Fiction cliches you hate

(338 Posts)

I read mostly crime and thriller.
Can't bear books that take the first hundred pages to describe the landscape. Thick frost, frozen lake, snowy trees, onto the action please.
Detectives that drink lots of coffee and work all night but somehow seem to actually work very little

bran Sun 30-Dec-12 18:25:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 30-Dec-12 18:32:52

Bran: or, even more irritating, identical cousins...

GrendelsMum Sun 30-Dec-12 18:36:51

Bran and SGB: with the exception of one of Ngaio Marsh's detective stories where two distant cousins have a freakish resemblance but it doesn't come across as at all contrived, more as 'isn't genetics funny'.

LRDtheFeministDude Sun 30-Dec-12 18:38:04

Oh, yes. And where sisters and brothers resemble each other so much they're mistaken for each other, even as adults. hmm

Tanith Sun 30-Dec-12 18:45:26

Blueraincoat: Dennis Wheatley actually namedropped himself in at least one of his novels!

Ephiny Sun 30-Dec-12 18:48:46

I don't mind the name dropping too much. I like it when Jilly Cooper references Jackie Collins's novels, it makes me smile. Like when they used to mention Neighbours on Home and Away.

Salmotrutta Sun 30-Dec-12 18:48:55

I can't be doing with "impossibly blue eyes".

Clearly if the character has them they can't be impossible can they?

Or people drowning in other people's eyes. Grinds my gears that does.

Greythorne Sun 30-Dec-12 18:52:56

I won't have it! The Three Detectives story where Jupiter Jones has a double is ace! 'The mystery of the deadly double' IIRC.

Primadonnagirl Sun 30-Dec-12 18:55:25

I hate it when central femalE character loses weight without trying due to all that's been going on in the plot and as a result ends up being much happier/ finally nabs the bloke etc...!They never pile it on due to emotional eating their way through entire boxes of Thorntons do they?

add to that amazing emerald or, more improbably, huge violet eyes.

complexnumber Sun 30-Dec-12 18:59:11

As soon as I read blackberry's post I thought, "I've read that Marian Keyes book", which added cliche number two of the stupid misunderstanding with sexy man when female character thinks he already has a girlfriend because sexy man is a transvestite. I think it's This Charming Man.

Much as I love the Ruth Galloway books she frets about her weight but she has an affair with a man who likes her curviness more than his wife's gym-toned body, so bingo for another cliche.

Having just chucked a book yesterday I am weary of plucky colonial types and cold upper class Brits in the 1920s.

and whats with the sliding of skirts over peoples hips. I have never slid a clothe in my life.

ItsaTIARA Sun 30-Dec-12 19:08:00

TV rather than novels, but I hate the fact that in detective stories, if someone looks the cop in the eyes and says "I swear I didn't do it! I know I look incredibly guilty and I hated the victim but I'm innocent I promise!" they are always innocent. No matter how fiendishly cunning the murderer, they are never able to tell a flat out lie.

NaiceDude Sun 30-Dec-12 19:08:39

What Ephiny said grin grin

I just do so hate Mary Sues in general. They are so yawny, and the only people that invent them are men who are only capable of seeing women as fantasy beings, or hideously vain female writers who long to point out to everyone that they're stunning really, in the right light and all hmm

NaiceDude Sun 30-Dec-12 19:09:58

Oh, and yes to Sookie Stackhouse.

Also, nobody ever needs a wee. In spite of the endless coffee drinking. They can live off black coffee and whisky and still spend hours sitting in a small canoe, or keeping watch in a car, or tied up in a chamber, and never need a wee. I always need a wee.

NaiceDude Sun 30-Dec-12 19:11:10

I never got violet eyes either. Violet is purple confused

Primadonnagirl Sun 30-Dec-12 19:13:58

Apologies LRD ..just spotted your previous post re heroine weight loss!Wasnt plagiarising honest!! The other thing I hate is plots about people finding letters/ trinkets from their grandma and then realising how much they had in common and stumbling across a secret that they can't rest until they've solved it...This usually involves travel and they have no problem getting the necessary time off work!

MonaLotte Sun 30-Dec-12 19:14:00

I hate overstuffed sofas! They seem to pop up in a lot of books. What are they?!?!?

I've spotted them too! I imagine bits of spring and stuffing stivking out of tears all over

Primadonnagirl Sun 30-Dec-12 19:18:49

And"widows peak"..what's them when theyre at home? !!

CurlyKiwiControl Sun 30-Dec-12 19:19:45

Ah I love the Skokie Stackhouse books ...

She is irtisistable because she is part fairy same as her brother smile

Apparently we can't help but love a fairy

Salmotrutta Sun 30-Dec-12 19:23:23

And I've never met anyone who actually tosses their hair.

Or has flashing eyes. That would be just plain weird.

Or a square jaw. That would also be weird.

letsgomaths Sun 30-Dec-12 19:24:44

Not a book I know, but when the first half hour of a film is all about making sure you are in no doubt about how ordinary the characters are; endless scenes of them arguing, etc.

FloweryDrawers Sun 30-Dec-12 19:26:16

Male writers attempting to write from a female character's point of view and managing only to have them engage in a weird sort of self-pervery. Afraid I can't remember concrete examples but I have vague memories from my teenage years of James Herbert/Stephen King doing it. Stuff like: "Susan put on the green sweater, feeling the thin material rub pleasantly against her small, apple-shaped breasts as she walked towards the door."

No you arsehole - that's not a woman's POV. That's the POV of a creepy bloke with his nose pressed up against the window.

Trills Sun 30-Dec-12 19:26:42

Before I read this thread I'd like to recommend website called TV Tropes.

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations.

For example (from the OP) novels describing the weather and landscape could be an example of Empathetic environment, where the weather/landscape reflects the mood of the protagonist.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now