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GHScorpiosRule

Character Tropes That Irk

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Sorry, couldn't think of a better title, and not sure where else to post this. It could be a trope, or just behaviors of characters that just irk and annoy me.

As I just finished Brazen Virtue, by Nora Roberts, the heroine, Grace, a mystery writer, who I like mostly, had this one...attitude that well, annoyed me.

And it's something I see on television.

So, in this particular book, we know that Grace's sister was murdered.  We know early on there's a serial killer.  So when one of the victim survives, Grace thinks she has every right to go with the cops to "talk to her", which just annoys me. First, she's not a cop. And she's already giving Ed grief because he won't give her all the details of their investigation.

What possibly, could the victim, who is traumatized already, tell her? Why should she speak to someone who isn't a police officer?

So, any of you have any tropes or characteristics that annoy you?

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1 hour ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

What possibly, could the victim, who is traumatized already, tell her? Why should she speak to someone who isn't a police officer?

Oh yes, that is annoying. Characters that aren’t cops let alone therapists acting like they’re entitled to speak to victims as if they can somehow help. 🙄

The trope that annoys me? Basically in any love triangle novel where the lovers are married to other people yet completely ignore the feelings of their spouses in favor of their lost love. Example: Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna has the lead character Machu so hung up on his old flame that he not only calls out his ex’s name while he’s in bed with his wife, he also

signs away his inherited land to the ex instead of his fucking wife and child. Geeeeeez.

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10 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Oh yes, that is annoying. Characters that aren’t cops let alone therapists acting like they’re entitled to speak to victims as if they can somehow help. 🙄

No, it's not that Grace thought she could help; or those characters that are guilty of this think they can help. They want to "talk" to these victims to demand information about their attackers so they can then, what? go after the killer themselves? Because the cops won't tell them every single detail of their investigation?

And Ed called Grace on it--that she may be a mystery writer, but she's not a cop and to let him do his job. And it's all out of guilt because she and her sister weren't close.

But it's the idea that these characters think they can demand answers and when they don't get it, get all bent out of shape, because they think they "have a right" to know every damned detail/how the investigation is going.

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Pops up mostly in romance books women who've never had sex know nothing about it despite growing up in the normal life and going to school.

Edited by andromeda331
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11 hours ago, ChuckWagon said:

Simple misunderstandings that lead to huge conflict. 
Especially when it involves a child that doesn’t listen to the adult .. 😬

Or simple lack of communication. "I was going to tell him/her/them but the time was never right.."

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Oooh, I have one.  This one also crops up mostly in romance novels.  It is the one where the author decides to break her heroine down so terribly at the beginning of the book only to build her back up through love and redemption.  Kristan Higgins and Susan Elizabeth Phillips love to do this. They will have their heroines lose everything -- career, love life, reputation -- and often these losses are effected publicly so it is humiliating for her as well.  She may have to slink home to whatever small town she came from to be the object of pity or ridicule.  The first couple of times a single author does it, it isn't so bad but if the majority of their book catalog is this is gets really annoying, really fast.

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On 2/16/2021 at 8:41 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

Sorry, couldn't think of a better title, and not sure where else to post this. It could be a trope, or just behaviors of characters that just irk and annoy me.

As I just finished Brazen Virtue, by Nora Roberts, the heroine, Grace, a mystery writer, who I like mostly, had this one...attitude that well, annoyed me.

And it's something I see on television.

So, in this particular book, we know that Grace's sister was murdered.  We know early on there's a serial killer.  So when one of the victim survives, Grace thinks she has every right to go with the cops to "talk to her", which just annoys me. First, she's not a cop. And she's already giving Ed grief because he won't give her all the details of their investigation.

What possibly, could the victim, who is traumatized already, tell her? Why should she speak to someone who isn't a police officer?

So, any of you have any tropes or characteristics that annoy you?

Piling on to this, I always have no idea why people actually talk to these non-official people investigating crimes. If someone knocks at my door and wants to talk about a crime I witnessed or whatever, they’d better be a police officer because I’m not talking to a journalist and randos can get off my lawn.

As to the victim’s family being entitled to talk to new victim’s UGH, victim bonding isn’t what everyone wants or needs and the new victim’s trauma is their own. They aren’t required to share. 

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22 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

As to the victim’s family being entitled to talk to new victim’s UGH, victim bonding isn’t what everyone wants or needs and the new victim’s trauma is their own. They aren’t required to share. 

And it wasn't so Grace could "bond" with her. I'm pretty sure she wanted to ask for details about the killer. You know: what did he look like? Sound like? What did he say? blah, blah, blah.

That's the sense I got anyway. I know it sounds like I don't like Grace--I do, but this particular characteristic? Not a fan.

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16 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

And it wasn't so Grace could "bond" with her. I'm pretty sure she wanted to ask for details about the killer. You know: what did he look like? Sound like? What did he say? blah, blah, blah.

That's the sense I got anyway. I know it sounds like I don't like Grace--I do, but this particular characteristic? Not a fan.

I’ve not read those books, but I’ve read plenty of “my friend/family member/college roommate was murdered, so I want to investigate because florists/bakers/librarians are better at investigating than the police” books. And look, I enjoy them, but seriously, I always wonder why people don’t just tell them to go away. 

This Grace sounds terrible. “Please relive your trauma for me because I need to know.” I have no idea why the police would take her along to speak with the witness.

This is one of the reasons why I’ve been turning to police detective fic rather than amateur detectives. 

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54 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

This Grace sounds terrible. “Please relive your trauma for me because I need to know.” I have no idea why the police would take her along to speak with the witness.

They didn't. Like I posted up thread, Ed, the cop, flat out refused. In fairness, she didn't argue with him or fight with him about why she couldn't go.

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On 2/18/2021 at 7:13 PM, DearEvette said:

Oooh, I have one.  This one also crops up mostly in romance novels.  It is the one where the author decides to break her heroine down so terribly at the beginning of the book only to build her back up through love and redemption.  Kristan Higgins and Susan Elizabeth Phillips love to do this. They will have their heroines lose everything -- career, love life, reputation -- and often these losses are effected publicly so it is humiliating for her as well.  She may have to slink home to whatever small town she came from to be the object of pity or ridicule.  The first couple of times a single author does it, it isn't so bad but if the majority of their book catalog is this is gets really annoying, really fast.

SEP's heroines are often meddlers as well. I recently read a comment on Amazon or Goodreads that SEP's work can be boiled down to "Quirky Woman Marries Millionaire." Since then, I've found her formulaic,  even though I have enjoyed her work. I did think her newest heroine was insufferable (Meddler Supreme!), but I wonder if now I'm harder on her now that I recognize the pattern. 

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Romance novels are especially bad for this - having the hero be a total misogynist who hate all women because some no good gal done him wrong.  Despite being surrounded by happy marriages and wonderful women who have tons of positive attributes he nonetheless loathes our heroine on sight simply and only because of that no good gal who done him wrong.  Until, inevitably, she causes him to see the light (usually in the last chapter).  

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25 minutes ago, WinnieWinkle said:

Romance novels are especially bad for this - having the hero be a total misogynist who hate all women because some no good gal done him wrong.  Despite being surrounded by happy marriages and wonderful women who have tons of positive attributes he nonetheless loathes our heroine on sight simply and only because of that no good gal who done him wrong.  Until, inevitably, she causes him to see the light (usually in the last chapter).  

Or as she teaches him to get to know his daughter, whom he was neglecting, usually because he knew or suspected that she wasn't his bio child. He comes to respect her intelligence and "inner beauty" and he falls in love in spite of himself.

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Ugh just finished a short story where they pulled the "Oh daughter dear that boy is only being mean to you because he really likes you" crap.  I could buy it in an older story even if it annoyed the hell out of me  but  not in anything written in the recent past!  

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As a person living with disability because of several chronic illnesses, I hate how whenever someone in a book has an illness, they either die (always after a brave fight, and with something that everyone knows, like cancer) or else they recover against all odds (paralyzed and using a wheelchair? don't worry, not for long!) 

In real life, most people have illnesses that do affect their lives, but don't necessarily cut them short, nor are the central focus of their existence. It's just a thing they have to deal with, while doing their best to work, raise kids, have romantic relationships, etc.

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17 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

As a person living with disability because of several chronic illnesses, I hate how whenever someone in a book has an illness, they either die (always after a brave fight, and with something that everyone knows, like cancer) or else they recover against all odds (paralyzed and using a wheelchair? don't worry, not for long!) 

In real life, most people have illnesses that do affect their lives, but don't necessarily cut them short, nor are the central focus of their existence. It's just a thing they have to deal with, while doing their best to work, raise kids, have romantic relationships, etc.

Or, like in the book "Me Before You" the disabled person ends up getting assisted suicide because life isn't worth living anymore, even though he has money, support and a woman who loves him. Which is a lot more than some disabled people get.

Edited by Bookworm 1979 · Reason: To add something.
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1 hour ago, Bookworm 1979 said:

Or, like in the book "Me Before You" the disabled person ends up getting assisted suicide because life isn't worth living anymore, even though he has money, support and a woman who loves him. Which is a lot more than some disabled people get.

Yes, exactly! 

That was also a peeve of mine in the movie Cake, where Jennifer Aniston's character lives in horrible chronic pain BUT has a housekeeper/cook to take care of everything, thanks to a huge settlement she was awarded after the car accident. Most people in her position are not so lucky.

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In a related topic I hate it when a character lives with terrible pain and either refuses to take pain medicine to be ‘brave’ or immediately becomes an addict doing anything to get pills. Sometimes people take pain pills as directed and because they need it. In the Aniston movie, she was in in intractable pain which I deal with, and it makes it very difficult some days and she also lost her little boy. 

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15 hours ago, Black Knight said:

Yeah, that bothered me in To Kill a Mockingbird.

I didn't get it. If she was dying why did she put herself through that? I mean I know the stated reason but it still seemed weird to me.

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The focus on conventional beauty attributes in women, even in literary fiction. Last year I read Where The Crawdads Sing, which is in many ways a very good book, but it drove me crazy how many times the (female) author felt the need to point out the protagonist's slender waist and long legs.

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13 hours ago, chocolatine said:

The focus on conventional beauty attributes in women, even in literary fiction. Last year I read Where The Crawdads Sing, which is in many ways a very good book, but it drove me crazy how many times the (female) author felt the need to point out the protagonist's slender waist and long legs.

Manic Pixie Swamp Girl who, without the benefit of any dental hygiene, still managed to be beautiful. Seriously, am I the only one who thinks about these things? Decades of not flossing. DECADES. 

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On 3/21/2021 at 1:10 PM, BlackberryJam said:

Manic Pixie Swamp Girl who, without the benefit of any dental hygiene, still managed to be beautiful. Seriously, am I the only one who thinks about these things? Decades of not flossing. DECADES. 

Not only that, but she had never set foot inside a school, and only read a few books on her own, yet became, again all on her own, a renowned naturist author/illustrator?

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3 hours ago, susannah said:

Not only that, but she had never set foot inside a school, and only read a few books on her own, yet became, again all on her own, a renowned naturist author/illustrator?

But, but, her patient saint of a boyfriend brought her books and helped her study! It's like The Blue Lagoon replaced the softcore porn with learning. 

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The Crawdads girl should hook up with the lead character in Harlen Coben’s The Boy From the Woods. He was left in the woods as a toddler, taught himself to read by breaking into a cottage and finding “teach your child to read videos” and learned English by watching TV in these cottages he broke into. As an adult he is drop dead gorgeous, military trained with a Mensa level IQ. Match made in heaven!  

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