Re: Storylines We Hate

There are many reasons why time-travel, harem, and game systems are popular with readers. 
First, is about that feeling of doing it yourself better. If you were returned 20 years in your past, and able to fix those mistakes. 
Secondly, women have it easy but there are millions of men who are single or never had a gf. Thus, harem stories which introduce women that are easy and simple-minded. Of course, the real ones are mostly bitchy monsters interested only in money, so who wants to read stories about them?
And lastly, game systems are popular with casual gamers, who find common causes and interests, reading such stories. Fighting bosses, finding rare artifacts...real gamers know it's all about long raids and difficult planning and being patient. But the most majority of readers have never reached those latter stages in WOW or other RPGs.  But they can dream about it.

Re: Storylines We Hate

Stories with too much going on. Not so much a plot line as 'world building' I guess. EDIT. I think the last one that did this so poorly I insta-dropped it was Black Iron's Glory (NU). I tend to just block them with ublock and delete my notes if they are that bad.

I'm tired of info diarrhea (formerly dumping), which I personally rate as more than 7 separate characters, places, events and whatnot in a single chapter. After a lot of reading, it seems 7 is my upper edge for readability. More than that and I cannot be bothered caring... ok maybe I can do 13 if it's a really funky story that vibes with me.

Having to keep track of a million different things in hundreds of novels in different stages is awful. So awful, in fact, that I write notes! Here's an example of what I keep on my taskbar (novels in no particular order or importance)
Spoiler : and I have done this for thousands of novels, tv shows, anime (etc) thus far because I have long since run out of easy to access brain-space for the hundreds and thousands of things I've been introduced to. I just CANNOT remember it all.

If something is so bland and unmemorable that nobody knows it exists, does it even need to be there?

Re: Storylines We Hate

Pef Wrote: Secondly, women have it easy but there are millions of men who are single or never had a gf. Thus, harem stories which introduce women that are easy and simple-minded. Of course, the real ones are mostly bitchy monsters interested only in money, so who wants to read stories about them?

Whoa there, you're wandering into the sexism zone with those fallacies. I get your essential point, but these generalizations are both harsh and untrue. I understand the argument that women often "choose" because of the whole animal biology and social science of "finding a mate." However, you can't direct the "difficulty" of finding someone and put the blame on women alone. I usually don't reply to these type of misogynistic claims, actually this is probably my first time, but you're basically saying that I don't exist along with plenty of other women I know.

For harem stories, I wouldn't even dislike them if they weren't overly sexual or perverse and as you said, with easy, simple-minded women. (While I don't agree with polygamy, I find different perspectives fascinating.) I take fault with that as I would for any bland character because it's insulting and boring. I can't imagine that any guy would actually want one of those simple-minded women in those stories in real life. And if they do, it's certainly not for their personality but for their physical appearance and sex. In that case, I'm glad that they don't have a girl because they need to re-evaluate themselves if that's what they truly want. And that goes the other way for girls who only look for money, appearance, or status. Everything goes both ways.

With that said, I have yet to find an actual person I know that is any of these things, both guys and girls. If any exist, I usually hear of them with people in power and or who have great wealth. I don't really know about such highfalutin ways. For ordinary folks, it's not just easy/simple versus bitchy for girls as it's not money versus no money for guys. What a narrow minded view about the diversity of people.

Alongside harem, this reminds me of those CEO romances where the girl catches a rich man's interest. I absolutely abhor those stories where the FL gets sexually and mentally abused by some cold douchebag yet still clings to him because she's in love with him for who knows what stupid, senseless reason. So both this and harem, these kinds of characters and plots need to eradicated---it's simply not healthy. I wish for everyone to be in a happy, balanced relationship with someone they actually love and respect. This can be difficult, but you first have to put yourself out there and sometimes learn the hard way and get hurt. We're human, that's life---it's not easy.

Re: Storylines We Hate

Chryiss Wrote: I wish for everyone to be in a happy, balanced relationship with someone they actually love and respect. This can be difficult, but you first have to put yourself out there and sometimes learn the hard way and get hurt. We're human, that's life---it's not easy.

Well said. I think that's a big part of why I've become so jaded by these stories. Rather than meet as equals and treat one another like human beings, it's more like a buffet where you can just eat whatever(whoever) you want! If those 'romance' novels taught me anything, it's that being overwhelmingly powerful and forcing yourself onto another person is the peak of love and romance. The less say the other person gets, the better! Because it's OK when someone has beautiful, jade-like skin and a brooding look or something.

Take your unearned reincarnation cheat and buy every waifu/husubando you want, or be isekai'd into a weak position with a creepy rapist drooling over you to help you get revenge on your cartoon tier evil step-family. Heck, the less agency people have, the better.

Or are some of us from a bizarro world where stockholms is repulsive and we all got isekai'd into this dimension somehow? It would explain some things about this world...

Re: Storylines We Hate

when a Character gets transported to a world before canon starts and have them prepare everything they can to stomp canon into the ground before its even begun like a checklist to acquire everything the MC adventured so hard to get. IF they derail so hard then it's okay to make new plotlines but they still want to see those canon station-checklists crossed off even if it doesn't even make sense anymore that they are even in the story.

i had a TDG Fanfiction where the MC got into the world before Nie li got his memories back and i kinda wanted to see him and MC face off and try to outsmart each other in order to gain more than the other in terms of resources and treasures but what i got instead was a power wank where the MC just stole everything before the real mc even had a chance to also make a run for it

i think canon MCs make great antagonists because we already know what kind of person they are and can sympathize with them. And if the Author doesn't show what they are up to we automatically assume they do the canon run so bonus character progression is thrown in too. i don't know why almost no one tries to take advantage of that its so rare to see

Re: Storylines We Hate

My top three most hated tropes:

1- Love Triangles.
2- Love Triangles.
3- Love Triangles.

I am absolutely convinced there is no such thing as a good love triangle plot. Of the thousands of books I've read and who knows how much other media, the closest thing I've seen to a love triangle that was both a significant part of the story and not completely insufferable... is Tristan and Isolde. At this point, the people familiar with that one are thinking "I guess that does technically count. Technically."

Other than that, I have the usual hatred for Mary Sues, self-inserts, and characters which have whatever brain disorder it is that prevents them from sitting down with each other in a room and resolving conflicts so petty that they're beneath the average eight year old.

Actually, I just hate petty conflicts in general. Or at least hate it when they waste my time by taking up entire fucking arcs.

Give me significant conflicts that usually require standing up with each other on a battlefield and murdering each other. Death resolves quite a bit, I think.

Re: Storylines We Hate

I like how the post started not about harems and now its 100% debating about Harems :D

Hmm, I don't really have a particular story trope that I hate — but if I had to pick one, its the Urban Chinese Immortal Ezy Mode.

That reminded of my one hatred that I have come across.

Chinese stories where any desirable girl must absolutely, at all costs, be a virgin/innocent. The absolute highlight of how stupid of an extreme a story will go to make that real was illustrated by a 60+ year old woman character, who had been married twice, and reincarnated. But still... totally innocent and had never had sex, even in her previous life. Sometimes it's 10,000 years old, but utterly innocent. Sometimes it's had a boyfriend for many years, but utterly innocent. These are stories that have details on worldbuilding that must take an encyclopedia to maintain. Yet, reality must bend for the FMC to be innocent. I find it fascinating from a social point of view, but it's such a cancer in these stories that I just get really irritated when I come across it.

The opposite, too. If not innocent, then a whore, to be made fun of and mocked. But not just slut shaming for having a boyfriend or something, no, it has to be some stupid level that elder succubus' couldn't reach. That's actually less irritating because it is a bit more realistic, even if it is stupid.

Ok, now that I'm ranting, let's go.

Stories that change the 'nature' or primary narrative suddenly. I just dropped a story that had 50+ chapters - like 200k words - of action, adventure, magic systems, armies... the usual stuff... and it suddenly turned into 10+ chapters of boy love out of nowhere. I mean, roses blooming, fluffy, make-me-blush/vomit level of romance. And then there are the stories where BAM, HAREM! Authors, I don't mind the full range of romantic options. It's the same with all the other swift changes. Adventure changing city building, or whatever, is just as irritating. Usually not so extreme as the romance flips.

Japanese MCs. How can an entire country produce so (so so so) many stories and still have the absolute worst main characters. Look, I know it's a trope, but Japanese stories have taken the "it's a journey" aspect of Asian writing and turned it into an art form. A post-modern, rotting banana ducted taped to the wall, piece of art. The most infuriating part of this is that, every single time, the entire world revolves around this king's clothed manikin. Alright, to be fair, there are a few good Japanese stories that I like. However, most of them are still in the weird category. Stories where the meme still applies, but the story is so quirky that it doesn't matter. Like, The Bathroom Goddess or Evil God Average. There are a few that I enjoy, like Risou no Himo Seikatsu, on it's own merits, but the MC is absolutely not part of that.

And speaking of Japanese tropes. 1000 year old loli's. Hell, Loli + harems. Loli or shota. Any of that. Maybe cause I'm old, but it's creepy as hell. Far as I'm concerned, GTFO of my face with that stuff. Some exceptions will apply if the setting (child brides, etc.) applies, but I don't really call that loli material. It's not the ethics of the writing/story, it's the utter creepiness that I can smell from the author that makes me cringe.

Since I'm hitting on tropes... Korean family stories. Just once I'd like a Korean story where the MC isn't a good person because he lives for his family, or is a bad person because he treats his family like crap. Family is important. I get it. But stop using it as a crutch for a personality. It's like you tell the totality of the character because he dotes on his younger system, or has a sick mom, and really don't need many more details. ALSO, being good to family isn't redemption of the dozen people you just murdered in cold blood. I'm still including you, The Second Coming Of Gluttony, in this. Even if I like you.

And you know what, western tropes. Could we, for once, NOT HAVE A CHOSEN ONE. Like, is that so hard? Could we, for once, HAVE A 3D VILLAIN. I'm so sick of the hero epic narratives. Kudos, somewhat, to the MCU for not doing that. But seriously.

Could we have a single female character that is just... female. Not SJW or morality disguised in human flesh, not there as a slot in (or to "slot in to"), not there for the MC, not there to capture, not there to revenge on... but like, a character? A real(ish) person? And MCU, you lose your above kudos for how terribly you did this.

Also, for everyone, the start of a story may not involve waking up in a room with a mirror. There are no mirrors in your world. Accept it and move on. AND NO, you can't use the handsome guy's eyes reflecting your auburn hair with highlights to describe the character. AND NOT HIS EYES EITHER, no matter how flecked with gold they may be.

Brooding is not a primary personality trait. Depressed? The world hurt them? Scared to make a mistake? Social anxiety? But just tacking on "brooding" to "dark" is like putting pineapple on pizza. I don't care if you like it. It's wrong. You know what else is like pineapple pizza? Competing with 5 (50, 500) other girls for a brooding guy's attention. Cause brooding is totally a good thing and doesn't mean damaged goods, and surely someone with such low emotional bandwidth will be able to satisfy the emotional needs of multiple partners.

Magic that replaces technology. Especially if the author then spends a great % of the book explaining magic. That is just technology, in a modern-but-somehow-medieval world.

Magic or technology that is so advanced that society is either locked in the early 2000s, or in medieval Europe, or Ancient Asia.

I'd like to read JUST ONE STORY that isn't set in a fascist/monarchy with so much classism that I'm sent back to kindergarten. Like, I want to read a story about a poor guy in a social capitalist world, where he gets his welfare check but feels like utter crap because every piece of media is telling him to buy stuff he can't afford. Or how about the genius who gets placed into a rigid social system and is frustrated because he is always bored in class and is told to get along with others as an euphemism for "don't stand out". Or how about the indigenous person who is in a nice caring social democracy is still having their cultural history silent erased. Like, this stuff isn't hard to come out with. Take a random person in the real world, and ta-da, a story!

Spatial magic. Hooooo boy. This one really gets to me. Do you know what would happen in a world with spatial magic? It'd be like an agricultural revolution, except in transport. The literal ability to not worry about location for resources. It's like... gah. World bending level of influence. Especially in magic medieval europe.

Custom currency. No. Just No. You need a really good reason to do this.

Converting currency in a medieval/ancient setting to modern dollars. No. NO. Also, capitalism in medieval/ancient settings. GAH!

And just generally not showing the power of a pair-bond and the need for people to have it. It doesn't have to be "undying love through 40,000 reincarnations" all the time. Two people can just spend time together, connect, and be utterly afraid to lose that connection. Not every cultural has every person chasing after the top 1%. That's not how humans work. And you know what, a lot of people will pick "safe and comfortable". And that connection can be a stable supportive relationship, or it can be an abusive co-dependent relationship, and just about anything else. But it's an anchor that doesn't get any respect in literature. I just want some context and depth to relationships that is not "I would burn my truesoul to make you a flower" or "Just met, conquest #305, onto the next".

Alright... uhh... that's enough.

Re: Storylines We Hate


KaapstadMK Wrote: At that point, is it even an isekai? For all the Mc knows, he or she was born there

I know, right.

I find myself thinking "just make them an in universe character if you are going to steal their memory". I guess that works for isekai in general these days with how quickly some MCs adapt to their new life. May as well drop the isekai angle completely if it makes no difference outside the prologue, unless people really don't care and just want it because they like it.

Re: Storylines We Hate


Wade Wrote: Umm...excuse me. I'm old. 

What's a 'harem'? Is it what I think it is.. a collection of women a rich saudi prince owns or am I missing something because yea...

I'm old.

Normally harem means male + multiple females (polygyny). You also come across Reverse-Harem, which means female + multiple males (polyandry). 

It's a trope  -

But you can think of it as the main character somehow (despite having few redeeming qualities) has the animal magnetism that attracts every desirable female in the story. It's a classic wish fulfillment fantasy which rarely has any depth.

Re: Storylines We Hate


Quote:Isekai, but the MC has amnesia.

It all feels so pointless to me.

Also isekai where the fact they came from is irrelevant past the first chapter and they may as well be from the fantasy world they've entered for all it matters.

Honestly a ton of isekai is just an excuse for the narrator to use modern phrasing and references in a fantasy world.

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I lose aaaaall interest when less than 10 chapters in the MC is suddenly pulled into the affairs of gods/godlike beings. 

Jesus fing christ, give the MC times to find their footing at the vsry least, and maybe, you know, grow enough to care about his/her fate. 

Sometimes it can be done well (lookin at you Living my life as a game through and through) but usually it just pans out into an "Ok I have maxed out the stakes and have no idea how to escalate from here"

Re: Storylines We Hate


Galeigh Wrote: I lose aaaaall interest when less than 10 chapters in the MC is suddenly pulled into the affairs of gods/godlike beings. 

Jesus fing christ, give the MC times to find their footing at the vsry least, and maybe, you know, grow enough to care about his/her fate. 

Sometimes it can be done well (lookin at you Living my life as a game through and through) but usually it just pans out into an "Ok I have maxed out the stakes and have no idea how to escalate from here"

I'm planning one where the MC *is* a god/godlike being dealing with his/her own ilk. Most of the story is essentially like a CK2 game- either manipulating mortals, manipulating other gods, or committing acts of unspeakable evil and/or debauchery. I think it'll be fun.

Re: Storylines We Hate

I don't automatically dislike series where the MC is reincarnated into something unconventional. I just dislike it when the fiction quickly makes it feel like anyone can "evolve" into something just as cool. It quickly removes everything that makes that unique being unique.

Personally, I hate it when isekai/genderbender stories make the isekai/genderbender tag irrelevant after the first handful of chapters.

Isekais that quickly drop the entire point of being an isekai and occasionally shoehorn in some of the MC's background at the exact moment it suddenly becomes plot relevant. Lazy! If someone is from another world, they should act  like they're from another world, and not like they're fucking tourists!

Genderbenders are almost entirely male to female, and end up being nothing more than an excuse for yuri/lesbian fetishism. The MCs also tend to stop making any reference to their previous gender/sexuality within a week. Boring! Waking up in a different body is not something you get over in a single week!

Escaflowne was the anime that got me into anime. And it being an isekai means that I will always love isekai. But it also means that I'll be one of its biggest critics. And I honestly hate how most isekai have been going lately. It's like the writers are using TVTropes as a ToDo list that they're trying to check off as quickly as possible.

Tropes are tools, and when done right, they're great. So it's fikkin frustrating when I see people use tropes as tropes because they only see them as necessary tropes.

I don't mind this. I don't mind that. I just hate it when either of them aren't done in a realistic way.

I have read satirical fanfictions that are better than some original content. Why? Because those authors actually knew what they were working with. Why? Because they understood what they were working with, and knew what lines could and couldn't be crossed. They understood what they were working with, and knew that "artistic liberties" could only carry them so far.