"Raised by Wolves" - Mary Doodles
spacebeastie: Along the same lines as an earlier ask: What male characters would you like to see less of in fiction?
I saw the really useful response the other day on, effectively, female YA genre tropes. I did notice you have something up about common male stereotypes but is there anything about the YA genre that people need to stop doing when it comes to boys/men?
1) The enigmatic super special boy is a male character I’ve talk about many times before. From an old post:
The one character that I hate the most is the brooding, pale, enigmatic, possibly abusive teenage boy. This character exploded in popularity after Twilight came out and now he’s everywhere. He’s rude, he doesn’t have ambition or motive, he’s abusive, he’s manipulative, he tries too hard to be cool, and, for some reason, he keeps harassing the female protagonist until she falls in love with him.
He hates everyone and never talks to his classmates, but suddenly he’s intrigued with the female protagonist despite her being practically invisible. He opens up his world to her (or she intrudes) and suddenly! her life changes and this mysterious boy will protect her forever while abusing her at the same time.
The problem with this character is that he never suffers for his actions. There are no consequences for this behavior. Everyone worships him or lets him get away with anything and everything. This promotes unhealthy and abusive behavior as romantic or desirable.
2) The jerk genius who gets away with everything. This character can be female, but that is rare. The jerk genius is the arrogant guy who knows everything and who humiliates and manipulates other people because “they deserve it” for not being as intelligent. They’re written as desirable and as cool. They have no manners, they disrespect boundaries, and they’re rude in most aspects.
If you write a jerk genius, please write in the consequences of being a jerk genius.
3) The Gary Stu. It’s rare that I find Mary Sues and Gary Stus as I define them and when I do they’re usually written by writers who are inexperienced. But lately, I’ve noticed that the Gary Stu is showing up in YA fiction. Everything about them is perfect. They’re always right about everything and nothing they do is shown as wrong or a mistake. They look perfect, they sound perfect, either everyone loves them or hates them/is afraid of them (and they’re usually the enigmatic super special boy in the latter case), and they’re often a side character that the main character ends up viewing as the perfect human being.
4) The tortured hero who pushes everyone away with cheesy lines that sound like they’re from an 80s action/sci fi movie. If you’re writing a great warrior who suddenly falls away from society because a friend died in battle or through other means, you’re not writing a great warrior. Your character, if trained in combat or war or something else, will probably be aware that death is probable in certain situations. They probably know a lot of people who have died. Pushing everyone away so that they’ll live is a pretty narcissistic move on your character’s part if they think they’re just so unlucky that death only shows up when they’re around.
This character never overcomes their faults or fears. They don’t change throughout the story and at the end (or when they leave if they’re not the protagonist), they walk off alone. Their first appearance is what I find most annoying because they show up all angsty and tough, claiming they work alone while the naive protagonist chases after them, only to almost fall in a trap that the author uses as an opportunity to show how seasoned this new character is and to show how incompetent the protagonist is.
This character doesn’t need to disappear, but they definitely need to be more developed and they need to go through some changes.
5) The male version of the “virgin vs whore” trope is really annoying. One boy is the enigmatic super special boy with a dark side and an element of danger while the other boy is kind, generous, warm, a “good influence”, and sometimes referred to as “brotherly”. There’s often a female character between them and these two characters fight throughout the entire story. They’re complete opposites and they never really change over time.
6) That gay character that is 1) a stereotype, 2) Super Masculine Man who is closeted/bullies gay people/is used for comedic effect, or 3) in the closet politician who is having an affair. It seems like all gay men fall into one of these three categories in mainstream media.
Anonymous: Your last bit of resource help looked wonderful and incredibly helpful so I hope you don't mind doing it. I'm thinking of starting an RP based around royalty and while I know a fair bit I'd like to be able to do some more reading up, particularly on occupations and roles characters could play within that setting. Do you have any idea of anything that could help? Thanks!
I don’t mind at all. :) As for your question it really depends on the time period and which country or countries you’re focusing on. There are certain jobs that exist today that wouldn’t have one hundred years ago and vice versa, then the different cultures can really vary as well as far as jobs go. If you’re going modern then I know a lot of the royal households have their own website, some detailing the different job positions and the duties of the household, so you might want to try one of those if it applies to you. Just as an example here’s England’s.
Once you have the country and year settled then I’d research the era a bit, and what exactly was going on in that country at the time. If there was a war or even revolution going on then things would be pretty different as compared to a time of peace. If you already know the era and country you’re going with just let me know and I can give you a more specific list of resources.
- The Nobility Association
- Kingdoms and Monarchs of the World
- Writing Questions Answered: The Royal (and How to Research Them)
- Job Positions within the British Royal Household
- Royal Hierarchy
- Royal and Noble Styles
- Writing Royalty and Nobility in Fiction
- The Victorian Servants of Weddington Castle
- Working in a Castle
- Medieval People: Titles, Positions, Traders & Classes
If you like this list of life hacks, follow ListOfLifeHacks for more like it!
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Fictional Smokes —- Morley Cigarettes
Modeled after Marlboro, Morley is a completely fictional cigarette brand that can only be found on TV and film. Since it is a hastle to secure copyrights on certain products, many filmakers simply invent brandnames to serve their movies and television shows. Morley was first introduced in 1963 with the Twilight Zone episode “Terror at 20,000 Feet” staring William Shatner. Since then Morley has been featured in numerous films, tv shows, and video games. Quite possibly its most prolific role was in the science fiction drama X-Files being the smoke of choice for the infamous “Cigarette Smoking Man”.
Other appearances include but are not limited to:
24, Becker, Beverly Hills 90210, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Burn Notice, Californication, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, CSI:New York, The Dick Van Dyke Show, ER, Everybody Hates Chris, Frazier, Friends, Heroes, Jake 2.0, Judging Amy, Lost, Malcolm in the Middle, Medium, Mission Impossible, Nash Bridges, New Amsterdam, Orange is the New Black, The Outer Limits, Prison Break, Pushing Daisies, Saving Grace, Seinfeld, Spy Game, System Shock 2, That 70’s Show, The Walking Dead, and Warehouse 13.
The photo above is an empty pack of Morleys autographed by William B. Davis, the actor who played Cigarette Smoking Man on the X-Files.
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1. falling, in the process of falling.
2. ready to fall.
Etymology: Latin succiduus, from succidere, “to fall under”.