Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#21
When the hero is given a team of characters to work with, but eclipses them in just about every way. At that point, the hero just has a cheerleading squad who gets beat up before the hero arrives to try and establish stakes.

It's particularly annoying when said team is more interesting overall due to their exploitable flaws and weaknesses, while the hero is basically a walking pillar of perfection who gets to admonish his teammates when they're in the wrong after the hero bails them out.

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#22

L.J.Molina Wrote: This is a will come out a bit ranty, since it's a bit of a complicated topic, but I hate MC's that don't suffer negative consequences for their actions, but instead, the world rewards them for comiting bad decisions. It not only makes the story incredibly boring as the stakes are drastically lowered, but if the MC does not suffer negative consequences for screwing up, everything in the story becomes stagnant. And all of that is because these types of MC's don't have anything interesting to offer except for "Oh I am the main character, and plot armor defends me so bad that anything I do will come out right in the end". Those types of characters make me sick, as I'm not reading nor watching a story with substance, I'm reading the equivalent of a song that only rises in keys. No variety, no ups and downs, just ups for the MC until it becomes annoying. Instead, I prefer to read stories to see how the characters (not the only the MC!) overcome  adversity through their particular set of skills and their drive. After all, a story of someone failing constantly only to finally achieve success is incredibly more interesting than the story of someone always succeeding. 

Sorry if this comes off as rage-filled or sarcastic, but I just really despise this particular type of MC. They take away the fun of a story real fast.
I call them idiot-ball stars.  Can’t lose no matter how dumb or reckless or arrogant

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#23

Kaith Wrote: When the hero is given a team of characters to work with, but eclipses them in just about every way. At that point, the hero just has a cheerleading squad who gets beat up before the hero arrives to try and establish stakes.

It's particularly annoying when said team is more interesting overall due to their exploitable flaws and weaknesses, while the hero is basically a walking pillar of perfection who gets to admonish his teammates when they're in the wrong after the hero bails them out.
Party stories where the party is set dressing kill me.  All that potential but we’re gonna go with a spellsword juggernaut hero who also can heal.  Ugh

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#24
Cynical Wrote: For me it is the luck of any clear trait. I'm not a fun of the complete white canvas MC that you should protect yourself on. It is annoying how the other characters connected to them or even love them, when they are super boring and empty, showing no real chemistry with any of the other characters. It works better in a game where I control the MC, but in a novel it just does not.
I actually read a book like this, and it took me ages to work out why I couldn't care less about the MC but was basically reading it for all the side characters who were all really well done - or at least interesting.

Hekate37 Wrote: I can't stand clueless MCs. It's not fun to read about someone who makes the same mistakes over and over again or keeps missing something obvious.
I agree with this (and others who said essentially the same thing) but I also want to flip it on it's head and say MCs who just seem to get everything right without trying. I don't mean characters who learn from their mistakes or who figure stuff out based on what's going on around them and what they already know or even smart characters. I mean the ones who just sort of stumble through making every right call on little more than luck or gut feeling and never get it wrong.

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#25

OverclockBeta Wrote:
Kaith Wrote: When the hero is given a team of characters to work with, but eclipses them in just about every way. At that point, the hero just has a cheerleading squad who gets beat up before the hero arrives to try and establish stakes.

It's particularly annoying when said team is more interesting overall due to their exploitable flaws and weaknesses, while the hero is basically a walking pillar of perfection who gets to admonish his teammates when they're in the wrong after the hero bails them out.
Party stories where the party is set dressing kill me.  All that potential but we’re gonna go with a spellsword juggernaut hero who also can heal.  Ugh
Especially when there's all that potential for teamwork early on. A coordinated team of talents and skills is an interesting story, since it means the author is playing with combining different parts and pieces instead of lumping them all onto a singular character.

I think one of the best examples of how to subvert this is the 2000's Justice League cartoon. Superman could theoretically defeat all of the team's villains in a second, but he lacks Batman's investigative skills and intimidation prowess, he lacks Aquaman's diplomatic skills with the civilization of Atlantis, Flash is still faster than him, Wonder Woman's lasso is invaluable for extracting the truth... Superman is great at inspiring people and tackling head-on problems, but the rest of the Justice League are not only capable fighters, but valuable diplomats, equipped with useful tools, and better understand the enemies they fight.

And he's often busy with other problems, so the other team members get time to shine while the invincible one is out. Superman could be that annoying hero, but they manage to keep him from hogging all the screen time and from being the all-solving hero.

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#26

Kaith Wrote:
OverclockBeta Wrote:
Kaith Wrote: When the hero is given a team of characters to work with, but eclipses them in just about every way. At that point, the hero just has a cheerleading squad who gets beat up before the hero arrives to try and establish stakes.

It's particularly annoying when said team is more interesting overall due to their exploitable flaws and weaknesses, while the hero is basically a walking pillar of perfection who gets to admonish his teammates when they're in the wrong after the hero bails them out.
Party stories where the party is set dressing kill me.  All that potential but we’re gonna go with a spellsword juggernaut hero who also can heal.  Ugh
Especially when there's all that potential for teamwork early on. A coordinated team of talents and skills is an interesting story, since it means the author is playing with combining different parts and pieces instead of lumping them all onto a singular character.


I think one of the best examples of how to subvert this is the 2000's Justice League cartoon. Superman could theoretically solve all the team's problems in a second, but he lacks Batman's investigative skills and intimidation prowess, he lacks Aquaman's diplomatic skills with the civilization of Atlantis, Flash is still faster than him, Wonder Woman's lasso is invaluable for extracting the truth... Superman is great at inspiring people and tackling head-on problems, but the rest of the Justice League are not only capable fighters, but valuable diplomats, equipped with useful tools, and better understand the enemies they fight.

And he's often busy with other problems, so the other team members get time to shine while the invincible one is out. Superman could be that annoying hero, but they manage to keep him from hogging all the screen time and from being the all-solving hero.
Your point on Justice League is perfect, and it’s funny cause I’m pretty sure they wrote Amazo out of the show because he just could do everything.

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#27

OverclockBeta Wrote:
L.J.Molina Wrote: This is a will come out a bit ranty, since it's a bit of a complicated topic, but I hate MC's that don't suffer negative consequences for their actions, but instead, the world rewards them for comiting bad decisions. It not only makes the story incredibly boring as the stakes are drastically lowered, but if the MC does not suffer negative consequences for screwing up, everything in the story becomes stagnant. And all of that is because these types of MC's don't have anything interesting to offer except for "Oh I am the main character, and plot armor defends me so bad that anything I do will come out right in the end". Those types of characters make me sick, as I'm not reading nor watching a story with substance, I'm reading the equivalent of a song that only rises in keys. No variety, no ups and downs, just ups for the MC until it becomes annoying. Instead, I prefer to read stories to see how the characters (not the only the MC!) overcome  adversity through their particular set of skills and their drive. After all, a story of someone failing constantly only to finally achieve success is incredibly more interesting than the story of someone always succeeding. 

Sorry if this comes off as rage-filled or sarcastic, but I just really despise this particular type of MC. They take away the fun of a story real fast.
I call them idiot-ball stars.  Can’t lose no matter how dumb or reckless or arrogant
Or in other words, they have plot armor.

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#29
Practically any trait can become obnoxious if the author isn't skilled enough to write it compellingly. That being said, my biggest pet peeves:
  • Sociopathy (or just generalized meanness, narcissism, and lack of empathy.) This usually happens when the author wants to write a badass or an antihero but doesn't know how. The MC doesn't have to be perfect, but they shouldn't be a completely unrelatable asshole with no redeeming qualities (unless that's the point.) This trait is especially annoying when the MC is in a position where being a belligerent, violent jerk all the time would logically result in problems, but this is never addressed and he never sees the realistic consequences of this behavior. I'm not saying the story has to "punish" bad characters by showing them failing, but if the MC is awful enough, I'm going to start wondering why his loved ones tolerate him, why his underlings listen to him, and why people keep giving him power and attention. 
  • Blankness. MCs with no real goals, traits, skills, or ambitions, who are moved by the plot without moving it themselves. I see this a lot in fantasy stories where everything is dictated by "fate"/"the prophecy"/"the gods"/etc and the MC is the designated "chosen one." He's special because he was born that way, he does things because the insert-mystical-plot-device-of-destiny-here told him to, and he winds up with a generic reward at the end, like money, power, and/or an attractive partner. These characters always bore me because they feel more like pieces in a game than real, human people. Like, okay, he's special. But does he have any hobbies? Any likes/dislikes? Any desires outside of incredibly generic things that literally everyone else on this Earth would want?
  • Creepiness/pervertedness. Especially when it's portrayed as a funny, quirky, minor flaw, but the things he does are actually criminal and nobody ever cares. 

Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

#30

Wren Wrote:
  • Creepiness/pervertedness. Especially when it's portrayed as a funny, quirky, minor flaw, but the things he does are actually criminal and nobody ever cares. 
  • I can't watch anime isekai anymore for this very reason.  There's always some creepy gag about him loving his mom's tits or something while breastfeeding, and it's like, if she knew you were really a 40,yo man in her baby's body she'd probably kill herself or something.  Or they set the reincarnation up with a girl his own age (12, or whatever), and it's like, this is not cute, it's pedophilia.


    Of course, many western main characters are just as bad across the genres popular on royal road.

    Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

    #31
    Naivety is something that I will never be able to stand in an MC. 

    Almost all of my stories are about characters who are just tired of life, who are sick of everything, because I can relate to these characters much better than someone who is blindly hopeful about everything and puts their trust in others without much reason aside from 'It's the right thing to do.'

    The only reason I would find naivety to be acceptable in a story is if it is used as a starting point, and the MC loses that naivety as a result of some major events that happen throughout the story. But if it is glorified and this overly optimistic character is rewarded for such a thing, it makes no sense. 

    Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

    #32

    Dubs Wrote: Naivety is something that I will never be able to stand in an MC. 

    Almost all of my stories are about characters who are just tired of life, who are sick of everything, because I can relate to these characters much better than someone who is blindly hopeful about everything and puts their trust in others without much reason aside from 'It's the right thing to do.'

    The only reason I would find naivety to be acceptable in a story is if it is used as a starting point, and the MC loses that naivety as a result of some major events that happen throughout the story. But if it is glorified and this overly optimistic character is rewarded for such a thing, it makes no sense.



    I hate the side characters who are always like, "But have you tried just talking to the bad guys?  Surely people who have bathed in the blood of your loved ones would be amenable to some polite diplomacy!"

    Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

    #33

    OverclockBeta Wrote:
    Dubs Wrote: Naivety is something that I will never be able to stand in an MC. 

    Almost all of my stories are about characters who are just tired of life, who are sick of everything, because I can relate to these characters much better than someone who is blindly hopeful about everything and puts their trust in others without much reason aside from 'It's the right thing to do.'

    The only reason I would find naivety to be acceptable in a story is if it is used as a starting point, and the MC loses that naivety as a result of some major events that happen throughout the story. But if it is glorified and this overly optimistic character is rewarded for such a thing, it makes no sense.



    I hate the side characters who are always like, "But have you tried just talking to the bad guys?  Surely people who have bathed in the blood of your loved ones would be amenable to some polite diplomacy!"
    Would be satisfying to see them try that and the bad guys just kill them, ending the story right there.

    Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

    #36
    I'm fine with any trait, as long as it's done well. Execution is key, but I think this is where things tend to fall flat. 

    For character types, obvious self-inserts are irritating. The fact that they are obvious means they were not done well. Voiceless protagonists meant to stand-in for the reader also fall flat. As some other posters have already pointed out, that's for video games, not fiction. 

    Aside from that, anything goes, provided execution is done well. 

    Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

    #38
    A Character that acts without learning or a desire to learn.
    Certainty without reflection or curiosity.

    Being certain is a human trait, it's why we're flawed. We make decisions and act with certainty when facing adversity, but if we never reflect on our actions, either as they happen - to rectify flaws - or after we succeed, we cannot learn.

    Learning and developing our own personal philosophy is what separates a warrior from a thug. A thug just hits shit and keeps hitting whatever obstacle they encounter until it moves or kills them. If they are lucky enough survive and grow stronger or stumble upon some technique to use, they never reflect on what it could be used for beyond hitting stuff.

    They never learn, or truly grow as a character or person. Their life is conflict, and that conflict makes their experiences wholly negative. They become self-absorbed, unquestioning and annoying to read.

    By developing a character's self-reflection on their actions, you engage the audience in their worries, concerns and hopes - as well as (hopefully) teaching the reader something about themself and how to comport themselves through adversity. How to overcome that inner voice of doubt.

    The greatest adversity a character can face is doubt in their own self-worth. It's how people grow to become adults, parents and eventually happy, self-fulfilled individuals.

    Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

    #39
    On the other side of the anime good guy persona is the western jock trope. More specifically, there is this tendency of some authors to emphasize that their MC is "No virgin." As if this equates somehow that they know how to talk or treat women better because of this trait. And the fact that they already had sex somehow made them automatically great lovers or some shit. It just doesn't produce the self-confident man the author wants to show off. The story ends up looking more like the dude is strutting around or playing it cool. It is just a different kind of cringe to me. This is prominent in many harem books and sadly In some more mainstream storylines. I don't know if the author is just reliving his high school glory days or worse, he is still a high school jock writing a story.

    Re: What trait of the main character do you hate the most as a reader?

    #40

    OverclockBeta Wrote:
    aattss Wrote: Hardworking protagonists. In addition to underdog protagonists being overused in general, hard work has a tendency of turning into this mary sue trait where it overwhelms all other sources of power in the setting and makes the protagonist morally superior.
    So you prefer lazy ones?


    Yep. Or at least ones lazier than other characters in the setting.