The One About Killing Pets, Kids, and Girlfriends

You know the trope. Big Billy Badass retires from his low profile high heroic job at middle age. He now has a faithful companion, be it the plucky son/daughter/orphan he picked up along the way, the girlfriend who understands him so very well, or the dog/horse/ferret with near psychic ability. He probably lives on top of a mountain, on a farm, or smack in the middle of suburbia. We know this guy,  He refuses his call to return to action until … they shoot his dog/horse/ferret, plucky son/daughter/orphan that he picked up along the way, or his understanding girlfriend.

I hate that. Well, I hate it when the author bungles the job of emotional manipulation. If you’re telling this story, you’ve got a tried and true trope that is loved by the masses. We know what’s coming. We know that William Wallace will lose his wife. We know that plot of Taken wouldn’t happen without it. And those are ones off the top of my head and on TV Trope.

If you love this story, turn it on its head. Switch genders. Tell it same gender. Love your characters and your audience enough to give us something  more.

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