The Parkview Pantera

Musing of a Book Nerd

Kalee Wiley, Entertainment Editor

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Clichés strike again in a new form

Once upon a time, clichés used to be enjoyable writing tactics that everyone enjoyed. Over time, authors have made these tactics nightmares for avid readers with their overuse in books. Although I do not mind reading certain clichés, very few, skillful authors have been able to reinvent or employ them creatively enough for me to appreciate

For one thing, a great deal of teen readers have developed faulty expectations and values about love from romance books. Such is the case in The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, in which a vampire and werewolf battle for the love of a stupid girl. While some girls may think being in a love triangle is a dream come true, I find love triangles very laughable. Although there are many types of love triangles, all of them are predictable in that the girl lives happily ever after with some dude. Even more annoying/unfortunate, love triangles are primarily only used for female protagonists, whereas male protagonists rarely ever get this conflict. By only applying this cliché to females, authors perpetuate women as love-obsessed beings. In addition, there is when protagonist falls in love with the rich bad boy, yet he is secretly sensitive on the inside that he is only revealed to her. At last, I despise authors that make all the characters, in the end, have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Ultimately, romance genres contain many clichés, yet they can add twists to not make it another

Appearances have also been overdone with characters having supermodel looks. In a great extent of books, protagonists are usually blondes or redheads with striking blue or green eyes. To chronicle just how beautiful their characters are, many authors also default to the lazy “mirror” tactic, where the protagonist intently studies their reflection in order to describe themselves to the reader. Even though the characters have been looking into mirrors for years, they only conveniently decide to pore over their reflections at the beginning of the book. There is nothing wrong with good-looking people, but authors always seem to forget the average people who have only their personalities to depend on in finding love. Not everyone can be good looking, and just as there are beautiful people in the universe, there are also average people with their own interesting problems.

The chosen one archetype is probably the most common cliché, with numerous books using it in their plots. However, it cheapens the plot structure when the protagonist is the only one who can resolve the conflict. While authors might not use this exact wording, it is heavily implied that only the protagonist can do it.

While many plots employ clichés, some writers throw in a surprise for their readers. In A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, many of the characters who seem important are immediately killed with no warning. Nobody ever expects the main characters to die, yet authors like George R. R. Martin will immediately destroy the trust of readers by killing off beloved characters. Other authors add refreshing twists to damsels in distress, developing them into villains later on in the story. By challenging conventional plot techniques, the author creates an original among most books in its genre.

Although I love reading some out-of-the-box ideas in books, I also enjoy a few clichés from time to time. It all began with the classics, whose plot device were novel ideas at the time. Likewise, the original ideas we read now may become one the endless clichés that the next generation hates.While there are people who can read through clichés repeatedly and never get tired of them, there is no harm in originality.

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