a talk about tropes3:03 AM
Here’s another reading-themed discussion, because nothing will satisfy my need to talk about books aside from… yes, talking about books.
Let’s sit down and talk about tropes.
Consulting the trusty dictionary, tropes are significant or recurring themes, also motifs, that are used often in books, movies, and shows. Despite the negative reviews that readers give books that are filled with tropes, other people see tropes as guilty pleasures in reading. It can also be used as a selling point during trends: like if the current major boom is dystopian featuring heavy romance, it can attract a lot of readers who enjoy it.
|WELCOME to the world of tropes. Thanks to this site.|
Often synonymous to cliches, some YA character tropes that are called out for being used are: the chosen ones, the bad boys, the damsels in distress, and the parents being a no-show throughout the book. Some tropes that affect the plot are insta-love, secretive evil governments, and prophesies.
|Excuse me while I preach the truth of this. Credits to this awesome post.|
I personally don’t harbor a huge hate for tropes, but I do get irritated once in a while. Like I said, tropes are seen as overused and occur too many times in too many books, to the point characters become flat and seem like every other character, and settings and plots become dull. This defies the author’s intention on coming up with an original story — or at least, a story that’s uncommon seeing that more or less every idea right now has been used already and turned into a story. Still, it’s not a great factor, especially for those who read profusely.
|Twitter is full of YA parody accounts you need to follow. Credits to this.|
Well, this is where I really need to voice out my opinions. Many tropes, taking into example the insta-love trope and the missing parents trope that everyone rants about, is still apparent in YA books that have been published throughout the recent years.
|This is exactly what I am talking about. Credits to the same post earlier.|
However, it’s great to see some actual change though! Lots of authors are testing the waters of different character archetypes, from anti-heroines (Marie Lu’s ‘The Young Elites’, for example) to the not-chosen-ones (Patrick Ness’ ‘The Rest of Us Just Live Here’ is all about that and I adore it).
Morgan Matson, who held a book signing in my city last September 2016, explained why she wrote good boys as opposed to the frequent bad boys. She said something along the lines of, “I wanted to show that good guys are just as great too!” which is the reason why all of her contemporary books feature guys who are actually… nice.
Use tropes as building blocks. Especially if you’re starting out, there’s no harm in using tropes as a means of developing your story. I consider them as building blocks, as passages to more unique and creative characters, plots, themes, and settings. Creativity has to start somewhere, even if it means you fleshing your story out with the means of tropes.
Read a whole lot more. This is where writing diverse comes in! Read books in your age range, genre, and writing style. See what tropes work, which are overdone, and which you believe need more spotlight.
Just write. No one should stop you, especially if you love what you’re writing.
Do you enjoy reading about tropes? Do you despise any? Do you have any tropes in your current projects? (Don’t worry, I have one or two!) Tell me all.
- Andrea <3