Hello lovelies! How are you? I saw this post over on Georgia’s blog a while ago, where she talked about character traits she likes in fictional characters and I’ve been wanting to do my own version of that ever since. But once I sat down to write that post, I realized that I have a much clearer idea of what I don’t like (No, I don’t want to know what that says about me). So I’m being salty and talking about characters traits I dislike in characters instead. Since this is light, fun post, I’m going to keep the topics light and fun too. But any kind of discrimination and prejudice are obviously character traits I don’t like.
This word perfectly encapsulates a certain type of character we often see in YA fantasy novels. Yes, I’m talking about the lost/secret/exiled princes and princesses. They’re not all entitled and arrogant, but some of them are. It’s like 99% of the reason I hate on princes and dislike the secretly royal trope so much (Please shut up about your birthright, son) I find it frustrating to read about characters who act like they’re owed something, simply for being born. So I just can’t get into the whole “I am the rightful Queen and will reclaim my throne” thing. Ok, you’re royal. So what? Get over yourself and do something useful you arrogant loaf of stale bread. And why can’t fantasy lands just be be democracies anyway? Where’s my anarchist protagonists? #toosocialistforthis
This is probably the most unpopular opinion I’ve ever had on the internet, but I’m being bold today. I don’t understand why Kaz Brekker, Prince Cardan and Ronan Lynch are everyone’s favorite characters. They’re so mean for no reason. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that a sad backstory gives someone the right to be rude and awful to people. The dark, tortured hero just isn’t my thing. And I‘m a soft Pisces so you know they’d 10/10 make me cry.
Disclaimer: I do love Kaz and Ronan, cause they’re complex, fascinating character with a lot of redeeming qualities. So this isn’t me hating on them at all. They’re just not my personal favorites.
Cardan’s a bully though, so that’s still a hard pass for me.
This is a trait that’s unfortunately most common in female protagonist and that fact alone is enough to infuriate me. It’s so unbearably dull to read about someone who shows no initiative or agency, who’s just pushed around by the events of the plot and never expresses a single ambition, want or desire of their own. I want to read about characters who are the instigators of their own stories, who scheme and plot and makes things happen, instead of simply having things happen to them.
This trait’s most common in love interests, especially of the paranormal variety. I know I said I’d keep this post light and fun, but I can’t stand toxic masculinity and possessive, controlling behavior is the embodiment of that. I know you’re all thinking about S.J.M right now and I feel you, her broody fae males are a big nope for me. What’s up with all that growling? Are they ok? If my husband growled at me, I’d be deeply concerned.
I know what you’re thinking, but being badass isn’t a character trait! And I agree with you! Which is why it’s so frustrating when a character’s only defining characteristic is… being a badass! Sticking people with the pointy end of a sword, while throwing sarcastic insults around is really cool. But it’s a useful life skill, not a personality type.