Tag Archives: The Frustrated Reader

The Frustrated Reader©: The Love Triangle

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The love triangle is such a complicated part of a story that authors can easily mess up. And let’s be honest, a lot of authors screw this up. So let’s start with the definition of a love triangle from Urban Dictionary, which I feel is most appropriate.

When two people both love a third person, and that third often loves them both. The object of their love may be conflicted as to whom he/she wants, and generally nobody emerges from these very happy. Love Triangles, as it is widely agreed, really f**** suck.
In most parts, I don’t have an issue with love triangles but they are being over used in almost all stories and it is the same scheme. For instance, the girl is in love with the newbie but her male best friend is the one that love her the most and she leads him on because she really doesn’t want to break his heart because she really doesn’t love him like that anymore. This is done in the reverse, with wolves and vampires, humans and fairies whatever the author feels like creating.
The love triangle doesn’t need to be predictable if you are going to use it. Nor does the girl, boy or whatever creature being used need to experience insta love or do they need to have the worst personalities to be found on earth. The worst personalities include: no personality, I get everything I want and will continue to do so personality, my parents are dead/hate me/ don’t care about me and I hate the world but not really personality etc. . . . I can go on and on about this. But I won’t.
No every book requires a love triangle to make it interesting. The best friends can be together without a dark stranger showing up out the blue. The protagonist can choose the new person, without feeling guilt or the protagonist doesn’t have to choose anyone and go about their merry way.
As stated before this issue isn’t the love triangle itself but more so how it is done. Crap happens and sometimes (although it may be rare as a teenager) you fall for more than one person. The best way to do a love triangle is to not do it. If you are on a writing path of the protagonist having to choose between two people who are completely polar opposites, then stop. Please let it go.
I do not need another three part book over someone who cannot make up their mind and enjoys leading people on.
BUT in the event that you still do it anyway, give your characters some substance . . . please.
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The Frustrated Reader: Let’s Talk about Race

Race not diversity. Because those are two different things and diversity will be talked about at another time.

What makes this topic for me frustrating are two main ideas on two levels: the publishing end and the writers, who decide to talk about race through their characters. For African American writers, no matter what the genre is your book will be listed as African American and placed in an African American section. For instance, Octavia Butler is one of the queens of Sci-Fi but you will only find her book in the African American section of a library and not the Sci-Fi section.

This is an issue that needs to be addressed if the literature world is ever going to deal with race. It shows that African Americans are not only good enough to stand with White authors. It’s not a fair race when some of the competitors get a mile head start. Although this is a publishing issue, a lot of authors are unaware of this (yes, there are some who don’t care but I care). It is obvious how to fix this but it isn’t going to be fixed unless more authors care.

Frustration number 2:

What gives me the right to talk about the struggles of a Hispanic person if I am black? I have not been Hispanic a day in my life, so why I would I do that? I have an issue with this because although a story may be fiction it still holds truth relevance and a connection to the reader. By being Black, White, Indian, Hispanic, Native American anything other than my defined race no matter how much I study I cannot write about an event or a person’s feelings about their race and their struggle if I have never experienced it.

And let’s be clear, if you’re writing about faeries, animals or any kind of inanimate objects, you’re not talking about race. Race and its issues are only talked about with humans.

The way to fix this is to be conscious as a writer that you cannot write about everything and the attempt should not be made. As a reader, I want to be able to connect with the character, especially when it comes to issues regarding race. Reading about something and writing about is not the same as writing your experience through a character. If you are writing about a black person getting into a fight over being bullied for their dark skin, it isn’t going to be an accurate portrayal because it is told through you as a non-black person looking at it. This is something authors need to understand. Trust me when I say readers can tell and authors do matter.

Characters shape the author and their viewpoints, so it is important that authors new and old to be conscious of writing about race.

 

-Pickles.

The Frustrated Reader: Horror

I am a fan of horror, thrillers and words like grim, psychological and scary. I am a fan of these things because I understand what they mean. Lately I haven’t had much luck with stories that claim to represent these words. So I am going to break it down.

Definitions (As per Dictionary.com);

Horror: an overwhelming and painful feeling 

caused by something frightfully shocking, 

terrifying, or revolting;a shuddering fear.

 

Thriller: an exciting, suspenseful play

or story, especially a mystery story.

 

Grim: of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent.

 

Psychological: of, pertaining to, dealing with,

 or affecting the mind, especially as 

a function of awareness, feeling, or motivation.

 

Scary: causing fright or alarm.

Now a lot of author or even their publicist constantly attach these words to books without actually realizing that the books do not live up to their word. Here are some examples:

This book is a collection of short stories by some of the most beloved authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Kimberly Derting and Sarah Rees-Brennan.

These were stories based off the Grimm Fairy Tales and while some were very creative others were very bad. But no matter how good they were (or bad) the stories didn’t scream scary or grim for that matter.

Let’s make this clear when the Brothers Grimm produces their stories, during their time it was scary; they did move people to re-think the shadows. But these stories are only grim in the sense of you finding out your secret boyfriend killed his girlfriend. Like come on. None of the stories made you think or even gave a chill up the back. They didn’t provide the reaction the word grim is known for.

This book was supposedly based off the horrible true story of Amityville Horror. Now there have been countless of stories and movies that shake your core, so if there is going to be a comparison there is a huge expectation. This book didn’t deliver in any kind of shock or scary factor. It was told in two points of view the past and present and both of the kids were weird but in a lacking type of way. For more details check out my review here.

 

These two books were my biggest horror let down’s this year thus far. The expectation that was there for these books really hyped them to a point of excitement.

What makes a good horror novel is suspense, unexpected twist, realistic twist, believable characters, a great mystery and a great setting.