The Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly challenge post previously hosted by The Broke and Bookish and now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. You can follow along for each weekly post here. This week’s post is all about tropes! I know, tropes totally get a bad name but let’s face it – stories wouldn’t exist without tropes and honestly, if done well, I like tropes. I USE tropes all the time when I’m writing. I find it kind of impossible to get through any story, whether I’m watching or creating, without at least one. Here are some of my faves!
Tropes I Actually Like:
**The Love Triangle**
I know that so many people are over this particular trope but I think that when its done well, its just amazing. I don’t like love triangles of manipulation and whiny “I can’t choose” and that sort of thing. But I think its very realistic to be torn between different people for different reasons and when its written well, its just so great to read.
Example: Tessa, Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices
**The Reluctant Hero**
I like a hero that doesn’t want anything to do with their destiny but doesn’t really have a choice. I like that more than a character that is fueled by revenge or passion or ambition or whatever it may be. I like the characters that are sort of like “no, really, I’m okay, thank you…” but are thrust into the journey anyway.
Example: Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins
**Enemies to Lovers**
I will never ever not love this trope. Its probably one of my absolute favorite ones in the world. I’ve always thought that the emotions of love and hate both come from the heart and that often times love can evolve into hate or vice versa. I love a good enemies to lovers story; it really makes me so happy.
Example: Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, Sana and Rachel from Tell Me How You Really Feel
I love a journey and I love the idea of a life-changing journey. I think a story moves quicker and often better if there’s a quest and a journey and so I’m really a big fan of that. I like the idea of a hero leaving everything they’ve ever known to a new place and a new life and to discoveries they never dreamed of.
Example: Percy Jackson, Bilbo Baggins
**Boy Who Pretends He Doesn’t Love Girl (But He Really Does)**
I know that people HATE this one but I live for this one. It makes me think of Jace Wayland and Will Herondale and Daemon Black and Jase Winstead. I love the boys that will do everything they can to avoid falling in love with the girl they so obviously already love. I swoon for that and I don’t care how overused or cheesy it is, I will always love it.
Example: I think I already named a few haha!
I like a fake relationship because it almost always turns into a real relationship and its sort of along the lines of enemies/friends to lovers and I am so here for that. I think its funny when there’s a fake relationship because there’s the awkwardness and the oh, yeah, I guess we should act like a couple, oh god, I wish we were a couple for real. Its just always such a fun story.
Example: Lara Jean and Peter in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Garrett and Hannah in The Deal
Tropes I’m Tired Of:
**Pretty Girl Who Doesn’t Know She’s Pretty**
I am so so so over girls who don’t realize how pretty or smart or worthy or whatever they are until a guy tells them. Its so frustrating. Its like, oh he told me I’m pretty so I must be. Or she takes off her glasses and suddenly is gorgeous. She was pretty the whole time! I am just so over that. I love characters that are aware of what they’re capable of. I’m okay with characters that lack self confidence and have to come into their own, sure, but the gorgeous girl not knowing she’s gorgeous is just so frustrating.
Good Example of Breaking this Trope: Cameron from If I’m Being Honest by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley – she knows she’s gorgeous and smart and she rocks it, sometimes a little too much!
**The Lucky Novice**
Its incredibly frustrating when a character is introduced into a new world and is just suddenly so good at the thing. Its just…so unrealistic, especially when that person ends up being better than those who have had that skill for years, who had to work at it and hone it. I don’t like when a character is just suddenly SO good at a thing.
Good Example of Breaking this Trope: Harry Potter. Yes, he’s the Chosen One but he doesn’t come to Hogwarts as the best wizard of all time. He has to learn just like everyone else. We’ll ignore his amazing skills on the Quidditch field…
**Physical Strength = Strong Female Character**
UGGGGGGGGGH. Don’t get me wrong – its badass to see women fighting alongside men and, even more important, alongside each other. The scenes in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame made me cry because it was so great. But a character doesn’t need to be physically strong, a fighter, good with a gun or bow and arrow or whatnot in order to be a strong character. Being incredibly smart, being emotional and passionate, being a leader, being a good decision maker, being ambitious all makes a strong female character.
Good Example of Breaking This Trope: Elisa from A Girl of Fire and Thorns
At this point, this trope just makes me laugh because I feel like its only used as a plot device to make sure the hero escapes once he’s been captured. I feel like its been overdone – a villain gets so wrapped up in his or her speech that they end up screwing everything up. They should’ve just gotten things done in the first place! Just get the thing done already…
Good Example of Breaking This Trope: I’m literally blanking out but I know there are tons.
UGH! Okay, to be fair, I kill both of Zoey’s parents in my own novels. But her dad lasts half the novel and her mother lasts more than that SO I give myself credit there. I understand the need to get rid of the parental figures so that the teen characters can go forth and basically do whatever the heck they want. But I think stories where the parents or parental figures are involved can be really great. I think parent-kid dynamics also make for better stories too.
Good Example of Breaking This Trope: Luke Garroway in The Mortal Instruments, Sally Jackson in Percy Jackson
You’re not in love. You just met the person. Give me a slow burn. Let me watch these characters form a friendship and slowly work their way into love. I want to see them fall in love. I don’t want to see them fall in lust. Boring and overdone and so unrealistic.
Good Example of Breaking This Trope: So many books. THANK GOD.
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