Stuff I don’t need to be told again in books and movies:
WAR IS BAD
Agreed. It’s ugly, it’s brutal, people die. We know. The men in charge are only interested in their own gain, soldiers do stupid things in the heat of battle and actually a lot of war is waiting around getting bored. We know. Occasionally people go insane. Yes, we know. It doesn’t matter what fresh angle you write about it from, we’ve seen it. Unless you have a suggestion about what to do to stop war (preferably not involving hippies) then you’re just re-stating the bloody obvious.
MEN AND WOMEN FIND IT HARD JUST BEING FRIENDS
Yes, it’s called sex. People are shallow, men are pigs, women are hormonal, children are cute, everyone loves puppies. If the people in these stories drank less and masturbated more, I think they’d find their need to sleep with inappropriate people that leads to ‘hilarious’ hijinks would be much easier to manage.
RAPE ISN’T PLEASANT
No kidding. If your story has a serious message to impart about rape, raping, prison rape or date-rape, can it be more than the blindingly obvious ones? And a special sidebar for filmmakers: how about you don’t cast the rape victim from one of the ten most beautiful women in the world? Hard as it might be to believe, rapists don’t choose their victims based on FHM’s 100 sexiest chicks.
SERIAL KILLERS WERE ABUSED AS CHILDREN
And...? Lots of people were abused and didn’t turn into necrophiliac cannibals. Unless you have a point to make, sexual details about a characters background, no matter how salacious, is just random information if you don't know what it means.
CRIME DOESN’T PAY
Have you seen the news recently? Crime pays well, and the nicer the suit you wear, the better it pays. I find it incredible how well the police and the judicial system are portrayed in fiction. And even the crooks that do get caught only get more criminalized in prison. Stories about the police struggling to do their paperwork and being racist a-holes may not make for an uplifting tale, but it would be more interesting than the plethora of genius/troubled detectives who always get their man.
WRITERS FIND WRITING HARD
Nobody cares. Writing a story about a writer unable to write is oxymoronic. We get it, you couldn’t think of what to write about, so you wrote about a guy who couldn’t come up with anything to write about. You and everyone else. Enough already (that means you, Stephen).
SPIES CAN’T BE TRUSTED
You know who betrayed the secret agent and left him to the mercy of the enemy? EVERYONE. He works for a bunch of spies—being shifty, untrustworthy, lying douchebags is their trade. The CIA, MI6, Mossad and every other agency too secret for us to even know their name are manned by a bunch of compromised double-dealers. What did you expect, honour among professional ? When it turns out the guy’s boss/partner/lover was the one working for the Russians/Chinese/Arabs all the time, it’s not a surprise as much as it’s a dog turd being forced into my ear with a spatula.
Any staples of the fictional universe you’ve had enough of?
If you found this post interesting please retweet it. Cheers.