|Source: Buy Poster|
As a reader and/or a writer what are some of your favorite fiction
tropes? Are you sucker for secretly in love with best friend type
stories, stories set in mysterious boarding school stories, stories
that contain time travel, or something else entirely? As a writer how
do you try to give the tropes you tackle in your own books a fresh
My favorite tropes are:
- kids discovering special powers
- kids trying to keep powers a secret
- best friend loyal to the end
- grade school crush turns out to be a jerk/intellectual lightweight
- true love is the friend right under your nose the whole time
- someone new comes to town
- central authority is no match for the small but determined rebellion
tropes I don't love:
- quest journeys (these are so hard to pull off in a unique way because of the iconic ones)
- best friend betrayal (it just makes me too sad)
- villain more relatable than the hero (obviously)
I think tropes are always customized differently by each author. The only time we think they're cliches is when it's a trope we personally don't like. So we go, Oh no, not another best friend love story! Or Yikes, the discovery of special powers... again! That doesn't make them cliche.
All people are the same.
And all people are different.
I think the key for writers is hitting on tropes that aren't overdone for the moment. Like maybe avoid writing about vampires and dystopian societies with a strong central authority... for now. Not because these are cliche, but because readers may be getting tired of seeing them... for now. The answer is to read a lot and thereby keep your finger on the pulse of our collective consciousness.
When someone recycles an old trope that hasn't been used in a while, it suddenly feels unique and genius! It's not because the author's a genius. It's because people have been looking for something outside the tropes currently being used.
So long as I, as a writer, make each character as unique as real people, the reuse of these tropes will be under good regulation.