A couple of random action cliches that bug me:
Movies that start with a chase, usually a person running through a city or woods, often panting and screaming and stumbling. This is invariably accompanied by loud crashing orchestral music. The problem is, you don’t see what’s chasing them, not even a flash or flicker or dark shape, so it ends up looking like a random person is randomly running, screaming and stumbling through a random city or woods. I’m not invested in the character right at the start so this set-up isn’t scary. I don’t think books are quite so guilty of this type of thing, but it’s something for writers and readers to consider. An opening scene with no stakes and a load of pointless action falls flat. Nobody will care if your protagonist lives or gets caught and skinned alive.
I also dislike it when a movie character obviously has a nightmare, wakes up screaming and sweating, and their bedfellow or someone nearby says, “Aw, did you have a bad dream?”
(Yes, I watched a couple of movies that used these action cliches recently. I’m not saying it can’t work if done carefully, but often it looks uninspired and predictable.)
To make sure this post isn’t entirely full of my ranty-pants:
The Stephen King Universe – a very detailed flowchart linking his books and characters. I love book and character links. It’s something I’d like to do with my own stories.
Science Fiction Goes Hand-in-Hand With Real Research – via The Telegraph. Astrobiologist Dr Zita Martins says: “In Star Wars, there was the Tatooine planet, rotating around two stars. Recently the Kepler mission discovered a planet like that. Imagination always inspires scientists to go in a certain direction.”
Better Book Titles – A blog is for people who do not have thousands of hours to read book reviews or blurbs or first sentences. The author of this blog condenses book plots and puts the often amusing summarised text on the book covers.
Female Sexuality in YA Fiction – at Stacked. The post also links to a handful of other posts on the subject, and is well worth a read.