There’s a post series over at link (awesome blog with lots of writing tips) that highlighted some of the biggest overused ploys in YA fiction. I thought I’d share that list with you guys, just for kicks 🙂 Original posts can be found here, here, and here (it’s a three-part series). Apparently the list was based off a book called Red Hair Is Not As Uncommon As You Think by Joelle Anthony. I find it interesting (and myself, guilty of a few).
1. Lab partners -where one person does all the work–often the geek who ends up being the love interest.
2. A poor girl who is a scholarship student in a fancy private school.
3. Main characters who are the only ones in the world without a cell phone.
4. Guys with gorgeous/stunning/flashing/jewel-like/piercing GREEN EYES (green is the new blue).
(Can anyone say Dylan from Maximum Ride, whose eyes are actually turquoise??)
5. Clumsy characters who can’t dance or play sports to save their lives.
(A literary version of myself.)
6. Characters that like retro music-generally of the era that the author was in high school.
7. Irresponsible parents, with main character who end up paying bills, cooking, cleaning etc.
8. Female characters obsessed with Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Bennet in general.
9. Main characters who hate math.
(If it’s YA fiction, and thus the characters are most likely teenagers… I don’t see how this one is the least bit unrealistic. If anything, I would think it would be ODD to have a protag that liked math, unless they were a rocket scientist or an abnormally nerdy nerd. Even I don’t like math!)
10. A main character with only one good friend. The plot almost always includes the compulsary argument scene, leaving her to eat lunch alone for weeks–usually in the library.
11. Really hot, young-looking moms-often portrayed as main character’s best friend.
(Um, I’ve never really read this before… Unless you could Percy Jackson? Sort-of?)
12. Book told in first person, and the description for the main character is given by having her examine herself in the mirror.
(Oh snap. I did this in my most recent novel– oops! *editing FTW*)
13. Gorgeous, popular younger sisters (used to be older sisters).
14. Tomboys who can’t sew or cook, and hate dresses (also very common in historical and MG novels).
(Again, YA lit apparently doesn’t like characters based off myself.)
15. Authors who work vocabulary words into the dialogue and then pass them off as knowledge the characters have because the words are on the SAT list.
That’s the list. I’m not sure if I necessarily agree with all of them, but maybe that’s my way of facing the guilt that I have some serious editing to do, XD.
On another note, is anyone else excited that The Guild has officially been renewed for Season 5? (Not that we had any doubts, with last season’s semi-cliffhanger =P). I’m really looking forward to it. Zaboo is probably my favorite character, but there’s much to be said for Codex and her last-ditch efforts to unite the roleplaying geeks IRL.
The new Maximum Ride installment, Angel, came out today. I started it after school and finished before dinner, but it was a massive disappointment. After book four the series started to go downhill, but this hit a new low. It was so repetitive of the other books and itself, that I just read as fast as possible to get it over with so I could keep reading Phantom of the Opera. Not going to give any spoilers, for those of you who love(d) the series, but I’m majorly disappointed in James Patterson. His original, kick-butt characters have been replaced by the cast of a Spanish soap opera.
There’s a sense of “JUST PICK ONE ALREADY” that I felt a little in The Hunger Games, and just from the Twilight craze, but this is ridiculous. Max is torn between her ex-boyfriend and the boy she’s shunned for months.
Why is this even a decision?? Dump them both and kick world-domination butt. *nods*
Pardon the rant. I’m starting a psychological thriller by Ted Dekker (heck yeah!), so I don’t think “boring” will be a problem.