Tropes: There’s ones we love, and one’s we hate. While there’s some tropes that are overdone, when used effectively, they can really spin a story and take it in a unique direction. When done wrong, they only fuel our hate for that specific trope. Here’s a list of my all-time favorite and least favorite tropes!
1.) The Love Triangle
I’m not going to lie, I’m a sucker for love triangles. I love having two potential love interests who are often very different from one another. When done right, the added romantic tension between our main character and two love interests really pulls me in.
2.) Enemies to Lovers
I love two people meeting who instantly hate each other – either because they’re on opposite sides of a war, have different backgrounds, are rivals – whatever the reason, the tension is usually heavy. Watching them grow to like and eventually love each other really tugs on my heartstrings.
3.) Found Family
I think it’d be pretty hard to mess this one up. A cast of characters who love each other, even though they’re not related by blood, is frequent in a lot of fiction. A good cast of characters who bounce off one another really make this trope fresh and unique every time, and you can’t go wrong with it.
4.) The Mentor
Gandalf, Uncle Iroh, Dumbledore, Yoda – I love a good mentor. The wiser and more experienced character who helps our younger MC on their journey, who offers helpful advice, and even sacrificing themselves for the safety of our hero is one I don’t think I could ever find myself disliking.
1.) The Chosen One
I don’t really hate this trope. I think, if done well, it can actually be really good. But more often than not I find that the Chosen One usually lines up with the main character being super special and admired by everyone, and it’s just not my cup of tea.
2.) Insta – Love
I definitely believe in insta-lust. When you see someone for the first time and are immediately attracted to them, now there’s nothing wrong with that. But falling in love with someone only hours after meeting them? No.
3.) Absent/Dead Parents
I understand the reason for this one. If parents were around, how would our characters have time for all of their adventures? But it’d be nice to see a parent actually get dragged into their child’s unfortunate circumstances, or lend a helping a hand in times of need.
4.) The Perfect Protagonist
This one sort of lines up with my Chosen One trope. I’m just not all for the “perfect protagonist”. You know who I’m talking about – the protagonist who just happens to have some unique features, like an unnatural hair or eye color. Anything they do, they’re suddenly an expert at within hours or days, compared to people who’ve been training their entire lives. Instead of being scolded or punished for their mistakes, they’re congratulated for them and told how brave, special, or unique they are. Boring.
5.) Poor Communication Skills
When the entire plot revolves around the fact that two characters just didn’t communicate something to one another, or give each other time to explain a situation, I get so irritated. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting two characters to just tell each other something, or get a disagreement settled, and they don’t. There’s better ways to create conflict than this.
There’s nothing wrong with using tropes in your own writing – in fact, it’s encouraged! Tropes help ground the reader in something familiar, but when you do use them, it’s important to give them your own unique and special twist!
What are your favorite and least favorite tropes? Let me know in the comments below!
XOXO – Devon