YA Character Tropes: Scrap or Save? (+Quiz)

If you handed me a young adult novel and gave me thirty seconds to look at it, I could probably tell you a bit about the cast of characters. There’s a pretty good chance the cast consists of a dark and mysterious guy, an insecure girl, and a vaguely attractive childhood friend.

Not all YA books would be like that, of course, but a majority of them do contain these basic character archetypes. They’re like pages in a coloring book – an outline for the writer to fill in with whatever colors or patterns they see fit. There’s nothing wrong with that, but some of these archetypes have become tropes. In other words, all of the writers are coloring in the picture the exact same way.

These tropes make stories predictable, which gets boring for the audience. But are all tropes really that bad? Can any of them be salvaged? I’ve picked ten of the most common character tropes in YA fiction to try and answer which tropes are really worth saving (and how to save them), and which ones should be tossed aside.

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Maggie’s Concert Checklist

I still remember the first rock concert I ever went to (okay, that’s not saying much, but bear with me). My parents took me to WinterJam in 2012 to see Skillet, one of my favorite bands at the time. Now, WinterJam probably isn’t what you’d consider a “traditional” concert experience, but it was awesome nonetheless. Since then, I’ve gone to a lot of other concerts and festivals to see my favorite artists, and I’ve always had a wonderful time.

When I first started going to concerts (WinterJam notwithstanding), I was definitely a bit overwhelmed. While concerts are awesome, they can be confusing for people who’ve never been to one before. I’m certainly no expert, but with concert festival season coming upon us, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned from going to concerts.

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Week In Review – June 1

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to June!

I hope you’re all doing well and have had a great week! Aside from some rather nasty seasonal allergies, I’m doing pretty well myself. I had a three-day weekend because of Memorial Day, so it was nice to have an extra break from work.

Speaking of Monday, this week I blogged about acronyms in video games and tried to explain a few of the most common ones. If it ever seems like gamers are speaking a completely foreign language, perhaps this guide will help you out a little.

Before I get into the WIR for this week, I did want to make a quick blog announcement – for June – August, I’ve decided to put a pause on WIR posts. This is partly just to give myself a break so I can focus more on doing other things with my blog, but I also want to use this time to experiment with my “personal updates” format.

For the summer, I’ll be doing monthly updates instead of weekly ones, and they’ll be going out on the first Friday after the end of the month (so for example, the June in Review will be posted on the first Friday in July). At the end of the summer, I might go back to weekly posts, or I might stick with the monthly ones, but for now, let’s consider this a “trial period.”

Anyway, on to the Week in Review!

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A Beginner’s Guide to Video Game Acronyms

Acronyms are a daily part of our lives – we say things like “TV,” “ATM,” and “PB&J” in everyday conversation, and nothing is lost in translation. Some acronyms have even become words in their own right, like “scuba.”

There are some acronyms, however, that aren’t very common. For example, if you didn’t follow Maggie’s Musings, you might not know that “WIR” is an acronym for “Week In Review.” A lot of groups, from writers to musicians, have their own systems of acronyms that don’t usually make sense to anyone outside of that group, and nowhere is this truer than in the world of gaming.

Even though I’m a gamer myself, there are some acronyms I didn’t know until recently. One of my friends kept referring to “DPS” during a Pokémon Go raid a while back, and at the time, I felt too embarrassed to ask what that meant. So trust me, you’re not alone if this jargon sounds like a foreign language – you’ll get the hang of it soon!

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Week In Review – May 25

Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well. I’m wrapping up my first full week of my summer job today, which is kinda crazy to think about. It’s been a great week though, with a lot of different projects to work on and new things to learn. I also got moved into my summer housing assignment over the weekend, which was a relief. I have a room to myself for the next few weeks, and I’m enjoying it so far!

This week, I shared my sophomore year soundtrack, filled with awesome songs from the past semester. This one was a little trickier to put together, to be honest, but it’s always fun to share my favorite songs with all of you.

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Sophomore Year Soundtrack

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you might know that music is a big part of my life, despite the fact that I’m probably tone-deaf and can’t play any instruments. I love listening to music pretty much anytime, and it’s one of the things that encourages me on a regular basis.

Around this time last year, I wrote a blog post about my Freshman Year Soundtrack, where I just had a list of songs that inspired me, motivated me, or I just listened to them a lot over the course of the school year. I thought I’d do something similar again at the close of my second year of college, since my music tastes are always changing and new songs are always being released.

If you’d like, you can listen to the full soundtrack on YouTube here. Otherwise, keep reading to see my list and why I picked them!

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Week In Review – May 18

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m pretty excited about this week – I finished my sophomore year of college on Monday, and I started working at my summer job on campus later in the week. So far, things are going really well! It’s a bit different than other jobs I’ve worked in the past, but I love it and I’m excited for what the summer holds.

This week, in celebration of Mother’s Day, I shared some of my favorite moms and maternal figures in fiction! If you didn’t get the chance to read it on Monday, be sure to check it out!

Also, today is the LAST DAY to enter my blog survey and giveaway! Read all the details here, I’d love to have your feedback!

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Magnificent Mothers in Fiction

In the United States, yesterday was Mother’s Day, a celebration of the women who have impacted our lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a number of women as my role models throughout my life, but none more so than my own mom and my grandmothers on both sides of my family. Ever since I was a kid, they’ve inspired me and taught me so much, and I look up to all of them greatly.

In light of Mother’s Day, I decided it was a good time to celebrate the awesome mothers in fiction as well. Parents in fiction get a bad rap, mostly because they tend to be absent in one way or another (oh how we love the orphan protagonist cliche). However, there are plenty of great moms, grandmas, and other maternal figures in books, TV shows, and other works of fiction, and I think they deserve to be recognized.

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Week In Review – May 11

Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope your May is going well and you’re enjoying the outdoors (if that’s your thing, that is). I’ve been doing pretty well myself – I got to celebrate my birthday this past weekend, so that was pretty exciting.

Speaking of which, my blog post this week is all about 20 Things I’ve Learned in the Past 20 Years, so if you’re looking for some serious and/or silly advice, you’ll probably want to give that a read.

And don’t forget, you just have one more week to enter my blog survey and giveaway! Want to make Maggie’s Musings an even better place? Read the details here.

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20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years

Just recently, I completed my 20th revolution around the sun, which is a pretty impressive feat. To be honest, I don’t feel that much different than when I was 19, but if having a birthday means I can have cake and ice cream, then you better believe I’m gonna celebrate it.

In celebration of my 20th birthday, I’ve decided to keep with my trend of making lists (18 Facts About Me and 19 Things I Want to Do) and share 20 things I’ve learned over the course of my life. Some of them will be ridiculous, others serious, but either way, these are the things I’ve taken to heart over the years.

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