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My Love-Hate Relationship With Tropes


As an author, I've found that I have a major love-hate relationship with tropes. Some genres love their tropes while others despise them. My feelings tend to be somewhere in the middle. I like when a trope is used in a good way or when a trope is twisted in a cool way.

Below I'm going to give a list of some of the tropes I love seeing, some of the tropes that I hate seeing in stories, and some twisted tropes that I've seen in books and films. I'll try and give an example of the good ones in literature to give you some recommendations if you enjoy those tropes as well.


Favorite Tropes

Favorite Twisted Tropes

Some tropes are way better when they get a little twist on them, making them a key part of the story and subverting your expectations. This idea is recent and hasn't been seen often in media, but I'm excited to see more authors and screenwriters experiment with this.

  • Prophecy/The Chosen One:

    • This trope is super common in storytelling since before novels were common in the world. The trope is seen as far back as ancient mythology that predates writing itself. While this trope can be one well, I love it even more when it is twisted in dozens of different ways.

    • A great example of this is Dune by Frank Herbert. I'm not going to give away this twist, because it's a large plot point of the story.

  • Exiled or Lost Heir

    • Everyone likely knows this trope from characters like Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, but when twisted it can add a cool unexpected character to a story that no one sees coming.

    • My favorite example of this is in a show that I've just recently started watching. In the show anime show Naruto, we meet a very quiet girl who seems to be just the girl who crushes on the main character. Instead, she turns out to be the exiled heir of one of the most powerful houses in the nation.

Least Favorite Tropes

Since I don't want to cause any wars over this, I'll leave the examples out of this section.

  • Arranged Marriage Trope

    • I know that this is a major trope in Romance novels, but I've never enjoyed a novel with this plot line. There are a few stories I've liked that this was a small subplot in the larger story, but I don't like it as the main subject for the story.

  • Love Triangles

    • This is a plot that I despise. I spend the entire time in these stories feeling awkward. I know that this will be a controversial take, but it's the truth.

  • Post-Humanism

    • This is a typical Science fiction plot point that drives me up the wall. For those of you that don't know, this is a plot point where humans have developed beyond death and have become lazy and have no drive to do anything besides chasing their carnal urges. I despise this because it ignores several of core human desires like the desire to explore and progress even in places that have no major value.

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