Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wicked Wednesday - know your tropes


If you're querying agents and publishers, they will tell you that they need to know the tropes of your story right away. The tropes need to be in the blurb, and they need to be clear in the first chapter of the novel. Many articles will tell you that you need clearly stated tropes to get readers to read your stories.

For a little bit, I growled and glared at tropes. I would not be tied down by these rules! No one can tell me to use certain stereotypes or devices. I write what I want to write.

I rebelled until I realized I was already using tropes. Tons of them.

What is a trope? It's a literary motif or cliché. For example, boy falls in love with girl next door or good girl takes on bad boy and changes his ways as he falls for her.

Every story you read will have tropes. You just have to learn to recognize them, which really isn't that difficult at all. The tricky part is putting a new twist on popular tropes. That's what's going to sell your story.

What are your favorite tropes? And what are your favorite twists to them?

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17 comments:

  1. Tropes...favorites? There are many- twists- few and far between. :)

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  2. I don't know which ones I use, but I know I use them without even trying.

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  3. Tropes are definitely in every story in some way. In romance, I do like the trope where the couples hate each other and then eventually fall in love. In fantasy, I love the chosen one trope.

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  4. I enjoy looking at tropes when hunting for ideas for my novellas (parodies), and when refining my characters (using archetypes). They can be a lot of fun!

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  5. Ever heard of the trope a dope? That's where you start with the same boring set up and come out swinging.

    Not really. I just made that up. Sad that I know more about the rope-a-dope than the tropes...maybe that's why I'm not on the Times list!

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  6. My favorite trope is probably where an ordinary MC suddenly discovers he/she has a power or ability that no one else does. An oldie, but a goodie.

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  7. I'm w/Chemist, I like that kind of trope. My least fav is definitely 'hot, new, sulky boy comes to school, girl drawn to him despite herself'. =)

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  8. I seem to perpetually go back to the underdog cast a bad set of cards and having to succeed. And spaceships. :)

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  9. I'm not sure what my favorite trope is - it depends on my mood. I do like new and different twists, though :)

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  10. Thanks for sharing, everyone! I like the trope of someone coming from nothing and is the one to be the hero.

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  11. I have too many favorites to name but I love the best friends become more trope.

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  12. Yeah, tropes show up a lot. It's how we craft them, twist them and turn them on their heads that makes our writing unique.

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  13. I'd never heard of tropes before. Thanks for pointing this out, Christine. I'll have to consider this in future. It's not surprising my blurb is a mess! I have more to change than I thought I had - help!

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  14. Thanks for defining, "trope." I'll have to go through my work and figure out the tropes.

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  15. Great post and so true.. we can't avoid them...:)

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  16. I love way too many tropes. There's no way I'd be able to narrow the list down to just a few favorites! (I blame my addiction to the TV Tropes site, haha.)

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  17. I'm with Heather--I'm just in love with SO many tropes! Good advice. Thanks for sharing!

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