Stupid Protagonists

Recently I’ve been listening to lots of books on CD – I get them from the Library, rip them the iPhone and then listen to them while waking the dog every night.

It’s quite theraputic and interesting listening to lots of different stuff. I’ve been plowing through quite a lot of Dean Koontz recently – I can heartily recommend all the Odd Thomas Series.

However what I can’t recommend are books like Whispers and The Husband. Much as I like Dean Koontz imagination one of the things I’ve realised I really can’t stand are Stupid Protagonists.

For example, there’s an attempted rape in Whispers, and the female protagonist then, after fighting the badguy off, changes her clothes and fixes her hair and puts on makeup before the cops arrive. Obviously they are less inclined to believe her.

Now I get that this is necessary for the plot to move along, but basing plot devices on patently stupid heroes or heroines just winds me up. You can see it coming a mile away and it’s just annoying as all get out to know that the heroine (or hero) that we are supposed to be sympathetic to is just as dumb as a box of rocks – but only in this specific circumstance. In all the others they are smart, cunning, brave and clever. But for this plot device they have to behave like a total moron.

Please. Can we do no better than this? It’s not just Dean Koontz that does this. Clive Cussler also has lots of this, as do others.

I’m all for heroes and heroines being fallible and making mistakes. However lets make them a little less contrived and, well, bloody stupid.

I promise to get back to the subject of knowing if your game is fun or not on the next post. Promise.

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