Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Cliche By Any Other Name

Somewhere, someday, some person sat down at their computer, utterly disgusted with something in Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight series.

Somewhere, someday, some person sat down at their computer, utterly disgusted with something in Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight series.

As they tested the waters, weaving their own perfect little rendition of the story while temporarily borrowing her characters, they threw a few unique, original ideas in there just to make it their own and mixed it with some canon favorites just for good measure.

Well, then some reader of said story sat down someday, somewhere at their own computer and thought, “You know what? I really liked that idea! I’m gonna use it in my story, too!”

And then some reader of theirs somewhere, someday...

You get the picture.

And that is the birth of what we like to call clichés. What once started out as a good idea, an original concept, was well-received by the first 20 or so authors who dipped their toes in the same creative waters, but had us yawning and running the other direction by the time the 543,567th author gave it a whirl.

I’ve read A LOT of fics, yet still by no means consider myself an expert. So when I volunteered to write this, I enlisted the help of my fellow Wolf girls (ICYMI, that’s my disclosure right there — in other words, these clichés will lean heavy toward the wolf side since I don’t tend to read fics with vamp, at all) at a couple sites I post my work on. I thought I’d get a few responses — just enough to put my finger on the pulse of some overused plot lines/adjectives/ideas in the world of Twilight fanfic.

Yeah — I was wrong. 

I guess when you write for a fandom that’s given birth to hundreds of thousands of fics, there’s bound to be more than 10 ideas that have long since reached their expiration date. Yet, we still keep seeing them. 

So only the top 10? I love a challenge, so here goes... (warning: if you can’t pick up on the sarcasm and fun of this, turn back now...I do these, you do these, we all do these and it’s all good.)

1) Bella Swan — The Walking Cliché

Good ol’ B herself seems to be that one thing us Twi-writers can never find a middle ground on. Either we’re constantly reminding readers that she is incessantly canon both in personality (clutsy, selfish, wishy-washy) and appearance (chestnut hair, milky-white skin, petite, smells like strawberries) or we automatically fly to the opposite end of the spectrum in order to make peace with our ever-present grudge we hold against canon Bella by making her a sexy siren full of so much strength and independence, you may have just created your own original character without realizing it.

It’s okay for B to have flaws, but it’s also good to branch out when exploring the development of the heroine with which we all seem to have a love-hate relationship. Just use a thesaurus when you do.

2) Be Careful or Your Face Will Get Stuck That Way

Bella blushed as she bit her lip, eyeing Jacob from across the room.

Jacob smirked, giving Bella a crooked smile as he automatically felt something awaken in his pants.

Apparently a lot of Twi-fic readers have a problem with these kinds of facial expressions, because I guess they’re used a lot and it seems lip-biting leads to instant erections (who knew?) and if you look real close, all the guys are walking around with perma-smirks and their own patented brand of crooked smile while they comment on the particular shade of pink embedded in Bella’s cheeks at that exact moment in time.

Sounds plausible.

3) Emily and Her Magical Muffins

“Do wolves really like muffins?  Aren't they sick of them by now?  Quick!  Someone take away Emily's Kitchen-Aid and hide the blueberries!” ~ Dragonfly76

Right? I must have missed that episode of Running With The Wolves. Seems Emily is always pedaling her muffins in wolf fics these days. On the other hand, show me a fic where Emily’s muffins serve an epic purpose like — oh, I don’t know — possessing the cure for vampirism and I will definitely read that. They could explode, too. Exploding is always a good thing.

4) Glittery and Abhorrable?

Okay, let’s be honest — most of us wolf girls do this a lot because we have some kind of issue with Edward’s character and his personality. At the same time, do we really have to take it to such extremes? Edward was a tad on the manipulative side, but he wasn’t vulgar and vindictive. 

5) The Clueless and Helpless Cop

“Why the hell is everyone so willing to believe Charlie can't boil water?  Eating out all the time is expensive.  If a man can break down and clean a gun, then put it back together, he can fry an egg and toast a piece of bread.” ~ShadowPast620

Good question. Just once I’d like to see Charlie cook dinner for Bella. I bet he makes a mean Kraft macaroni and cheese. It would also be fun to see those cop skills stick around after he takes off the uniform. Surely Forks wouldn’t appoint a police chief who couldn’t find his own butt with a map.

6) Bitchy, Bitter She-Wolf

Then there’s Leah. She’s perpetually angry and bitter and vindictive. She’s hard to be around and no one likes her. She’s the last one picked for the Pack’s game of Super Soccer. She’s going to die alone, and it will be closed-casket funeral because there was no amount of makeup that could hide the perma-sneer attached to her lips.

As my friend ShadowPast put this one, “At some point you get tired of being sad and angry all the time and give yourself permission to be happy. SM didn't imprint all the wolves. Embry's not busy.”

7) Imprinting

What was once a canon-created “rarity” has spread like wildfire throughout the wolf-side of this fandom. Who wouldn’t love it? Imprinting is like the cure-all for everything. Got a lonely wolf you feel like fixing up? Imprint! Need to get rid of a pesky third wheel? Imprint! Need a nice, easy HEA? Imprint! Need a date to prom? You guessed it.

Meh...choices are overrated.

8) Perfect Sexual Encounters

Everyone has orgasms every single time, AND they happen at the same time.  Hardly anyone ever premature ejaculates either.” ~Obsessedtwibrarian

Well, OTB, when two young people (read: Bella and Jacob, or even Edward) love each other very much, there is no trial and error when it comes to sex. It is always mind-blowing. It is always perfect. There is always confidence. Bella feels no pain and they both have synchronized, world-altering orgasms...usually more than once. Later, we learn Bella and Insert-Other-Half-Of-OTP-Here were both virgins and he learned it through mind-reading or wolf telepathy. That’s pretty freaking cool, right?

But then again, who wants to read bad sex? *Sigh*

9) The "Meat"

Speaking of sex, it’s no wonder Bella’s able to have 43,567 orgasms considering what those guys are always packing in their pants. How come it always has to be “massive” and “thick” and “engorged”? How come it’s never just average? And why do we always have to reminded every third word just how well-endowed these guys are? I get it - I now have penis envy of a fictional character on behalf of my hubby. Thanks for that.

10) Fertile Myrtle

So what do you get when you add perfect sexual encounters with a big ol’ slice of wolf or vamp meat? That’s right — puppies (or Nessies!) And Bella was born to breed, right? No? Coulda fooled me.


So once the vamps left Forks after trying to emotionally terrorize Bella into going with them, everyone walked around with crooked grins, smirking at Bella’s blush when they realized why she didn’t leave. They knew about the perfect sex she had last night where Jacob’s massive member made her, ahem, finish at least three times. She tripped over a rock just thinking about. Leah bitched about her clumsiness, but not before she smacked Embry for laughing, who was chewing thoughtfully on a muffin, and the physical contact caused him to suddenly imprint on her. 

And Charlie was still scratching his head in confusion.

The end.

Author: Meliz875, Guest Blogger


OMG I am over here rolling on the floor laughing!

Meg, I didn't even have to know who wrote that article to know it was you. I couldn't stop giggling and laughing like a hyena. I think I'm officially penis envy on behalf of my husband as well.

They did say that there is something in the La Push waters....

Love you and this article!

Oh Hell! I am cracking up! Seriously, good stuff.

OMG awesome gal!!! And how very true!

Thanks, everyone! And CeeCee, I seriously wonder how many sex lives get ruined because of these damn boys. :\

Lol Sugar. Giggled through this whole thing. It is so true. I know I've done a few of these, and I just have to giggle at myself sometimes. But, you know, oh well. :)
Well written Sugar. :)



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