Tuesday, March 22, 2011
With some help from TV Tropes, the site that will ruin your life.
10. Grammatical Errors and Commonly Misused Words
You're a professional writer, for cryin' out loud! "Bemused" and "amused" are not synonyms!
9. Fallen Creator
Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, Laurel K. Hamilton. . . Look guys, maybe it's time for a break. I think we all know you can do better than this.
8. Author Tract
Happens a lot with socialist novels like Johnny Got His Gun, The Grapes of Wrath, and Petals of Blood. I liked those books, though, despite the preachin.' I guess it depends on how much you agree or disagree with the oh-so-subtle message.
7. All Just A Dream
Does anyone still do this? Oh, right: Glenn Beck.
6. Climactic Motive Rant
The big whodunit cliché, the villainous version of The Summation. You know the drill. The hero's been interpreting clues, following leads, eliminating suspects, putting pieces together, and so forth. Then OMG! REVELATION! They did it? Why, we did not see this coming! Well, now that we're at their mercy, what better time for the Bad Guy, since they finally have the spotlight, to gloat gloriously and explain how and why they did it! Luckily for the hero, some unexpected turn of events usually occurs just as the villain's winding down and leads to their downfall.
This one has been especially on my mind lately, due to a particularly egregious example in a recent book I read that ruined the whole damn thing.
5. True Art Is Incomprehensible
I encounter this a lot. Jakov Lind's Ergo = WTF? And I'm still waiting for someone to properly explain William S. Burroughs.
4. Did Not Do the Research
Dan Brown is full of it.
3. Stalking Is Love
Goes with "control is protectiveness" and "creepy is moody." Often excused because the "love" interest is a monster or supernatural of some sort, usually a vampire. We're supposed to accept this as dangerous but not dangerous dangerous because he, like, totally loves her and would never hurt her, oh noes. Can we please stop romanticizing abusive behavior?
2. Mary Sue
GAGH! Twilight's Bella Swan and The Rose Garden's Lucy King are two good examples.
1. The Taming of the Grue
Defined as "Villain Decay on a species level." Basically, a monster that started out as terrifying Always Chaotic Evil gets toned down to the point where they're either harmless, Misunderstood Nice Guys, or constantly angst-ridden about being a monster. The Fair Folk, for example, became Tinkerbell. Vampires are especially notorious for this: we went from Dracula to the sparkly Cullens. Thank God for Hellsing!
Alas, they have come for the Deep Ones. IS NOTHING SACRED.
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Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers' answers. Everyone is welcome to join. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time . . . just post what you can!