Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blog Chain: Keep Calm and Fall in Love with Your Best Friend's Brother

Source: Buy Poster

Kate's topic:

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)
  • anti-hero
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. 

What are your favorite tropes?  

Check out Christine Fonseca's thoughts from yesterday and Demitria Lunetta's tomorrow.

Katrina's blog pic


  1. I also love the true love is friend right under your nose trope. That is such a great one!

    PS. I LOVE the pic at the bottom of your post - too cute!

    1. Thank you, Kate! Friendship morphing into true love is my favorite.

  2. Oh no Katrina, I think we're opposites. All of your hates are my loves! My post today is about how I can't get enough of the anti-hero! I also love a good quest. Well, if everyone was the same life would be kinda boring :) Great Post!

    1. Yes, it would be boring! And of course I'll read tropes I don't particularly love when the writing is great, so it all works out. Reading outside of genre preference is one of the best things I do for my writing and personal growth.


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