Today is August's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.
What makes me an Insecure Writer this month?
I'm stuck on a particularly vexing scene and the wall next to my desk has dents in it from all the head banging I've been doing trying to figure my way past that scene. Oh well, it’s not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last. I’ll figure it out eventually and move on, so let's jump to the IWSG question of the month.
What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
My biggest pet peeve involves reading. Over the past six months, I’ve noticed more and more books within certain genres are beginning to sound remarkably similar. Take paranormal fantasies, for example. Almost every one I see these days starts out in exactly the same way. The main characters all sound the same. The eventual love interest always sounds the same. The worlds sound the same. The writer's voice sounds the same. It's like the authors are following the same template. I know every genre has certain conventions a writer must follow, but come on people, at least try to be a little original.
Space operas are beginning to show some of the same problems, although at least they have the advantage of having five or six standard ways for them to begin. The ex-prisoner/retired spacer/old miner who just wants to retire in peace, but who immediately gets pulled into something that will decide the fate of the galaxy. Or the bounty hunter/space scavenger/salvage reclamation person who discovers an ancient alien artifact that will decide the fate of the galaxy. There's nothing wrong with these themes, but it's gotten to the point where you could swap first chapters between these books and not notice the difference.
Have any of you noticed the same trends?
P.S. For those of you who write paranormal fantasy and space opera, I'm obviously not talking about you. :)