Originally posted with Amy Valenti
Everything in fiction is a trope. Everything. We’ve got the formulas mapped out to a science. Just like we have a scant twenty-six letters in the alphabet to work with (unless you borrow a few from other languages), there are only so many plots, arcs, archetypes, and character traits.
When it comes to the choice of combinations, however…the sky’s the limit.
There are some common fiction tropes that I promised myself I would never use, either because they’re overused in my genre and I can’t stand them anymore or because the usage of them feels too easy and cheap. Or I just don’t like them because they don’t connect with my interests.
This is, of course, a personal opinion. Many of these tropes are common because other people like them so much. And I’m well within my prerogative to choose the tropes I prefer and avoid the ones that aren’t right for me. I’m pretty sure some of the ones I use on a regular basis drive other people up the wall too. The main love interest selecting a girl out of a group of choices (and often the choice is made for atypical reasons), multiple partners, fluid sexuality, age disparity, extreme power imbalance and fighting for dominance in spite of it, apocalypses, gothic melodramatics…I can’t get enough of them.
But there are other tropes that I told myself never to touch, the ones I’m not crazy about in most other people’s stories (not all—some people manage to overcome my inherent dislike if they do it right). It’s a good thing I have an appetite for words, because I’ve had to eat quite a few of them.