Stereotypes 101 is a way for me to blow off some steam caused by the frustrating stereotypes that frequent my pages. Seriously, no amount of insecticide can get rid of these overused ideas.
How do you love? I have only met a handful of books that don’t have romance. While romance isn’t bad, an influx of it at every instance, is annoying. These stereotypes make me wonder if love is even real. (Kidding, have you seen the way I look at my copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?)
Tip: don’t try these archetypal love scenarios. They only work in fiction. But if they work for you, you are a fictional character. Congrats!
Love at first sight is the least original way to fall in love. Good for the books that can pull it off. There are very few ways this archetype can been used successfully and it’s very tricky. I would love to see a slow burn romance, to make romance a meaningful element in the story. Show me how they bond and what makes them get along so well. None of this skin-deep love.
Books That Discard It: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Twilight, thanks for this. Why is it fun to watch two guys fight over a girl? I find it so cringeworthy. Imagine trying to pick between the two guys. This is the stuff for sitcoms. For the sake of originality, let this idea go missing this year.
love heals mental illness
Protagonist has a mental illness but as soon as she finds love, she’s much better. When love interest isn’t around, her mental illness plagues here again. LOVE ISN’T A FIX. Repeat after me, NEVER A FIX. Mental illness is not a switch. It creeps up on you in any and every circumstance. Misleading people- especially those who struggle with a mental illness- to think that love is a solution is very shitty.
Books That Discard It: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Love In the Time of Cancer
On the same thought lines as “love heals mental illness”, I find so many books with cancer-diagnosed protagonists that add a love interest to the mix just because it’ll progress the plot. Why?! It’s an easier way to tell a story but c’mon, there are so many ways to look at the protagonist’s story, and their life as an individual. Stop using love to ease the pain. Confront it.
Books that Discard It: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Do any cliched scenarios of fictional romance plague your pages? Vent in the comments!