1. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Writing Cliches You HATE (And the Writers Who Write Them)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Crazy Ivan, Jul 25, 2007.

    What things in bad writing do you just really despise? Bad SPAG, poor characterization, flat dialogue, needless sex and gore? Please rant, we all have out spittle shields up and at the ready.

    For one, I despise books that open like this:

    <opening actions of the character (ie getting ready for school, or getting beaten up by some bully)>
    <Long, whiny, and detailed history of how the character's life sucks because his parents died, his little sister got raped at the orphanage, his foster parents beat him, his classmates are mean to him, and he's a whiny emo crybaby cutter who no one could sympathize with>

    Lots of teenage writers today, particularly male ones, seem to think that the best way to get readers to sympathize with your character is to have his life SUCK SUCK SUCK, and then make him a total mental case. This is NOT TRUE, or at least, in a good world it wouldn't be. Characters like this are annoying two-dimensional facades with all their lives shown on the table and no room for mystery or character development other than having their self-mutilation problems get worse. I'm sorry, but I can not rant enough about crappy characters like these. If you write a story where the protagonist actually has a good background for the most part, it doesn't mean that it's a horrible story, and it doesn't mean you can't throw a tiny smattering of tragedy in just cuz. It means that you're someone who's not afraid to break from the norm or write something that isn't a totally unlovable piece of crap. Have some shame, for cripes' sake!

    ...

    ....alright, I'm done. Sorry 'bout that, I just really do hate those things.

    So what kinds of writing do you hate, and why? Rant away!
     
  2. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yo, comrade, I have some things that might interest you. The thread started by someone here, Openings - Writing Forums (though I believe I set him straight). Also, there are a lot of a rants by someone I love: Lymaael, link 2
     
  3. Charisma
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    Charisma Transposon Contributor

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    Like you said, unneeded romance. I read one novel in my entire school year and the story really was a pain in the neck because of its pointless 'i love cinderella' sub-plot.
     
  4. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    Over done descriptions. I simply can not stand them.

    I do not want to have to sit and read and read and read about the same dang thing for five minutes.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Second person perspective. I am not a ventriloquist's dummy, and I don't want the author's hand up my -

    But I digress...
     
  6. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    I can not understand how people would want to read something of the sort.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm all for experimentation. But some things are avoided for good reason.
     
  8. DivineLemon
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    DivineLemon Member

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    I fully agree. Some things are not meant to be done.

    I also can not stand those novels where you choose the path the character takes. I have read one before and I felt the need to read each path.
     
  9. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Villainous antagonists, especially if they have no basis, no history leading up to anything that would create that -- and I don't want to hear they got raped or any of that nonsense. I like seeing their side from their perspective, as tainted as either may be.
     
  10. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Cliche similes and metaphor.

    Cliche sentences and idioms.

    Cliche writing all in all.
     
  11. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Now, I love the vast amount of... <what's a good word for feces?> that Tolkien and Gygax have given to the world, but I'm sick of seeing every dwarf be a drunken, axe-wielding, wife-punching bearded guy with a thick brogue and a love for hurting things. And I also hate needlessly "yuneek" names. Case in point: Regdar the Terrible (okay, I don't know if he's terrible, but it sounds like terrible should be tacked on). You don't need every name to have the flair of dramatic foreign unpronounceableness. Aramil is a bit better of a name. Tolkien does that a lot as well: Elfstuff may sound good, but it looks like a tongue twister. (Disclaimer: I've only read the Hobbit and seen the movies, but still
    I don't know how to pronounce half of those diacritic marks)

    MOAR Tolkien! Why are all the orcs evil? why is there a civilization of evil monsters in every fantasy game? Why are there no peaceful orcs? Or kobolds, or troglodytes (another disclaimer, I've also never gotten past the tutorial in DnD). At least Dragon Star Wars (that's code for Eragon) had the Urgals actually a nice bunch of people that for some reason was mean to non urgals. The hero even fought with them against the Big Boss. (I think, it's been a while since Eldest)
     
  12. mypensmysoul
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    mypensmysoul Member

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    There is actually a wonderful book written in second person, called Damage by the author of the last name Jenkins. It is about a teenager who is struggling with depression, but in quite a different way than most writers depict the subject. I'm very tired of the depressed/suicidal phase myself, but this book was very touching.

    However, I understand, usually the second person perspective usually irks me as well, but I wanted to point out that there are always exceptions.

    Horrible SPAG is really what sets me off. I try going to other writing forums where fellow writers can post stories in chapters, but no matter how creative the plot, characters, etc may be, if they cannot express themselves coherently, I will walk away. (I dont have any instant messaging because of this reason, actually. OMGs, LOLs, ROFLs, etc just annoy the hell out of me. :mad::mad:)
     
  13. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    These things I hate.

    -Too many plot lines, ie Wheel of Time

    -A fixation on breasts, penises, faeces, violence and nudity. There is nothing wrong with lots of action, but going into all of the details? I don't think so.

    -A rediculous romance plot line, why the hell would a princess fall in love with some poor farm hand turned soldier unless they had a similar personality or were genuinely attracted to each other, which seems unlikely AT BEST. The difference in manners would be the main one I think.

    -Bad SPAG. If you are using Word like the rest of us, it should correct 90% of the errors at a minimum.

    -Stereo types. I mean come on, vampires don't have to fear the sun, if anything it makes them weak, and who said demons had to evil?

    -Cliches- BORING!

    That's my list.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Because the orcs were a race created by evil, in deliberate mockery of elves. They didn't just evolve that way. They were created to form an army to defeat the elvish race.

    Ina broader sense, you cannot really have a powerful story without conflict, and conflict between good and evil is a dominant theme in fantasy. Inner conflict also plays a role in fantasy fiction, but the external struggle is what most people seek in fantasy fiction.
     
  15. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    oh... yeah...
    Still, why are all the other Orcs all evil? Why can't there be a group of good Orcs who help the hero instead of all of them being dumb, cannibalistic sociopaths? I mean, that's like saying all Muslims are terrorists or all Colombians are drug lords. Evil doesn't need to have a face different from our own to be evil. It's all just racism, the Orcs are ugly, lets kill them.

    I actually change that in my story, the Vampirism is just a disease, and diseases treat people differently, some get the heamatophagia, some get photophobia, some don't. Demons, meh, don't show up much so far.
     
  16. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    That's you, for my story, I've chucked as many of the traditional traits associated with them as I could.

    That and I prefer the original Nosferatu mythology over the Dracula mythology.
     
  17. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    I really get annoyed at a story in which the hero is magically able to do Everything Under the Sun. The Sword of Truth series is one I pick at most, for this, although it has some good points. The main character, Richard Rahl, is always the exception to the rule. Torture by a Mord-Sith guarantees insanity? He's special and doesn't go insane. Only a War Wizard can break the tower? He's a war wizard. No one can marry a Confessor? He's the exception. Only the son of the evil guy can fulfill a prophecy? He's the son.

    Et cetera ad absurdium. It annoyed me so much that I have deliberately crippled a main character in my book, just because I didn't want him to be "special" all the time the way Richard Rahl is. He's the first one to use both poles and all four elements in more than a thousand years. The flip side is, he's going to die young - in his forties, tops - as a direct result of this. *Insert maniacal laughter here.*

    I guess you could just say that I dislike Mary Sues. Muchly.
     
  18. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    You absolutely MUST go to the link I gave earlier in this forum, you will LOVE Limyaael's rants without a shadow of a doubt. That is if you haven't read them already.

    It's the second post in this thread.
     
  19. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    Writing that leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. I can't stand reading something that is so detailed that I don't have the ability to create my own personal connection with the story.

    And quite honestly, I hate people who think they can write and then give you something that looks like a 3rd grader wrote it and asks you to critique it or wants your opinion about it.

    I feel bad having to tell them that their stuff sucks. I feel worse after having read it.
     
  20. Sir Cameron
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    Sir Cameron Member

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    There is nothing wrong with that. It's like telling a diabetic, "You're diabetic."
     
  21. Eclipse
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    Eclipse Member

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    I hate fantasy cliches. All them prophecy carriers and people who are entirely ordinary (and likable), but turn out to be the last Prince of Echarn (made that up) and knows 530 spells by heart, despite never using them since he was a bloody farm boy.

    I hate those sort of things. It's why I barely read fantasy no more >.>
     
  22. CuteMachines
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    CuteMachines New Member

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    I personally do not like when a writers overplay descriptions. Mostly because the details being enclosed do not, enhance the story in anyway.
     
  23. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    lack of imagination regarding language, especially in poetry.

    Pet hates include excessive or bland use of pain/hate/agony/torture/black/blood

    Also the use of grammar, emphasis being on the word AND.

    Reviewing poems which go on and on, detailing blantantly and blankly about how bad the character/narrator feels inside and how messed up everything is, (the self-pity style), makes me want to bash my face in with my keyboard.
     
  24. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    All idioms.
     
  25. The Last Chase
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    The Last Chase New Member

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    Well, I came to this, wondering if something I've done was in here and amazingly enough I found nothing. . . unless I wasn't looking close enough, which could be possible.
    Nonetheless, I have to agree with a few things, especialy with someone who mentioned something about all vampires having to hate the sun and all demons having to be bad. In Japanese mytholigy there are quite a few 'demons' that would never fit out set standards, which also fit in with white being evil and black being good.
    One thing I hate is when people watch too much anime and read too much manga and create stories that mimic those. Fanfic's too, those are one of my biggest pet peeves. If you can't create your own characters than leave other peoples alone. Going along with that are people who use Japanese names or words for names jsut because they read it our heard it in something.
    There's my rant
     

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