Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Please Sir, May I Have Some More? - Bookish Tropes We'd Like To See More Of

Last week, I posted a short list of things I think the book world has seen a little too much of lately. This week, we're turning the concept on its head, and getting a list of things that, like sad puppies at the back of the pet shop, go sadly neglected simply because they are not in plain sight for people to spot and adore out of their tiny fluffy minds.

More Diverse Characters

More characters of colour, more queer characters, more disabled characters, more characters with complex cultural history beyond the typical "Half-Human/Half-Sparkly" divide. More. Just ... more!

Relevant Family

Killing off parents, siblings and neglected gerbils is a great way to inspire the protagonist to do Hero Things, but it can cut out a lot of fascinating grounds for their continual development. It's also a great way of keeping their backstory relevant and in focus, as other characters attached to that story are in play at all times, affecting the plot and the stakes therein.

Re-imagining The Old

I love vampires, and while I'm not so keen on some of their more recent incarnations, nothing is ever going to shift that foundational love for all things nocturnal and neck-chompy. Radical reimaginings of popular cultural icons can be some of the most exciting and adventurous material for an author to work with. Modern mermaids who have adapted to hunt in modern sewer systems, faeries who join hippie communes to find victims for their pranks, zombies who volunteer as lab subjects for medical students - go wild!


I have routinely heard that my generation is the most cynical and sarcastic yet produced by humankind, so I continue to be bemused at the lack of really good, witty parodical writings that we have, as yet, produced. You've got to love a thing before you're ready to tease it to death - and there's plenty to love and rib roaming the markets today!


Ahhhh. This was gloriously cathartic, you know. However, just because it left me feeling thoroughly satisfied with life doesn't mean it'll scratch that same tumourous itch for you. Feel free to leave comments suggesing more of what you - yes you, dear readers - would like to see more of in the world of books!

~ Charley R


  1. OMG...I can see the faerie hippies, I CAN. This is excellent and I totally agree...except for the Parody. >.< I've never much been into those. BUT YES TO FAMILY IN BOOKS. Why does everyone have to be lopped off? Besides, the characters just fill their life with "adopted" families, usually, so when not let the originals stick around?

    1. Indeed! They don't have to be supportive or whatever, but, y'know, acknowledging that your character comes from somewhere rather than just slamming names about sounds like a plan to me!

  2. Awesome post, although I apologize for the late comment. Parody could definitely come out a bit more, although with Terry Pratchett dominating the fantasy aspect, it's difficult to make anything really spectacular. Even if things are parodied (like The Hunger Pains, or Detergent), parodies must be multifaceted, spoofing several works at once, in order to be really good. At least, so I think.

    Good post!

  3. RE: "reimagining the old" - The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is a FANTASTIC vampire story. Vampires in the modern day! Vampires on TV! Vampires who vlog!