Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise

Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise

This may actually be more of a television writing thing these days, but a plot device I am totally disenchanted with is the one where your hero/heroine is  stripped of everyone/everything important to them.  Trials and tribulations (ala Job or Hercules, or Percy Jackson and Harry Potter) are supposed to test our heroes and allow for personal growth, not to diminish or wear them down.

Even Hercules got his reward in the end and made a few friends along the way.

I can’t actually think of any recent book examples of how I don’t like this plot device, but in terms of television, Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Captain Jack Harkness come to mind as characters I’ve loved who keep getting broken down by the people who write them.  If I was reading books about them, I would stop because the hopelessness would be suffocating.

For those keeping track… the master list of these questions is here.