I know I often blog about fiction tropes that drive me nuts. Today, let’s talk about the one that is still a thing and makes me want to scream when I see it. Seriously, just saw a comic ad with it yesterday and threw up in my mouth a little.
“I just wanted a normal life, but…”
This is a ridiculous trope. An exception might be if someone was wrongfully accused and thrown in prison or their parents were murdered horrifically. If their life is actually truly horrible. Then I might be able to tolerate the idea. The worst part is I see it more in fantasy than anything else. Usually with teens or adult women.
Let’s be honest, here. I don’t know anyone who wants a “normal” life. No one, as a child, dreams about the days when they have to wake up early, go to the job they hate, get home mentally or physically exhausted (or both), have to clean and feed themselves, try to take their mind off their misery for a few hours by watching TV or playing games, have trouble sleeping, then have to get up and do it all over again. Every day until you die.
We’re all cogs in the machine and most people look forward to a deviation to their mindless schedule. A vacation. Visiting friends. Karaoke night. Something.
So when I see a character bemoaning the fact that they suddenly got magical powers, or stepped into another dimension, or have to save the world, I want to reach through the pages and slap them good and hard.
Why would you not want to have such an opportunity? Why would you think that your high school, college, or adult life is so much better than a magical quest? Why would you not want the opportunity to make changes to not only your life but the lives of those around you? To be a hero? The worst is that it is always some normal Joe Blow character. Not a millionaire. Not a scientist who spends their days making awesome discoveries. Not an astronaut bouncing around in space. Joe Blow is pitching a fit because he might miss football practice or the date with that hot guy down the street because an alien race needs his help to save their planet.
Are you kidding me?