[Rant Tuesday] YA side characters

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Has anyone missed my rants? I’m back with another rant Tuesday and ready to just be bitchy.

Today’s theme is YA side charactres. You see, my problem here is that usually the basic side characters are either best friends, the third wheel and of course the villain. All three of them are usually the same.

The Best Friend

If the main lead is shy and inexperienced and all then the best friend is usually super crazy, social and experienced. That specific person always: tries to get the heroine laid, complains about her social status, sets her up with dudes she thinks are awesome but they’re not, warns her against her love interest and disappears when she is needed for real. Why would you, dear YA author write about such a bad friend? I need to read about a friend who is always there, knows that the heroine doesn’t have to get laid or have a boyfriend no matter what. She also doesn’t have to be prom queen and all. I need to read about a friend who will support the heroine and her decisions without complaining, except of course if the heroine is indeed stupid and wrong. Please stop writing about that kind of friend because friendship must be glorified, especially in YA books, read by teens. Friendship is important and the best friend shouldn’t be just a side character. We all have to understand that.

The Third Wheel

First of all, I hate love triangles. So if the third wheel is not a side character but a basic character that keeps annoying the hell out of me then I drop the book, simply as that! If the third wheel is just a side character, like a creepy ex or just someone who’s not important then I don’t mind. But my question is why should there be a third wheel in first place? There are so many other things that could be a problem for the main characters and a love triangle is a killjoy. (Ι guess my next rant will be about love triangles in general so I won’t talk about it a lot today.)

Usually the third wheel is the prom queen and she is a complete bitch. Beautiful, socially strong but brainless and a bad person. This also has to stop because it’s absolutely boring and mainstream.

If the third person is a male, then he is the exact opposite from the main hero. Our hero is a badass, treats the heroine badly and pushes her away in addition to the other who’s more like a gentleman and kind and he sees how special is the girl.That’s also not surprising. Come on dear author, you can do better than that.

I am asking you to be creative and start writing about characters with depth. it would be more interesting if the love rival wouldn’t be just a brainless cheerleader or if the other dude was also a badass or also mysterious.

The Villain

I am not really complaining about the villains because, thank god there are a lot of kinds.

1) The disguised into a good guy but evil.

2) The one we knew since the beginning.

3) The traitor.

4) The one that turns good because of regret.

I think I like the plot twists so if you write about option number 3, then please do a good job. Usually it’s predictable that villain number 3 will betray the heroes.

Also, I like option number 4 because if the villain is awesome (that happens) then I want a spin-off and I think that he could be a frienemy.I love that!

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What do you say about that? Do you agree? Do you know any other types of side characters I should check out?

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15 thoughts on “[Rant Tuesday] YA side characters

  1. I completely agree about the bad best friend. Like why can’t friends have better relationships and be supportive?

    This rant was interesting so I’m intrigued to see what you’d do with a rant on love triangles. It seems like a lot of YA readers are becoming disenchanted with them now.

  2. LOL! I always see them in all the YA and NA contemporary romance these days.As for the villain character, I would like him more if he ends up as option 4.I like triangles too but not the annoying ones.I hate it when Authors turn the best friend into a love interest Argh!.

  3. Oo great post! I have such issues with the Bad Best Friend- like how are they even friends in the first place? I want positive portrayal of women and their relationships with each other for once. That brings me to my gripe with the Third Wheel, it’s so lazy to paint the other woman as this vindictive and spiteful bitch. Such easy traps that writers fall into all the damn time.

    Thanks for writing up the great post 😀

    • Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. Yeah it’s about time women to be portaited as strong and loyal to each other because women can do the friendship thing pretty well. And it’s time to stop the whole i’m easy and dumb so that boys can like me/ rival. Rivals can also be smart and pretty and in real life this happensa lot.

  4. I think a lot ot the time the side characters are just stereotypes and that it really boring. And seriously… bad best friend doesn’t make any sense in my eyes. Why would they stay friends? And a lot of the time the MC only has that one friend. That’s it. I was an outsider in school and even I had more than one friend….?

    Love triangles? Ugh. I have a blog post about them that I am working on, but they are just so many things that bother me… I don’t know how to put it in one post.

  5. I agree with these, especially the crazy, socially adept best friend! I really am so sick of that trope, it annoys me beyond what I can handle! Great rant! xoxo

  6. I especially agree with you on the best friend. I absolutely LOVE to read about friendship. I often prefer friendship over romance, so if the supposedly best friend isn’t a best friend at all, I get so disappointed!

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