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General Chat > Bluebeard's Wife syndrome

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message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 674 comments At least that's what I call it, the female character that always ... often repeatedly ... goes into unsafe situations and gets injured/abducted/has to be rescued ... and it annoys me.

Unfortunately, I've hit a series of these lately and I'm getting really grumpy about it, to the point where I start 2 or 3 new books, hit the "Bluebeard Wife" syndrome and quit in disgust. Then go back to some of the old favorites and re-read ... then try it again, only to have it repeat.

Don't authors have enough imagination to develop a storyline that doesn't have to depend on a female character being an idiot????

Hmmm ... obviously I'm grumpier than I thought ... maybe time for a third cup of coffee ...


message 2: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 144 comments Happens all the time on TV and in the movies. I love the term! I wonder if the authors using the lady-in-distress-repeatedly trope are ones who have watched more TV than they've read?


message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 674 comments I have watched a lot of dumb-blonde horror movies ... always with the hand reaching out for the doorknob of the cellar door!

Obviously these authors didn't have a mother that read them fairy tales when they were little.


message 4: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
There certainly was a purpose to all those fairy tales!


message 5: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 144 comments Do.Not.Go.In.The.Scary.Basement.In.The.Stranger's.Home.

Pretty clear, I think.

I was just watching a show last night where one of the heroes (a guy, though) goes in The Scary Basement with a flashlight, totally bypassing the obvious light switch on the wall as he enters. I was like, "Turn on the light, you dumbass!"


message 6: by David (new)

David Freas (quillracer) | 2271 comments Kathy Reichs's Temperance Brennan is a prime example. She can't go one book with getting her ass in a sling and needing someone rescue her. For someone supposedly as intelligent as she is, she's monumentally dumb.

A friend of mine who is a 50+ books published author gave a presentation on this topic entitled Too Dumb To Live at a conference. Truer words were never spoken.


message 7: by M.J. (new)

M.J. Carter (MJCarter) | 2 comments This is why I have boundless admiration for Joss Whedon. When he was coming up with idea of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he deliberately went out to invent a heroine who would never get trapped in a dark alley, a heroine who the monsters in the dark alley would be scared of. Shame it hasn't caught on a bit more...


message 8: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 674 comments M.J. wrote: "he deliberately went out to invent a heroine who would never get trapped in a dark alley, a heroine who the monsters in the dark alley would be scared of. Shame it hasn't caught on a bit more... "

I completely agree. I think cozies are usually the worst offenders by far but there are also all too many in all of them, which is why I cherish those with main characters who do not fall into the 'Bluebeard's Wife' pattern.


message 9: by Diana (new)

Diana Gotsch | 64 comments Also heard it called the idiot plot because only an idiot would behave the was the main character does. The other half of is how the villain always takes the time to explain just what he/she did and why giving the hero time to rescue the idiot.


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Mangeot | 23 comments "Bluebeard's Wife" is going to stick. I'll be thinking those words next time I come across it.


message 11: by Dave (new)

Dave Goeser | 37 comments So will I. And I think that I will report any on this site.

Dave


message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (cinnabarb) | 8110 comments I think the more "aggressive" female detectives created by some authors are a good antidote, like Anna Pigeon (Nevada Barr books), V.I. Warshaski (Sara Paretsky books), Kinsey Milhone (Sue Grafton books). Love to see them holding thier own.


message 13: by Gary (new)

Gary Van Cott | 187 comments I also find this annoying. It is especially prevalent in the Kathy Kola and David Brock series by Barry Maitland which, aside from this, I like very much. Poor Kathy has far more than her share of attacks in the most recent book The Raven's Eye which I have just read.


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