Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: 5 Things I Wish More Books Talked About

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

This week’s prompt was a little tricky for me. How easy was it for the rest of you to come up with your lists?

1. People Who Aren’t Beautiful or Handsome

If a main character has average or below-average looks I get excited. This doesn’t happen as often as it should in most genres, but I really like reading about people who are wonderfully ordinary in this way.

2. Chronic but Nonfatal Health Problems

I’ve read about many characters who had advanced forms of cancer or other diseases that were going to kill them soon. It would be nice to read more stories about people living with diabetes, HIV, chronic pain, arthritis, or other illnesses that someone can live with for decades.

3. Failure

Of course I want every character I meet to succeed in the end so long as it suits the course of their plot, but I find it so interesting to see how people react when their hard work doesn’t give them the results they were hoping for. You can learn a lot about real and fictional people that way.

4. Happy Longterm Relationships

One of my literary pet peeves is how often characters who have been with their spouse or partner for many years are described in negative terms. I’d sure like to see more stories about couples who have been together for a long time, are still in love, and genuinely enjoy spending time together.

5. Intelligent, Sensible Characters

There are so many tropes out there that rely on characters ignoring the advice of others or their own gut feelings about a situation. I’d love to see more examples of characters who avoided danger by listening to these warnings.

Yes, this might make it a little trickier for the author to gently prod them into plot lines they’ll need to follow, but I love it when characters are as cautious and smart about new things in their lives as I would be in the same situation.

For example, I love paranormal stories.  I do not enjoy tales about characters who do silly things like ignore a neighbour’s stern warning about the violent history of the spooky house they just bought or knock over headstones in a graveyard for the sheer fun of it. It’s so much more interesting to me when a protagonist accidentally stumbles into a haunting through no fault of their own.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

27 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: 5 Things I Wish More Books Talked About

  1. Not a fan of stupid characters. My kid and I have a joke about horror movies: when they hear a noise in the basement, WHY do they always go to the top of the stairs and call, “Who’s there?”. It’s the sure fire way to die. When I hear a noise in MY house somewhere, I might check it out, but I’m stealthy about it. Stupid characters lose me as a reader every time.

    It’s interesting that characters chronic pain has come up a couple of times on here. I suffer from it, and I’m not sure I’d want to inflict that on any of my characters! LOL…

    I’m here today: http://www.mariannearkins.com/wednesday-weekly-blogging-challenge-things-i-wish-more-books-talked-about/

    • Heh, I hear you there. My husband has a chronic illness, so we’re always on the lookout for characters who have the same or similar health issues.

  2. Lydia- I agree with every single one of your responses – and I’m pissed I didn’t think of them!!!!! I would love to see more characters with chronic illness fall in love, because THEY DO!!! in real life. great post!

  3. Lydia – I agree with all your responses and I’m pissed off I didn’t think of them! I would love to see more romances with people with chronic illnesses because, HELLO! they happen. Great post.

  4. Or authors think the character is being tough, but really, they’ve done something that’s TSTL. I’ve read a lot of that. I get learning from your mistakes, but it’s like when the girl walks into the abandoned home where the axe murderer is standing in the living room… oy.

    • Yes, exactly! I know so many people who live with chronic illnesses that can’t currently be cured. It would be so nice to read about characters who are dealing with the challenges that come with this sort of thing.

  5. I read your post and the comments and had to smile. While my novel doesn’t include anyone with a chronic illness, yes, there’s a couple who have been together for years (and happen to be lesbians which isn’t even worth mentioning in my opinion but matters to others) as well as a magical drug addiction in the story, which creates problems for the MC. And I, too, got tired of the “lone gunman” riding into town, cleaning up the mess, and heading out. My characters have family and friends and that means complications. Basically, I’m writing what I want to read.

    If that’s what we need to do, that’s what we need to do. Get out there and write it. 😀

  6. I agree with all of these, and am especially not a fan of characters who insist on making stupid and unwise decisions. I have seen a little more focus on illness, but not a lot. I am picky about the appearance though, I don’t mind less-than-perfect but the few times that happens it seems that those characters are often only that way so that they can either be bullied, or made-perfect later in the story. I wish they could just start out as regular people, and end up as still mostly regular looking but with a story or who had an adventure. I mean plenty of people in real life even travel or otherwise do ‘life-changing’ things and still look like people! I don’t think it’s too much to ask, haha.

  7. well…I have to agree with most but I’ll admit I don’t like reading about failure. It does no one any good. Nor do I believe it’s good for the health. Which leads us to chronic diseases…while I would be absolutely glad to listen to any of you about a health problem because you need to talk, I do feel I hear enough about health problems from any Tom, Dick, and Harry on the street. I can be pretty accepting but there are so many horrors in the world I guess health problems aren’t my thing to read about.

    Wow, Lydia. Didn’t mean to sound preachy. I’m glad you seem to always put exactly what you think in your posts. I like plain-spoken people. Tend to be one my self 🙂

  8. I really like when people are average in books in both their looks, and overall abilities. They can have a few characteristics that are their strengths, but they are a regular person that way. What I hate is the trope of “I’m so average. No one thinks I’m pretty” but then everyone thinks they are the most gorgeous person of all time (*cough* Bella in Twilight *cough*).
    I actually love every item on your list, but I wanted to discuss that one specifically. We have a lot of similar tastes for these sorts of things, which I really love!

  9. I agree with you on the chronic pain and also the normal looks. I like to write geeky male characters because I find geeks attractive, but a lot of people prefer their men alpha.

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