Writing Ramblings: Forced Themes and Edginess


When I first started this blog, I mentioned that I love to write, and obviously, I love to read. I’m a firm believer that you cannot be a good writer if you don’t read. Yes, I know many people claim that you can be. But I’ve beta-read enough works by people who don’t read to know that’s a bunch of bull.

Because of this, I tend to make notes of the things I like and the things I don’t like as I read. I think it’s an important way to learn and grow.

I’m interested in writing young adult literature, I tend to focus on reading young adult literature. And because of this, I’ve noticed some trends that really annoy me.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts about these topics in the comments below!

  1. I’m tired of books that attempt to be violent in an effort to be edgy. I’ve mentioned it in another review, but I think this stems from the popularity of Game of Thrones and this desire to portray things truthfully. But there are so many YA books that are violent and centered around selfishness and the desire for power, yet I haven’t found one (in the young adult genre) that didn’t feel forced (right now, I’m thinking The Red Queen and The Cruel Prince, both of which have power as the driving force of violence). And I’m not entirely sure what makes it feel forced. Maybe it’s the fact that the young protagonists still act like teenagers despite the violence they’re exposed to. Maybe it’s the romance. Maybe it’s how it’s written, but something feels off.
  2. Diversity is a wonderful thing, and the books we read should have a diverse set of characters. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of authors seem to make a point to make a minor character the figure of diversity, but that character never feels fully developed. I suppose I like that there’s an effort, but I absolutely hate when it feels intentional. And it feels intentional when the author makes a big deal about their white, straight MC being “accepting”. Honestly, it sometimes feels like the author is basically saying, “See? I have black friends”, and that definitely rubs me the wrong way.
  3. And finally, forbidden romance that’s just there to show two people overcoming racism or whatever. I’m think Carve the Mark here, but I know I’ve seen it elsewhere. Forbidden romance is fun if it’s written well. And I also love a good hate-to-love story. However, those relationships need to develop over time. More than likely, two people who are forbidden from being together are a.) going to have a hard time actually finding time to spend together and are b.) going to have a lot of preconceived ideas that will need to be proven wrong.

5 thoughts on “Writing Ramblings: Forced Themes and Edginess

  1. All Booked says:

    I just finished Red Queen today and am 100% on board with your first thought about the idea of violence because it’s almost…trendy? I highly disliked the violence for the sake of violence in many spots of that story and a few others I’ve read recently – it does feel forced!

    Liked by 1 person

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