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Fiction cliches you hate

(338 Posts)
SPBInDisguise Sun 30-Dec-12 00:11:19

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

BuntyPenfold Sun 30-Dec-12 00:30:05

I hate it when a considerable part of a plot was only a dream. angry

PolkaDotsandPumpkin Sun 30-Dec-12 00:30:53

I really dislike the term "a shock of blonde/red/brown/grey hair".
I don't know why but it instantly makes me think less of any writer who uses it to describe a character's appearance.

LineRunner Sun 30-Dec-12 00:32:27

I can't be doing with wind cutting through people like a frozen scimitar.

BuntyPenfold Sun 30-Dec-12 00:34:09

Yes, and the dry wind hissing in the rushes. What, again?

Also, the word 'surrender' must be banned.

SparklyAntlersInMyDecorating Sun 30-Dec-12 00:34:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

IsawFoofyShmoofingSantaClaus Sun 30-Dec-12 00:44:39

Anyone who describes a cup of tea in the terms "he drank the hot sweet liquid" angry
I know what a fecking cup of tea is. You don't need to spell it out.

IsawFoofyShmoofingSantaClaus Sun 30-Dec-12 00:46:26

Not a cliche, I know. Just bloody irritates and it's everywhere.

LRDtheFeministDude Sun 30-Dec-12 00:50:43

I'm with bunty about dreams.

I hate when halfway through it becomes all magical and woo.

And where someone does something shitty you'd be sacked for in RL/dumped and categorised as a wanker by your boyfriend or girlfriend, and everyone in the book thinks it's amazing.

The usual "we fancy each other but we are going to get our wires crossed and fall out until the last chapter."

Oh and the unsaid shit. If you have feelings or an opinion just bloody say it. Thats more in soaps and films though.

LineRunner Sun 30-Dec-12 00:55:04

'Her eyes darkened'. How? Just how?

LRDtheFeministDude Sun 30-Dec-12 00:56:52


I am a sucker for the crossed-wires stuff.

It has to be reasonably subtle though. None of this 'Sheila snuggled up to Paul thinking what a good friend he was ... and how sexy his gorgeous tall, muscular body, square jaw, and 'unconventional' good looks were ... she hoped he would find someone to love the way she loved that total wanker Derek whose paunch was beginning to show ...'.

I really hate when there's a conversation in a book just to help the audience keep up, where the whole of it is characters in the middle of something really busy reminding each other what has just happened.

LRDtheFeministDude Sun 30-Dec-12 00:58:49

line - pupils expanding to cover more of the iris? Not very sexy really.

I don't get the 'feeling hot' or 'tremors' though. I have met a lot of sexy, sexy people and never felt hot. confused

ProphetOfDoom Sun 30-Dec-12 01:01:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ReinDearPrudence Sun 30-Dec-12 01:04:14

My son hates stories where ' it was all just a dream. Or was it....??'

I have no idea why.

SuperDuperJezebel Sun 30-Dec-12 01:06:55

Foofy, yes!

CaseyShraeger Sun 30-Dec-12 01:13:52

Your pupils do expand when you're attracted to someone, though (or so several decades of popular science documentaries have told me. And also we find people more attractive when they have slightly enlarged pupils) so there's at least a sensible basis for that one.

LineRunner Sun 30-Dec-12 01:23:28

I don't mean the sexy lusty thing. I mean when for example Lisbeth Salander in TGWKTHN gets some grief from her doctor and 'her eyes darkened'.

BalthierBunansa Sun 30-Dec-12 01:25:43

Metaphors that DON'T MAKE ANY SENSE. Like the classic from The Lovely Bones "She buttered her bread with her tears". Author obviously trying to be clever, but failing.

DeWe Sun 30-Dec-12 02:16:34

I agree with Bunty about dreams. Particularly "The Box of Delights". Most of the magical kind of stuff happened similarly in the first one of the series "The Midnight folk" so why did that have to be a dream confused. Ruined a good book for me there.

Also two things that drove me crazy in children's books growing up. Firstly where the characters go "ooh this might happen" (as one possibility of several) and make preparations for that one event, which just happens to be the one that does happen.
Also books that have the hero/heroine just about to be in danger and every time that is the moment where something happens to stop the danger. I preferred to miraculously escape the danger.
Famous Five was particularly bad at that-madman waving a whip around, and the police happen to turn up at that moment and madman decides to sit down calmly. Hang on, you've just said he's lost his reason, I think he'd probably go more spare when the police arrived? Interestingly EB didn't really do that with the adventure series.

twigsinajug Sun 30-Dec-12 02:42:20

When someone drinks "scalding" tea or coffee. (he sipped the scalding liquid...) wouldn't would you?

same goes for showers

Also can't stand product placement, as in constant reference to make and model of cars in storyline. Jolts me right out of the flow.

Please delete following plot cliches as applicable.

Beautiful, gorgeous, perfect (but doesn't know it, natch) female breaks up with horrible boyfriend and leaves rat race moving to darling country cottage/remote highland village/other country-sidey cliche place.

Opens own business, cupcake cafe, chocolate shop, book shop, antique shop.

Meets curmudgeonly local singleton vet/doctor/ex rock star.

Argues with them a bit.

Gets stuck in mud/rainstorm/snowstorm etc.

Rescued by above curmudgeon, sees softer side. E.g, wife cheated on/dog died etc.

Has misunderstanding with above.

Nearly gets back with ex.

Attends village fete/nativity/barn dance/harvest festival/other village hall cliche. (which she has naturally been involved in all the prep for).

Finally!! ends up thrown together with love interest, perhaps helped by aunt of love interest whom main character has happened to become good friends with.

Hilarious misunderstanding.

He makes big declaration of lurve, she realises he's all twinkly and wonderful and strong underneath.

The End.

Those sort of books.

SPBInDisguise Sun 30-Dec-12 08:06:43

"I really hate when there's a conversation in a book just to help the audience keep up, where the whole of it is characters in the middle of something really busy reminding each other what has just happened."

Oh yes I know exactly what you mean. The phone rang. It was her friend Anne. "How are you feeling since you lost your job due to your boss trying to kiss you at the Christmas party and you turning him down? Are you upset about being jilted at the altar a year ago?"

SPBInDisguise Sun 30-Dec-12 08:09:03

Has no one else noticed the coffee thing? Detectives drink so much more of it than the rest of us, it's so much stronger than we'd have it. If its from the works machine, it is the worst coffee ever but they still drink it. Sometimes they call it 'java' and at that point I stop reading.

StairsInTheNight Sun 30-Dec-12 08:16:00

eyes that lengthen or having an 'adorably short upper lip'. What ends even mean? people 'storming' anywhere.

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