Discussion: Favorite Writing Pitfalls
Alrighty, what's yer favorite writing pitfall?
Mine is the 'anti-cliché cliché'. These are the clichés that result from actively trying not to be cliché in the first place.
To be fair, I think these are more common in televised productions than in books, but, then again, maybe I just haven't read enough. As an example, I'll take one from a recent popular scifi program, which shall, for the time being, remain nameless.
Take a main character and then build up a lot of hooplah around them and then kill them off. Make a big to-do about it. "Oh what a terrible waste. Truly, a horrible thing has happened."
But here's the thing: you're savvy enough to notice that the actor hasn't left the show and sure enough, come season finale, there they are again with some pretty spliffy deus ex machina knowledge to complete the Main Group's Quest. You're not surprised.
Example two: Take a character who is responsible for most of the atrocities suffered by the Main Group. Put him on trial for his life. Make sure the jury is stacked against the character, so that he is definitely going to lose. But! Because he is the only source of conflict for the storyline, he will not get the death sentence. No surprise.
There's my beef (oops! cliché!), howsabout yours?