I decided to read Outlander for research purposes, but since I’m not remotely the target audience, I’m not going to review it. Instead, I will tell you that I’m really struggling to get through the book.
Outlander is classic Mary-Sue fiction. As in, the main character is an orphan, but instead of carrying any deep emotional scarring over the loss of her parents, she grew up traveling the world and going on all sorts of adventures with her uncle. Wheee!
It goes downhill from there.
Naturally it leaves me, someone with a traumatic backstory, absolutely nothing to relate to. Actually, I find it quite triggering. Do other women really have someone constantly swooping in to protect them from everything unpleasant? Why was I never so fortunate?
Cue the accusations of being self-centered and making everything about me.
Given that Mary-Sue is one of the most popular sub genres of romance, I can’t help but wonder if I really am that much of an anomaly. Where are the fictional characters that are like me?
The villains in horror novels, I’m sure.
This massive disconnect is the reason why I write the sorts of things that I write. My productivity is so slow in the winter because January is my “traumaversary” month — the event that permanently robbed me of my ability to write PG stories, so to speak. I have a darkness inside, and while it prevents me from relating to most people, it is also why I appreciate the things that everyone else takes for granted. You learn to live in peace with your demons.
I’m not sure if I’ll actually make it to the end of Outlander, even for the research purposes. It just feels too juvenile and naive for me to stomach.