I posed a question to writers and readers on Twitter, Facebook, and in real life:
As a reader, what plots/characters/themes/tropes would you like to see MORE of?
I got some really cool responses!
The most common replies were overwhelmingly:
- better representation for LGBQT characters
- fewer coming out stories
- non-tragic characters
- less romantic plot lines
- more queer characters in non-queer-centered events
- more positive representation for disabled or disfigured characters
- less inspiration porn
- not a villain
- also non-tragic
- more stories without a prominent romantic plot line, especially in MG/YA/NA.
Other excellent replies were:
- actual alien aliens
- shaped by the conditions of their planet
- not humanoid
- chaotic neutral heroes
- like Rocket Racoon from Guardians of the Galaxy and Jayne from Firefly/Serenity
- lawful good heroes
- non-tragic heroes
- non-caricatured investigators
- older ladies
- think a woman-led version of RED or The Bucket List
- relateable underdogs
- The Losers from It as opposed to the rag-tag team from The Expendables or The A-Team
- previously-established couples
- esp. if the plot does not involve the relationship being challenged
- people of other religions or cultures
- esp. if the plot does not revolve around those religions or cultures
- just friends
- esp. if the plot does not involve the friendship being challenged
- a woman alone
- character does not feel romantically lonely
- plot does not concern romance
- positive influences
- opposite-sex family members
- brother & sister as opposed to sister, sister or brother, brother
- fathers & daughters
- mothers & sons
- physically imperfect characters
Themes / Tropes
- retellings of classics, non-fairytales
- can be direct, like Ethan Hawke’s Great Expectations
- can be indirect, like The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You
- twists of common tropes
- accurate(ish) movie adaptations of books
- could be faithful like Fight Club
- could improve upon it like The Last Mohican or Children of Men
- [non-comic] book adaptations of movies or TV shows
- esp. movies that did not get a sequel
- and discontinued TV shows
- thrillers from the victim’s POV
- shameless plug: like COLOSSUS
- stories full of positivity, beauty, and hope
- This is so rare, I’m having trouble thinking of one without second-guessing myself
- failed romances
- more realistic
- not centered in the plot
- moving far away and starting over
- passive characters who are moved by random events
- along the lines of The Big Lebowski and Snatch
- world-saving “propaganda”
- along the lines of 2012, Interstellar, Day After Tomorrow, Wall-E
- post-humanity Earth
- esp. involving animal or mutant characters
- think: Soft Rains Will Come from the machines’ or animals’ POV
- women overcoming and rebuilding
- could be like Enough
- could be like Under the Tuscan Sun
Things I want to hear from YOU:
Do you know of one of these stories?
Have you written or are you going to write one of these stories?
What do YOU want to see more of?
What do YOU want to see less of?
Drop your answers in the comments below or @ me on Twitter!
After I posted this yesterday, one reader/writer stated what should have been the obvious: READERS WANT MORE SPACE FOR BOOKSHELVES. Thank you, @AutumnFaraday!
What is Jette up to?
Working. September is the busiest time of year at my dayjob, since I work with teachers. It is therefore the worst time to attempt to schedule a rigidly-structured day, but I am, and that’s what next week’s blog is supposed to be about…
I am hard at work on my YA dark fantasy, currently called The Shadow Comes. I have already accepted that I may have to rewrite it a few times to capture the dark tone I want. Accepting that, allowing the first draft to be imperfect, has helped my progress and peace of mind significantly.
I am also finishing up Two Guns (Run Rabbit Run, book 2), adding flashbacks and cleaning it up. My editor says I need to raise the tension, the sense of a ticking time bomb, so I will be turning the screw a bit more.
I’ve just uploaded the final version of Housebreaking, the second creepy captivity short, into Amazon. It releases on September 26th. If you read it when it was posted here or on Wattpad (which I removed), swing by my Goodreads and leave it a review.
All of my recent publications need reviews! If you love to review books, I will trade you a worthwhile read for a review! Shoot an email to jetterfly[at]gmail.com.
Want more Avery Rhodes? Check out becomingcolossus.wordpress.com/