Is there something in the water that makes people write the same thing? We all want to be original, but if you aren’t reading slush piles yourself, how on earth do you know what everyone else is sending in? I guess the answer is we can’t. There isn’t much at all anyone can do about it, but out of interest or worry, I’ve compiled a list for myself, a sort of avoid this subject if you can type of thing.
The items on this list come from various sources: tweets, blogs, conferences I’ve attended, etc. It’s very unofficial, and it was gathered in the most haphazard way. In other words, if you’ve got one of these things in your manuscript, don’t stress too much. On the other hand, if you’re trying to decide, say, between making your middle grade character go off to live with a kooky aunt, or going to live in trashcan, you may want to choose the trashcan.
1. A child going to live with a kooky aunt.
2. Fallen angels.
5. Girls with special powers.
6. Hot demon boys.
7. Talking animals.
8. Car crashes, particularly in prologues.
9. Two people who knew each other in another life and fall in love.
A few of these surprised me. For instance, I’ve never written about the Grim Reaper, but also, I haven’t read many actual books about the guy either. Oh well, I’ve always believed a good book trumps topic anyway. What do you guys think? Also, what do you suspect is overused? Let me know in the comments.