I know I haven’t written anything on here in a while. I have been rather bad at posting lately and I have been going through a bit of a reading slump so there has not been much to review. My reading slump has mostly been caused by reading several horrible books and those books have inspired this post.
So lets create a stereotypical young adult main character to lead our hypothetical rebellion. (Because there is always a rebellion for some reason)
WARNING EXTREME SARCASM AHEAD!
1. Your Main Character’s Name
Well before you start your YA novel your main character is going to need a name. Of course she cant have any sort of normal name like Mary or Emma, instead she should be called something like Sun Sparrow just to highlight how special she is. And if she does end up with a normal name don’t forget to chop it up into some sort of nonsensical abbreviation or make her go by a strange nickname, probably given to her by her parents, one of which may or may not be dead.
And I say she because we are creating a stereotypical YA novel and lets face it, most of the main characters in those are girls.
2. Their Appearance
Now that your character has a name you have to decide what they look like, and don’t even think about making her pretty. She isn’t allowed to be ugly either. She has to be as plain as humanly possible without being butt ugly, and don’t forget to have the main character think that about themselves every time they look in a mirror or when they are around someone attractive. (Because hating yourself is a GREAT personality trait to have) Brown hair is a must, and don’t forget to describe it as “muddy”, “mousy” or any other sort of unflattering word for brown you can think off.
God forbid someone find themselves attractive. What sort of freak does that?
3. The Magical Sibling
Every stereotypical YA main character needs a family, and for some reason they all have a sibling. This sibling is everything the main character isn’t. They are attractive, they will have beautiful glossy hair that is in some sort of colour that looks 100 times better than the main character’s muddy head of hair, they have some sort of talent that makes them useful, they are working towards a future for themselves and they are practically perfect in every way. Oh they are also super nice and your main character wants to protect their magical sibling at all costs because they are a precious cinnamon roll too good for this world.
Why is the main character leading the rebellion and not this guy?
See all those interesting personality quirks you want to give your main character? Throw them out the window. Your character has to have a personality as plain as their appearance. She has to be hard on herself, socially awkward and generally questions everything around her. She might get a little development as she goes along but don’t get too crazy with the growth, we want to keep her character as flat as possible. And don’t forget, she only shows tons of emotion when it comes to boys and sometimes family.
The last time I checked real life rebel leaders have tons of charisma and confidence, not this girl though, she is the human equivalent of the colour beige.
5. The Love Interest
The love interest for the stereotypical YA novel can go two ways, either he will be the childhood friend/acquaintance or he will be the hot mysterious guy. When it comes to the childhood friend she has no interest in him whatsoever until they are thrown together by some sort of horrible event. Meanwhile the hot guy is a bit of an ass. He is also far too attractive for his own good and seriously out of your personality-less, plain looking lead character’s league but somehow he falls for her. He also has a secret soft side and some sort of sad backstory.
And of course she cant like either of these two characters straight away. She always hates them a bit first, I have no idea why, this is just the rule of YA romance. Oh and if you want to put both of these guys in the same novel, go ahead, because who doesn’t like a forced, badly written love triangle.
Congratulations! you now have your own YA lead character perfectly designed to take down the oppressive government and cause unnecessary relationship drama.
I know there are tons of other tropes in YA novels, these are just five that annoy me the most. What tropes annoy you the most? Have you noticed any of these any books you have read?