I'll admit it, I've already started suffering from a second wave of writer's block. I started to do what a lot of us do when that happens: google ideas. Then a random idea hit me. My unpopular opinions. This post will be about unpopular opinions I have about general patterns I notice in fiction novels and I will use examples from popular fiction novels I’ve read in order to illustrate my point. Here are my four unpopular opinions about fiction novels:
The Main Character’s Love Interest
1. I often disagree on who the main character ends up with romantically. I know, you read that and thought to yourself, ‘everyone does.’ As someone who was a die-hard Harry Potter fan since Elementary School, I have to admit that from day one I thought Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. I even thought Katniss and Gale should have ended up together in the Hunger Games series. Hear me out, sometimes it’s difficult for me to ignore two character’s obvious compatibility and submerge myself in the belief that a character who is the polar opposite of them will be what’s ultimately best for them in the end. I can understand why this tendency of mine isn’t always right. In the case of Katniss and Gale, they will always be similar minded but his actions and defining flaw, resulted in an unforgiveable mistake. In the case of Harry and Hermione, reading about their constant spats and at one point, Ron’s complete abandonment of Hermione was excruciating. As writers, I hope all of us try our hardest to do what’s logical for our character in the universe we’ve created for them, instead of using our characters to prove points to ourselves based off what’s going on in our personal lives.
Having a Plot Twist with no Purpose
2. Fairytale endings are not overrated. I remember exactly what I felt when I closed My Sister’s Keeper. Why? Why and how could it possibly end that way? Consider this your spoiler alert if you still want to read this book and you don’t know the ending. I’m not saying every book should have a happy ending and I’m not even necessarily saying the endings to this book was bad. However, I think becoming attached to a girl named Anna battling to get emancipated from her parents who were using her as her sister Kate’s personal marrow donor to help her through her battle with cancer was a heart wrenching battle to read hundreds of pages about in itself. What on earth did we as the reader gain from the ending? At the end of the book, after the emancipation trial was finally over, a car accident happens. Anna had formed a unique and powerful bond with the attorney for her emancipation case, named Campbell. Anna had just been granted emancipation from her parents and the judge appointed Campbell to act as her power of attorney. The reader, who has spent the entire novel empathizing with Anna gets to be excited by this outcome for maybe a few minutes before going on to read that a car accident happens where Anna is killed. There are many more details surrounding the plot and ending but these are the main factors you need to understand to comprehend my outrage at the ending. I don’t think authors need to coddle their readers with a happy ending every single time. I even favor a realistic approach to a fiction novel, but I think several authors are guilty of using a dramatic plot twist to set their work apart, instead of letting the plot speak for itself and come to a natural conclusion. The plot of this novel was so powerful and unique by itself that I wish we could have followed the natural conclusion the rest of the plot had set up instead of settling for an abrupt plot twist.
Not Every Story Needs a Love Triangle
3. There doesn’t have to be a love triangle, or a romantic love present at all. I’ll keep this explanation short because I think the point, I’ve made speaks for itself. Here are some Titles of excellent fiction books that aren’t about romantic love: A Wrinkle in Time, Matilda, The Help, Coraline, The Golden Compass, The Kite Runner. It’s a strange combination of recommendations but just a friendly reminder that stories without a romantic plot are out there and definitely worth a read!
Always Do Your Research
4. Even though you’re writing a fiction novel, you should still do your research. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. Yeah. There’s a reason there were several protests surrounding this movie’s release. I am a huge fan of any author who steps outside of what is conventionally accepted and opens the public’s eyes to more taboo topics. However, the lack of research done about the BDSM lifestyle was extremely evident with this novel and the potential consequences of it are scary to think about. The idea that someone would read about Christian Grey’s behavior and think that this mindset is attractive and healthy to emulate is extremely concerning. If you’re going to tackle a topic, please do enough research about it that you don’t create a harmful message for your readers or disrespect an entire community of people who have been fighting against stigma for years. Do you disagree with any of these opinions or have any unpopular opinions of your own? Comment and let me know!