From Janet Reid, this:
When I read a lot of manuscripts in succession some patterns I might have missed if I wasn’t reading so much, stand out clearly.
One such pattern: the tendency to describe characters in superlatives. World renowned, elite, billionaire, first dog on Carkoon.
…if you need a character to be really good at something, just have them be good at it. They don’t need to be world renowned. …
Take a look at your characters. Are any of the burdened with superlatives they don’t need?
This caught my eye because one of the things I dislike most in (some) (too much) Paranormal Fantasy is the tendency for the male lead to be
a) super rich, and also
b) super handsome, and ALSO
c) the absolute top [insert your favorite shapeshifter variety] of the pack.
In some (too much) Paranormal, every single male character who steps onto the stage is super, super, super handsome. Soooo dreamy. Almost too beautiful for a man. I bet some of you can name the series I’m thinking of here. Feel free to guess in the comments if you’re so inclined. Anyway, I overdosed on that trope way, way long ago. I don’t like super-rich/super-handsome male leads in contemporary romance either, though in that case (c) is no longer relevant.
It’s interesting because I generally appreciate uber-competent protagonists, especially in, for example, thrillers. But I seldom if ever appreciate uberness in any realm other than competence, and extreme superlativeness of the male lead in any kind of romance has become nearly a dealbreaker for me because it makes me roll my eyes so hard I can’t read.
How about you all? Do you get turned off by extreme superlativeness in a protagonist, and if so, which kind of uber-superlativeness turns you off?