Sunday, 28 August 2011

Done To Death



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?



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28 comments:

E.J. Wesley said...

Great graphic and great points!

Kari Marie said...

Loved this! I think you hammered most of my pet peeves in fiction.

Gail Baugniet said...

You certainly hit the nail on the head with this post! And probably let out a bit of frustration. Enjoy your day, now, and thanks for saying what so many of us are thinking.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You certainly picked some good ones! How about evil can only be vanquished by a reluctant hero on a treacherous quest?

Rusty Webb said...

Dammit. I wrote a great response but blogger wonked out on me as I tried to post it.

I'm not sure it bothers me too much, but I recall that the small, beautiful woman that was a mighty warrior seemed a unique concept to me at one time. Now, I think a small, beautiful woman (in a genre novel anyway) that cannot fight like a demon is what's odd.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow. A lot of excellent examples there, Moody. You're definitely sounding a little frustrated today.

Alleged Author said...

I agree with Alex on the reluctant hero bit because it's been done over and over again.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I agree with this of course, but in reality most people mostly love this one meme: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy fights through obstacles to reunite with girl, they either get back together or tragically stay apart forever.

Sophia Richardson said...

You don't mince words, do you, Mood? Not that we'd want you any other way!

Fiona Faith Maddock said...

Award winning stuff. LOL. And you're right...nobody cares, but we carry on anyway.

(That 'Nobody cares' line is delivered beautifully in the film Little Miss Sunshine, with reference to Olive's Dad, Richard, and his precious 'Nine Point Plan').

Crystal said...

Ha ha ha, I LOVE ranty-type posts! :-)

My personal pet peeve is the macho-woman that I'm seeing so much of in the urban fantasy genre. I get it - she's supposed to be strong, she's supposed to be tough, she can play with the big boys, but c'mon, can she not be just a teeeeeensie bit feminine, too? I just don't like the message it sends to young girls that if they want to be seen as strong they have to completely eschew their femininity. That's why I LOVE JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Her female characters (mostly) aren't delicate flowers nor are they she-males: They're (again, mostly) genuinely tough, kick-ass ladies who haven't lost their femininity and softness.

Jen said...

Hilarious, Mood! Thanks for sharing!

Stephen Tremp said...

Which asks the question, should a writer seek to incorporate a lesson learned in their books. Should there be something the reader walks away with at the end other than good triumphing over evil? And if so, to what extent?

Patricia Lynne said...

LOL Very funny and cute post. You missed in YA the girl meets boy w/ secret that can kill her but they stay together anyways. << Saw that so much in YA I stopped buying books.

Ben said...

Great post, Mood. I was thinking of doing a similar one, but I will contribute to yours instead.

The Dickmen: While men think with their penises, they want something else than screw 24/7. Men that are smart and strong-willed exist and are interesting too. Not everybody falls for the first pair of boobs.

The Bank Heist: Jesus, criminals. Find yourself another activity. If you rob a bank you're a greedy fucker and greedy fuckers are likely to fuck you over and leave with your money. It's been good while it lasted, but I don't want to read about another fucking bank heist. Criminality is broader than that.

The Serial Killer: Enough already. There are other, more interesting examples of fucked up killers.

Good Cop/Uniform Blasé Cop/Suit: What if it was the opposite for a change? That the patrolmen in uniform would be a blasé asshole and the detective would be a non-alcoholic, enthusiastic investigator.

Michael Offutt said...

Nice rant. I agree with your list.

Michael Offutt said...

Oh and I want to add one...beautiful, super hot girl who just wants to be kissed. Yeah right? Like that's hard.

Christa said...

Ha! I love the hot rape victim thing. I told my husband that I wouldn't watch SVU because of that and he pointed out that everyone on the show is hot: hot DA, hot police officers, hot possible rapist...Good point.

Samantha said...

Wow. Call me blunt, but I kind of freaking love you right now. Everything you just said is 100% true. Thank you.

Samantha

LD Masterson said...

Um...enjoyed any good books lately?

Lorena said...

How about LOVE WILL CHANGE THE MOST ANTI-COMMITMENT GUY, as portrayed in almost every romantic comedy's climactic scene thru marriage proposals/embarrassing declarations of love in public places, such as baseball/football/basketball games/best friend's wedding or desperate chases throughout airports/NY city traffic to catch loved one before he/she leaves for good (and marries someone else or relocates)? And did I mention the applause that always follows? (Is there a puke emoticon in Blogger?)

GigglesandGuns said...

Well, maybe you should tell us how you really feel :o]

Just kidding. It's refreshing to know I'm not alone in these feelings.

One that bugs me and sees to be growing -- a woman detective with extreme language to fit in with the men. It may be necessary but I don't want to read it every other word.

mooderino said...

Great comments, nice to know I'm not alone. This post was brought on by a holiday weekend watching too many bad movies, I feel a lot better having got it out of my system.

Cheers.

Milo James Fowler said...

So many recurring themes. I like predicting what's going to happen next in movies/TV shows, and I'm right more often than not. Seriously, it's all been done before, so why not try something NEW?

Juliana L. Brandt said...

Haha, this post is awesome. Seriously, all of those make me roll my eyes. My biggest pet peeve though is definitely the old love triangle, ish.

J.L. Campbell said...

I'll make sure to stay away from these. The serial killers abused as kids jumped out at me as way, way overdone, not to mention the spy stories.

Wendy said...

Mine is the time travel plot. It's always some evil guy wants to use time travel to change his past so that he is rich and powerful. I love time travel stories, but can't we have one where the future gets all messed up by some really fabulous guy who is trying to make it better and messes it up anyway?

Jen Brubacher said...

Heh! I agree on all of these except the writer part. I love seeing writers struggle. It makes me feel much less lonely.

I also dislike, "Women find it difficult to be seen as equals in business" and "Kids say the darnedest things." Ugh.

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