12 May 2009

Plot Till You Drop

Yes, I know, the title is quite weird but...work with me please *grin* I was talking about this on Saturday with my best friend (Starfire) and thinking about it this morning in the shower (and no, I don't know why things pop into my head when I am in the shower...maybe it's because I'm a little more relaxed?) *shakes head* Anyway, when I read Aymless' post on Shannon K Butcher's Burning Alive I thought I had to ask: are there some plots that you would be happy never to read again? Plots that are re-hashed in various formats (but still identifiable) that drive you insane with their predictability?

My personal non-favourite is the stalker plot. Starfire and I were talking about the stalker plot on the weekend, and she commented that with one particular author (who shall remain nameless) it was scarily predictable. My exact words were: Page 50: 'Entrance stalker, stage right'. There are others that drive me insane - the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING (note capitals), for one - but it is the stalker plot that has me wanting to stand on a soapbox and rant.

So, what plots drive you to stand on a soapbox and rant about their inanity? And...what would you like to see more of?


  1. Hmm...I have to agree the stalker plot can get really old. I've seen it happen where it works well, but it's usually too contrived and a bit predictable. *sigh*

    I'd have to say my other big pet peeve is the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING that wouldn't be there if the characters would take 5 minutes to talk to each other. Sometimes the BIG MIS can work and works well, but those times are few and far between.

  2. *nods*

    WRT the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING, I think if there is a reason why the heroine (or I guess the hero :) can't broach the subject they are studiously avoiding, and the reason is a believable one, then I don't have a problem. It's when it's so obvious shown that the hero will understand and the heroine still doesn't say anything (and thus gets herself further up the proverbial creek) that I get even so slightly mad :)

    Hmmm, does anyone know a good misunderstanding plot?

  3. I really dislike the "he pretends to be someone else, she pretends to be someone else, they fall in love and now have to tell each other they aren't who they said they were" *ugh*

    *nod* "big misunderstanding" stinks too.

    Hmm... I don't think I've ready any stalker ones.

  4. Hmmm... interesting.

    My thing is that there are always exceptions, you know? For example, the secret baby/pregnancy? Hate it.

    And yet, Suzanne Brockmann's older TD&D Everyday, Average Jones has a version of it that works really well for me. It's all about the execution, I'm afraid.

    Yeah, I ride the fence well, don't I?

  5. Yeah, I ride the fence well, don't I?You do *grin* And there are definitely exceptions :) I loved Everyday, Average Jones. It was my first SB book (before I realised that she also wrote the Troubleshooters).

  6. Oh, I could go ON and ON about this topic! My absolute least favorite plot EVAR is love by deceit. Any kind of plot that involved the hero impersonating someone else and deceiving the heroine. The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James springs immediately to mind. I hate, hate, hate when one of the characters has a secret that lingers and lingers.

  7. Oh, funny! I have read that stalker plot! You know I too hate the big mis, but I agree, there has to be a reason the subject isn't brought up. If there is, then it works for me, but then it is more of an obstacle than a simple misunderstanding.

  8. I'm with Amyless and Kati. I despise the 'love by deceit' plot. I've been known to start a book and then immediately throw it at a wall when I realise what plot device is being used. I think at least 90% of these types of stories are DNFs for me.