Pet Peeve #1 -The One About IHS
Have you found certain things that consistently annoy you when you are reading? Certain plot mechanisms, maybe, or character behaviors? Overused phrases or over the top descriptions? I’m curious as to what little things writers do, sometimes even in pretty good books, that drive you crazy? And, of course, I’m going to share some of my own pet peeves, too. Here’s my first one, and I know this is one every single reader, tv viewer or movie watcher in the immediate WORLD has been exposed to. I hate female characters who suffer from IHS. Idiotic Heroine Syndrome. It’s an insidious disease, apparently infecting 95% of all women in any form of jeopardy, throughout literary history.
You know the typical signs of this condition, I’m sure. The afflicted exhibit signs such as:
1) An inexplicable need to go down to the dark basement alone to investigate a mysterious noise. Preferably wearing very limited clothing, or perhaps see-through lingerie. The skimpier, the better.
2) A hard-headed refusal to see the transparently evil motives of any assortment of smooth-talking villains, no matter how obvious they are. A clearly villainous character could be wearing a tattoo on his forehead that reads, “Crazed chainsaw killer looking for next gullible victim,” and a sufferer of IHS will still go with him to help him find his “lost puppy.”
3) The desperate need to satisfy an unhealthy curiosity by unlocking the door to the Forbidden Room, in spite of every warning against doing just that. Pictures could be spinning on walls, voices shrieking, “No, no, nooooooooo!”, and blood could be seeping from under the door. It wouldn’t stop your average IHS sufferer for longer than the 3 1/2 seconds it takes to pick the supposedly tamper proof door lock with a hair pin.
What is it with these women that makes them such gluttons for punishment and such easy prey? And why do we want to read about their fate at the hands of whoever, or whatever, the Bad Guy happens to be, when they are so completely lacking in common sense that they should probably be weeded out of the gene pool, anyway? Just askin’……..?