She’s not forgiving them for this (and totally considering the force hammer on one of them in a future group post).
What You Should Consider Doing
Nobody's Perfect – We're not getting started on Miley Cyrus and her Hannah Montana business (though if you mention it, Sophia will happily butcher the song on purpose). The less perfections and more flaws there are, the more realistic it is. You don't have to attribute a fetish for smelly feet – that might be too gross. Lupe, however, probably wouldn't mind. If they can get through the ups and downs and still love each other, she's happy. Smelly feet aside, most of us will be happy if there's less Botox going around.
Of course, we’re not making fun of Disney. Not exactly....
Rainbow of Colors – See "All About that Look."
Chibi, Chibi – You know those really cute and adorable people from Japanese anime? They don't need to be short or have big heads, but the love interests that'll make everyone squeal in delight, go "awww!" and ultimately make their hearts are the ones that are adorable. Think cute, geeky, and awkward, because let's face it: that's what real teenage boys are normally like in real life.
What You Shouldn't Do... or Should Avoid Doing
|Fun Fact: Sophia does a killer Pikachu impression|
All About that Look – Those blue eyes paired up with black hair? Too much. It's appearing everywhere, even if it's a nice ensemble. Whatever happened to green or hazel? Does green make them too jealous and hazel makes them too nutty? Does red hair really set everything on fire? Is there a love interest code of conduct somewhere that we sign, or do we really ask the guys we know to take off their shirts before bestowing them our friendship? That would be pretty awkward.
Have we mentioned six packs are yesterday?
Everybody's Kung Fu Fighting – Sounds like no one's getting along with each other these days. Of course there's going to be a scuffle or two in a relationship – that's normal. Even Sophia and Lupe have their occasional scuffle over which fictional boy is more awesome and which fictional boy is really dumb, among other things ranging from serious to trivial. Unless it goes well with the story and makes sense, DON'T DO IT. No one cares about reading a book with a couple constantly trying to pull each other's hair out (or about two guys using the lame excuse along the lines of, “We’re trying to win the girl over!”). If your book is about fights, we better be on different meanings.
(She would name the two from Snow Like Ashes, but she has to wait until Sara Raasch actually publishes book three to determine the right stamp.)
Stranger, Undanger – Remember the whole "Stranger Danger" spiel back in elementary school? Yeah... we seem to be breaking that rule these days... as long as Mr. Swoony has a six pack, dark hair and blue eyes, and a dangerous/mysterious/ominous aura about him, he'll be Mr. Tall, Sexy, and Dangerous. No wonder the best friend never wins when an "I Love Geometry" is pulled off.
Snow Like Ashes, The Iron Fey (first three), and The Infernal Devices are just some of the few. Love triangles tend to antagonize each other and then we're back to kung fu fighting. Take that time to let everyone know about your awesome single love interest your main character is really pining for!
Big Brother's Watching You – How creepy would it be if your husband, boyfriend, or fiancé started stalking you everywhere you go (now Sophia’s getting a little too personal)? That feeling you get when someone’s watching has just amped up to a whole new level. It's as bad as being possessive or overly protective – females are not fragile pieces of china. We can totally survive a few hours without a male hovering over us constantly.
Meanwhile, Lupe will probably look at them weirdly and wonder WHY she puts up with those two. Because it’s what she “signed up” for as a coblogger here on Bookwyrming Thoughts.
*whispers* What's the answer to the meaning of life? – Please don't make your love interest a cheating scumbag that thinks cheating is OKAY. IT'S NOT. If cheating isn't acceptable in real life, then it's probably not acceptable in a book.
Okay, Sophia really had no clue what to call that particular trope.
I Present to You... THE QUEEN BEE (Or King Bee) – Contemporary doesn't have to be about high school, and not every high school has the most popular guy or girl in the school who gives everyone below them the bird. Switch up the enemies and the scenarios. That crazy cat lady? Maybe she's not a crazy cat lady. What about that really heartwarming dad? Maybe he's secretly an alien who replaced the real dad. Maybe the best friend is part of something big, dangerous, and scandalous!
You shouldn’t actually assume book reviewers are nonobservant. We probably are.
So... Let’s have a talk about the characters playing a major role other than the main character in books. What do you like or don’t like, and what do you want to see more or less of? Do you have names for those “tropes” that you see often in books? Oh, and how do you feel about that smell Sophia inquired about back in August (because really, it IS something that Sophia is completely perplexed about and no one actually answered without taking this to a scientific level)?