Plot Summaries That Are Like Kryptonite to Me and Characterizations I Never Need to See Again

While hanging out on the Twilighted forums, a thread called “What am I doing wrong? How to get reviews” caught my eye. The title is self-explanatory, and a bunch of authors started weighing in on the topic. In my comment I said a bit about how I will only read fic with an original plot, and will only comment if I feel like I’m seeing something new, and I gave examples of fic I would refuse to read, based on the summary alone.

My moment on the thread has come and gone, but I still have a bee in my bonnet about played out themes and plots. It’s not that there aren’t tons of well-written fics that use plots that now repel me—my thing is, I can only read the same story so many times. Take vjgm’s “Boycotts and Barflies”. Hers was the first. Yet, how many subsequent fic do we see where all three girls are roommates and best friends and they start dating all three guys, who are roommates and best friends? I know that in B&B, Edward lives alone, but you understand what I mean :)

Same thing for In a Blue Bathrobe’s “Tropic of Virgo” and tby789’s “The Office”. They are my first, my last, and my everything in terms of band and workplace romance fics (alright, “Trust in Advertising” is, too but I didn’t want to fangirl too much over vjgm). Nobody could write an Edward more beautiful and bastardly than Christina, or a shy would-be rock star like IaBB’s Bella. How about Ninapolitan’s “The Bella Swan Diaries”? It was the first and best of its kind. So, why, after all of these unbeatable fics, do tons of people pop up with the same plot?

Five plot summaries that have been done so well before that they are now like kryptonite to me are:

1. "E is a hot-shot bad boy who changes his manwhoring ways once he meets B"
2. “B is or was in a safe but unfulfilling relationship with J or M. Can she find true love with E?”
3. "E is a scared little boy masquerading as a mega-asshole and only B can get through to him"
4. “B is going through a dry spell and girlfriends A and R intervene to jump-start B’s dating life. Socially retarded B meets E and is only able to land him with A’s and R’s help”
5. “B is recovering from a trauma and fears she will never be able to love again…until she meets E”

Five characterizations that used to be cool but that I never need to see again:

1. Edward is Bella’s boss and she is some kind of assistant (hello, why can’t he be her assistant? I hate this characterization so much that I have seriously considered writing a fic where she’s the boss)
2. The whole crew is in a band together (seriously, it’s getting a little “Partridge Family” in fic-land)
3. Bella/Edward/Anyone is a student at NYU (most people don’t attend NYU. Trust me, I have the inside scoop on this one. And isn’t Bella really more of a Barnard girl, anyway?)
4. Dr. Edward (It is usually not essential to the story, so why are so many Edwards a doctor?)
5. Fashion designer Alice

P.S. I am aware that my fic is guilty of at least two of the aforementioned transgressions. At least I tricked the readers in to making it seem like it was about something else. See how important summaries are?

Anyway, what’s like kryptonite to you?
GreenPumarants3 Comments