It’s time to talk tropes. I have a whole series lined up for you, but let’s start simple.
What are tropes? They’re elements that crop up in a lot of books, be they themes, types of characters, or types of plots. Strong female lead, hero’s journey, vigilante, insta-love, harem, coming of age, orphan discovers they have magic, etc.
They can crop up in just about any genre or subgenre. They can be done well, or they can be ludicrously awful. Where they fall on that spectrum is a bit subjective. Some people hate certain tropes but adore others. Some authors staunchly avoid writing them.
But with so many out there, the odds of using one, even accidentally, are pretty high.
I want to kick off this series on tropes on a positive note. So, we’re starting with my favorites.
I fucking love a good underdog story.
Seeing someone who’s deep in it, someone who has nothing going for them, who’s been through hell, rise up and make it out alive?
What’s better for a little hope?
Strong female lead
(Likely with a traumatic past)
I love seeing a strong woman in books. And no, that doesn’t mean the bold, brash heroines that just do what they want regardless of anyone else’s feelings. There are a lot of types of strength.
I like the women who’ve been pushed, women who broke and rebuilt themselves, and in the process, learned that they can do what they need to do because they’ve withstood worse.
Yeah, there might be some who hate the levels of trauma that some strong female leads face in books, but I’ll be honest, it makes them more relatable for me. (And probably for a lot of other people, because life can be relentless.)
I love a good slow burn romance subplot. The tension, the build-up, the back and forth… It just sucks me into the book.
I like seeing the characters get to know each other. It makes it more realistic and believable.
What are your favorite tropes? I’d love to hear about them.
Come back next week for tips to write these tropes well, and then the week after, I’ll be listing my least favorite tropes.
Keep reading. Keep writing.
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