What writing-related hills would you die on?

Thanks for the explanation, let’s agree to disagree, then. It’s clear that we have different understandings of the terminology involved here, and if I understand what you’re saying I mostly agree, but I’m not sure it’s really directly antagonistic against what I’m saying.

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Destiny and attempts at escaping your destiny can be surprisingly fresh now, since Chosen One trope is so prevalent, we got used to destiny meaning "grand quest to defeat the 42th threat to kingdom/universe/world. " then anything more mundane.
It also became somewhat common for destiny to be escapeable now, and I’m not sure how I feel about that - I think it shouldn’t be easy.


I agree with quite a bit of what you’re saying, actually. Destiny can be and has been a fascinating, sometimes wonderfully disturbing concept explored in fiction (Oedipus and his poor eyes, for instance) and I’ve no issues with its usage. I probably should’ve worded myself a little more clearer on that front, as my first post did give off the impression I was also ranting about it. Hell, I only recently wrote a short about a young fella doomed by the living actions of his ghostly, lingering ancestors. My main gripe wasn’t so much the idea of preordained fate or at all characters that lead interesting, unique lives (as you said yourself, there is no definite normal life, really), but it’s that concept of someone being the chosen one, a character so special that they do surpass everyone else in their world for whatever reason. In the end, they’re the character that matters the most and has to save the day. And, from what I’ve read, that’s how the trope is most often applied. It’s just too cliche to me to ever work effectively anymore and it saps that character of more down-to-earth relatability in a way.

To go even further, I suppose I just don’t like the idea of the grand hero at all. I think if your characters are to be truly complex and actually feel somewhat human, there’s as much potential for them to a ‘hero’ one day to someone, as there is for them to be a ‘villain’ to someone else on another day. I prefer reading about people, whether they be moral or immoral or somewhere in-between, dealing with the various consequences that come with their personality and their motives, and not because there’s some grand quest they must fulfil to defeat the current great evil. I guess they’re just not my type of stories (although I do love fantasy, in case these posts were giving off the vibe that I had an issue with the genre).


I hate destiny because I hate when someone spoils the ending.
Seriously speaking:
In the West the Fate has been present since the Greek Mythology. It was a force that no one, even the Gods, could oppose. It was a blind and yet cruel force that always lead to a tragic end.
Fast foward we have Christianity and the Divine Providence. The Provindence basically means that no mutter how much the situation is grim, God is always there to comfort you and will always turn things (even a bad ending) in His favour. The Christianity also entroduced the virtue of Hope, stircly related to their theology.
Fast foward we have the secularisation process and the rise of new social classes and school of thoughts that indiretcly gave bith to the modern concept of desteny in fiction:
Nowadays the “destiny” is a bastardize version of the Greek Fate with the Christian Providence and Hope, were basically no mutter how much the situation is grim, the odds are not in favour and the villain is powerfull, the hero will win becuase… reason??? Seriously it was already crazy whithin the religious context but it had a minimum of sense (a god, or God, is speaking to the mankind throght a prophet), in a context without someone who speaks to the prophet (beacause prophecies always have a prophet), the prophecy looks just the raves of a madman.
In short nowadays destiny is a plot device to tell “no mutter what happens the heroes will win because the plot says so”

Thank you to anyone who actually read what I wrote


…good will prevail over evil? (In these modern stories and in many religious texts, I mean. Ancient myths, and some religious stories, are a bit different.)

The good guy never gives up—there’s always some hope left—and their goodness, their capacity for love and compassion, sees them through their troubles. Good people see there’s something wrong, they stop at nothing to fix it: Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, lots of superheroes, literal religious figures, etc. .

Don’t glorify this Bad Thing gets thrown around so much, but do glorify this Good Thing never gets thrown around enough, is my hill!


I guess this all goes down to the concept of a Superhero. And you can be into that or not, I was never super into it and the popularity of Marvel and DC in the popculture further turned me away.

There are things that irk me about superhero stories - I understand why people are into it (mostly because ‘cool’ and because it’s a power fantasy) but a superhero doesn’t have to learn how to lead an army, a hero is an army. A hero doesn’t have to teamwork - they often work alone. A hero will always win, and no thought will be spared for people whose lives that ruined - at least not traditionally. And a superhero very rarely works or trains their powers. So it’s like watching someone play with God Mode on.

Superheros and One Chosen aren’t the same thing but they share a lot of similarities - they can’t be defeated, they usually did nothing to deserve their station and have some cheesy things to say about responsibility and good.


And the thing about your comment that this doesn’t fit the rawness of real life is that writing doesn’t have to actually reflect real life experiences to be good. Sometimes the best part about writing is exploring things that are extreme or never going to happen, and I think this especially shines when you take improbable or impossible scenarios (i.e. the chosen one) and use them to explore real emotions, like alienation from old friends, my aforementioned example.

I agree fiction doesn’t necessarily need to reflect real life in order to be good. While I’d argue that the best of fiction maintains some degree of realism somewhere (within the context of its world), I’d never argue for it to be a golden rule or anything. In fact, I agree with most of what you said. Dreaming up completely impossible things is half the fun of writing, and yeah, even the most out-there situations and scenarios can really speak to people if they’re written well.

However, I don’t think the chosen one, for the most part, is an example of that. Even when it is, for all intents and purposes, done relatively ‘well’ within the story’s framework (like Luke Skywalker, for example), I still think the trope is corny and out-dated. The whole notion that there has to be some grand hero even dilutes an awful lot of the innate humanity a real heroic character should have. If they’re doing something good, and they are to be seen as a hero, it should be because it’s genuinely the right thing to do. Suddenly when you add the idea that it’s their destiny to do these things, it all becomes a little inauthentic and forced. A guy saving a kitten, for example, resonates a lot more when you understand that he did it out of real concern than if it turns out, oh, he actually saved the cat because it was part of his mystic path or something like that. The chosen one never feels real because they are, even within the content of their story’s universe, the literal hero in a fantasy, and I just can’t buy or accept that.

Still, the idea you gave is honestly a great premise for a story. You should use it!


Personal opinion Coffee shop or high school au’s are boring I mainly read fanfiction these days and they are kinda boring especially the ones where they strip the characters of their abilities


I have a couple of these hills of my own.

1.) A writer should always be willing to listen to criticism. Don’t be like Normin Boutin

tying somewhat to that…

2.) Be ready for a chance that a reader may interpret your work differently from what you intended. Don’t dismiss them as being wrong, try to figure out how they came to these interpretations in the first place and consider how you can modify your approach to later works accordingly.

3.) I’m a firm believer that I shouldn’t test the reader’s patience too much if I can. If I intend to play long-game with a plot point, I do my best to keep my reader’s attention on something more short-term. I avoid teasing the promise of resolution or development too much and try to properly deliver on both where it would make sense.

4.) How you end a story must be approached with extreme caution. If you don’t want to end things with a straight forward happy ending, make sure you’re able to convince the reader that a different ending is justified. If the reader thinks your ending isn’t justified or narratively satisfying, they may not be wrong to think so.


^^This. All too often, I’ve seen instances where authors get pissy because a group of people didn’t buy into the author trying to shove down the readers’ throats that character A is the epitome of awesome–even when they went through the trouble of using other characters to tell us how awesome that character is, even when it makes no damned sense at all. I’m sorry, but if the way you prove a character is brilliant is by giving temporary lobotomies to any character in their vicinity (without having a good reason for it, like compulsion or something), then you shouldn’t be surprised if a good number of people think the character is an asshole and a moron.

Also, writers must realize that readers are shaped by their own experiences, so what one person gets from a story may differ entirely from what another gets from the story. And that is okay. Unless you’re trying to make a specific point with what you write, then take joy in the fact that people pick up different things from it. If you are trying to make a point, then, instead of bashing the people who didn’t get it, figure out why they didn’t get it.

Agree with this as well. Any plot point that drones on for too long without resolution–and without valid reasons for it dragging–bores the hell out of me. And, if it does drag on, the reasons for it shouldn’t be repetitive (lack of communication over and over again) or deus ex machina (once is fine, but if it happens repeatedly, there’s something wrong). One of the best instances of this kind of thing being done is in a certain series I read where the MCs kept fixing things to resolve the problem only to cause other problems in the process. The series exercised the Law of Unintended Consequences a lot, and it worked well because, even though it was high fantasy, it was believable.

I’m over bittersweet and bad endings. That seemed to be the trend for the longest time and I have no idea why people want shitty endings, but I don’t. Give me happy or piss off. Real life has enough garbage in it; I don’t need it in my entertainment. Let there be repercussions (actions have consequences, after all), but let it work out in the end. This world needs more hopium, not crap that’s depressing and hopeless.


God, me too. I’m not going to go so far as to say “Happy or piss off,” but I’m sick of bad endings. There’s enough awful stuff in the world and in other stuff that gets published. I just want something uplifting.


I don’t mind unhappy endings, but I mind badly written endings. So many writers forget that tragedy is supposed to be cathartic, not traumatizing. They think bad endings are subversive, so they throw in all the edgy bleak grimdark ideas they have, without any thought as to whether that works within the narrative or tells a satisfying story. Listen, I love a good cry fest! But tragedies need to be written with consideration and care, with the intention of resonating with the audience. Stories that just go, “Oh, look at this cute kitty! It’s dead now, haha. Give me an Oscar!” are never going to be meaningful. They’re trite, boring, and bad.


Personally for me, it depends on the genre I’m playing or reading. If it’s horror, tragedy, or dark fantasy, I don’t expect a happy ending whatsoever. It’s nice when it happens but I’m not gonna flip about it. But if it’s a romance you bet your bum it better have a happy ending, we don’t do bittersweet here.

To add onto that, Insta-Love is the worst writing device ever. I can’t stand it, the best part of some romance stories is watching characters fall in love. I especially like it when their strangers to each other. Things take time and their people first before they start their relationships. You know a romantic story is good is when you can pin point where, when, and why a character is falling in love with the other party.

A from Wayhaven Chronicles is possibly the only insta love route I have ever read and played that I’ve loved.


One last opinion from me.

Romance doesn’t make a story good I personally don’t give a single crap I have passed up amazing Fics or choice games because they were focused on romance when imo there are more interesting things to focus on


When it comes to endings, I think it depends on what kind of story it’s tied to.

I can agree a straightforward happy ending is mostly a good default option if you find you can’t justify a different ending.

Examples of endings I’ve sworn to avoid are those that try to justify the villain’s actions at the last minute and push arbitrary depth on them (ala Mass Effect 3), Endings that (unintentionally) raise more questions than it does wraps up the plot (ala the ending of KND, though hopefully GKND will be greenlit to remedy this), or endings that the reader is expected to view as strictly happy, but can be easily viewed in a very different light due to factors the author left unaccounted for (ala what TV Tropes calls the Esoteric Happy Ending.)

endings that the reader is expected to view as strictly happy, but can be easily viewed in a very different light

I actually love that, if it’s intentional and not the result of really sloppy, unfocused writing anyway. You’re thinking about the ending, all satisfied that everything’s wrapped up sweetly, and then suddenly you begin to really think about it and realise, shit, there’s a lot more to this I thought! It’s not happy at all! Honestly, it’s a great feeling. For lack of better phrasing, it kinda keeps the work alive in your mind and stays with you, something a generically happy ending rarely does. It’s the same reason I don’t mind endings that leave some questions unanswered.


That trope gives me more nighmares then bad ending could ever :joy: Good thing? Bad thing? I consider it a good thing but can’t blame a girl for wanting happy endings.

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Related to that, I hate it when unnecessary ROs are added to be unnecessary. Either weave them into the plot so they actually function or just convert the entire story into a romance focus like Wayhaven or Odessa.

I’ve immediately nope’d out of dozens of WIPs because the ROs have absolutely no purpose in the story.


I’ve read a story (a Harry Potter fanfiction called Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin, by The Sinister Man; it’s a very good, albeit long, series), that sets up Fate as a force unto itself, and True Prophecies as something that will always come true even if individuals take steps to prevent them, because Fate manipulates the people and events so that the cautions slip up, or the relevant individual is not told to/not to do the relevant action.

I’m kind of curious about what you mean by this. Could you elaborate a little bit, since I’m not really sure how you would make a game without the ROs having some role in the story?