Tired of the traditional genres?


Author Kate Elliott has an interesting post on a new way to classify stories: by the characters who drive them.

Folks in comments are listing the characters (with accompanying story lines) that they can’t stand, and it’s a lot of the usual stuff with some interesting ideas mixed in.

Here’s my list of character genres I can’t stand:

* Anything with rock stars. Even authors I really really like will try my patience with rock musicians and their boring problems. It doesn’t help that I don’t think music translates well to the page.

* Two characters with an instant soul-mate bond. I just don’t find it compelling.

* The troubled cop with the dying wife. Not terrible, I guess, but I seem to have read too many of them.

* The recovering alcoholic detective. Another non-compelling character.

* The Devious Fantasy Character. I bounced off one really well-regarded fantasy series because one character’s Plot To Destabilize Everything still hadn’t come to fruition after 100+ pages. Not compelling.

* The Badass Who Punches Down. You guys recognize that Keith Olbermann reference, I guess? Whatever you think of the man himself, the rule that people should always punch up, never punch down (iow, attack those more powerful than you rather than less) is a good one. And yeah, I consider snark and sarcasm to be punching.

What about you guys? Any “character genres” you particularly dislike? (Be sure to check out Elliott’s post.)

4 thoughts on “Tired of the traditional genres?

  1. RKB

    I’m tired of the “tough as nails” urban fantasy chick who then turns around and gets beat up regularly. The person either is supposed to be an expert at fighting, very magical, or both, so why are they getting their asses handed to them? What compounds this problem is either:

    a) A man saves them (shouldn’t they be saving themselves? Do you ever see a man saving another man?)


    b) They get raped (???? WTF ????) and the author writes it as character development, but then the female main character goes on with her life without any glitches or therapy, especially when it comes to sex.

    Anyone who gets raped, whether female or male is going to be devastated and
    need a lot of support through therapy, friends, and family.

    I’ve dropped quite a few series because of A.

    I dropped Patricia Briggs because of B. I was shocked when her main character got raped and then she goes on to have consensual sex with a character who I don’t even like because I thought he was too possessive of her.


  2. Big Eyed Kid sidekicks. Can’t stand ’em. Yep, this means that likely I’m missing out on enjoying a whole bunch of possibly otherwise great anime.

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