 07-13-2017, 08:18 PM.

          • #12
            Also stories like:

            1) Abuse stories. We only need one of these in my opinion, Blake. Most of the other ones either have a wife who cheats on her husband and gets beaten to death at home, or where there is some dumb friend who basically witnesses the abuse, yet still believes the MCs lies about how he is not abusing her.
            CHARACTER1: *Watches girl get abused or hears screams*
            CHARACTER1: "Is he hitting you?"
            CHARACTER2: "No, I just tripped."
            CHARACTER2: "Oh, ok."
            2) Forced marriage stories. Forced marriage is horrible, they basically meet the girl 5 minutes before the wedding, and everyone expects them to fall in love in 2 seconds. Then the man is like "This is going to be awkward but ok." *2 chapters later* "I love you so much."

            3)Copies of stories. I went through, randomly scrolling through the stories in the Romance section (Don't ask) and I saw several stories that were basically copies of ones in my favorites or ones in the trending sections. I understand making a story like it, but does the title have to be the exact same too?!

            4) Stories that "everyone" loves.
            CHARACTER1: "OMGS MI BESTIES DIED N ACCIDENTS IL NEVER BE HAPPY AGAN!"
            CHARACTER2: "Hey, I doesn't care. Le's make out."
            CHARACTER1: "How can I say nos 2 u."

            Comments:
            Best story eva!
            Love ya so much!
            Keep righting! her besties bf is so hawt!

            5) Stories where the mean girl will kill the MC for a boy.
            MEAN GIRL: *Tries to shoot the mc for an ugly guy*
            MEAN GIRL: *Kidnaps MC and throws her in the ocean."
            MEAN GIRL: *Kills the MCs parents.*
            MEAN GIRL: *Goes to jail for 5 minutes*
            MEAN GIRL: *Calls her daddy and he bails her out (Though I highly doubt you can bail someone out for murder.)
            MEAN GIRL: *Has a crowd of people dancing and praising her even though she's psycho.
            MC: *Cries* "Please leave me alone!"
            BOY: "I will never date your ugly face!"
            BOY: *Decides to date the mean girl because if he doesn't she will kill the MC*
            MEAN GIRL: *Gets away with all of it.*

            Comment


            • GiGi is Me
              GiGi is Me commented
              Editing a comment
              I know! It was at the most, a week or 2 after they met and Darius is like "I'm so glad we got married". When they couldn't even look at each other before.

            • Lum
              Lum commented
              Editing a comment
              It's sad that actually there are stories like the 4th and they are exactly like your description.

            • Hopelessromantic
              Hopelessromantic commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree with the blake statement. I think it is done well but abuse is treated like nothing. I have read countless tories of rape, murders, death and rhe character moves on like nothing has happened. I like my stories to be somewhat realistic wih emotions. Same with romance. Virgins have sex in an instant. Kiss then jump into bed, no build up no relationship. I know it does happen but wouldnt think it would be that often

          • #13
            Episode: "Keep your story PG-13"

            Writers: "ok mc is a 16 year old highschool student, who will get pregnant with her hot teacher who actually is a gang leader........and he'll leave her"

            I love this post!
            I do try to keep away from clichés in my story - there are some of course.. But I tend to always have a reason for each character's personality and actions..
            Readers may not know them straight away - but seriously.. WHO tells their new friend their whole life story on the first week they meet.. ^^'
            And the whole thing about getting in a relationship with the love of their life within a few days.. Nnnnnope..
            I also put a bit of myself into each of my characters - give them some of my own strengths AND weaknesses (which I of course will change/develop into an original character)

            If I had to add something;
            There are SOOOO many stories (especially the top lists) with "perfect" characters.. They have a LOT of strengts and little to NO weaknesses.. And if they do have a weakness it is because of a cliché childhood trauma.. This is (USUALLY) only put in so that readers will feel a bit of sympathy - and ends up completely irrelevant for the story or characters..

            Comment


            • Hopelessromantic
              Hopelessromantic commented
              Editing a comment
              Ha ha i know what you mean i wrote my story as i got sick and tired of rwading romance stories that were just unrealistic or when couples got togethe rbam story over. I want to read how they work as a couple. I have a cliche in mine but i think the rest of my story is realistic.

          • #14
            So... you don't like Horror Stories with a happy ending? I know, most of them don't have one, and for very good reasons, but if well executed, an heartwarming ending to a horrifying story, where we feel like the protagonists earned it, can be great. Alien has a happy ending, right? And it's a classic.

            I'd also like to add "The bad guy has the protagonist at his mercy and is pointing a gun at them, while monologuing about how he will kill the MC and everyone he/she loves. Then, when his dialogue wraps up and he's about to actually shoot him/her, we will hear a shot, the bad guy will gasp and fall down with a bullet in the back, shot by one of the MC's friends. Cheap way to build suspense and get a happy ending. I never am concerned for the protagonist during these moments, because I already know what will happen. We want the MC to get out of them mess themselves, that's why they're the MC's! And a Deus Ex Machina never is a good choice."

            Comment


            • Gicaldo
              Gicaldo commented
              Editing a comment
              Okay, I guess we have slightly different meanings for the words "happy ending". To me, a happy ending doesn't need to be all sunshine, flowers and happiness, but as long as the tone in the end is uplifting, hopeful towards the future, at peace with the past or at least on the way to being so, it still counts as a happy ending to me. Perhaps you'd call it more of a bittersweet ending.

            • kelabell2001
              kelabell2001 commented
              Editing a comment
              Well, Alien may have a happy ending... for now, but new tragedies keep happening after that with Aliens (and sometimes Predators too). It's the same with Jurassic Park. Everything works out and they get the dinosaurs under control, until some idiot desides to try to make Jurassic Park/World happen again. So it's a "happy ending," but nothing's really ended yet. There's still more horror/blood/death that's gonna happen until the sequels end.

            • Gicaldo
              Gicaldo commented
              Editing a comment
              Well yeah, but every movie ends on a happy note on its own, regardless of what happens later. That counts as a happy ending, even if the sequel will later screw it all.

          • #15
            I love this post 😂
            I really hate clichés with a burning passion, especially the fantasy ones since it's my favorite genre. I see werewolf stories dominating the fantasy shelf all the time along with stories about the MC suddenly discovering powers that she never knew she had (eyeroll) which changes her life and the lives of everyone around her forever! More than likely, that MC also happens to have the most powerful powers which is why everyone is out to get him/her so they can either take his/her powers or eliminate him/her because s/he is some threat to some plan s/he will probably know about later. Chances are, the MC is the only one who can stop the villain too, because, you know, it's completely impossible for anyone else to have the spotlight in a fantasy story.

            Comment


            • Singularity
              Singularity commented
              Editing a comment
              For some reason your comment on how the main character have all the power and are the only ones who can save the world (blah, blah, blah) reminded of the Uglies book series. They had the main stories with the point of view of the main character Tally, and then they had graphic novels from the point of view of the best friend Shay. It's refreshing to see a story from the eyes of someone else.

            • Emily Dickinson
              Emily Dickinson commented
              Editing a comment
              I do see your point of view, and this completely reminded me of one of my favourite stories by the way (don't worry, I didn't take any offence), but the way I see it when the MC is the one who is the most powerful, or is the one who can save the world, etc, is not that he/she is the most powerful because he/she is the MC, but because he/she is the MC because he/she is the most powerful. (To simplify it, anyone in the story could be the MC, but the authors sometimes find it more appealing to have the readers follow the story of the most powerful character because they may have more action, or a more interesting backstory. Even if the MC isn't the most powerful person anyways, there has to be someone who saves everyone, so why not make that person be the MC to add more drama and make the story possibly more interesting?).

              Sorry for possibly frying your brain computing system,
              -Emily Dickinson

            • kelabell2001
              kelabell2001 commented
              Editing a comment
              Emily Dickinson I get what you're saying -- that since character A is powerful, character A should be the main character, but that's still an issue or cliché that I see. Just because a character is all powerful doesn't mean that they should be the MC. An extremely powerful character, in my opinion, is actually rather boring to read about. If they're the most powerful, then of course they're going to defeat the enemy! I wouldn't mind if the MC had magical abilities, but they have to be supported by the supporting characters in more ways than just: "hey i'm your friend and i'm going to give you some 'insightful' messages that don't really help you much but it looks like i'm contributing to the plot anyway." When the MC saves the day, the MC instantly takes in all the glory. Take Harry Potter for example. *SPOILERS* He killed Voldemort and saved the day. Did the readers expect that? Of course they did. Honestly, I really dislike Harry as a character. He's static, contrary to most interesting MCs, and relies on Dumbledore as his deux ex machina. If J.K. Rowling didn't develop the side characters as much as she did, I wouldn't have fallen in love with the series. However, I was disappointed that they weren't given nearly as much recognition as Harry Potter, who only defeated Voldemort because of how weak and brittle his soul had become after he had made so many Horcruxes, which were all destroyed... and because of the prophecy thing (which could have easily meant that Neville Longbottom would kill Voldemort but whatever).

              The point is, most stories aren't as brilliantly built as the Harry Potter series and thus a lot of authors, especially inexperienced Episode authors, fall into the trap of making clichés and fail to put a cool twist on the cliché. One of these clichés happen to be the immensely powerful MC. After reading about so many all powerful MCs or the "chosen one" MC, the MC in question often turns out to be rather flat with little to no motivation other than saving the world, which is rather uninteresting.
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