Thursday, February 25, 2016

These Are a Few of My Favorite Tropes




This post brought to you by the untold hours I spent on tvtropes.org an evil website that will steal hours of your life away DO NOT VISIT IT. Okay. Now let's talk tropes because why not.

I hear "it was so full of tropes" as a pretty common literary criticism, but the truth is that tropes are neither inherently good nor bad. It's all how you use them, and which ones you twist, and which ones you delight in using.

Every book you've ever read is brimming with tropes. It's impossible to write without them, and the truly great books manage to play with and balance the familiar with the unfamiliar, giving you just what you like and want in a trope in as fresh a manner as possible. And when authors brilliantly SUBVERT a trope...well, that is my happy place.

There are a few tropes I, as a reader, can just NEVER resist. If I see these alluded to in a synopsis or a review, then I will be there with jazz hands. Give me all the books with these story tropes, please (done well, especially, and with a twist BE STILL MY HEART).

These are a few of my favorite tropes:

"I'm the lost princess" 
Secretly Royal, whether she knows it or not

Rebel princess
I AM NOT A PRIZE TO BE WON


"And at laaast I see the liiiight" 
Best friends for years AND THEN I EXAMINED MY HEART, AND THERE YOU WERE, NEVER, I FEAR, TO BE REMOVED

Partners in crime, PARTNERS IN THE SHEETS
Literally every single TV show where hot people solve crime together. See also: Battle Couple.

This is my idea (this isn't my idea) of fun
Ugh I hate the dude they WANT me to be with and he hates me and we HATE EACH OTHER...but only because we love each other (basically that one song from The Swan Princess) (Basically everything about The Swan Princess)


Dude Looks Like a Lady (And Secretly Is One)
"I AM NO MAN"

Love Triangles Aren't Always Pointy
Put down your pointy pitchforks, but I LIKE a well-executed love triangle (emphasis on well-executed)

I HATE YOU HATE YOU HATE YOU........ Love You
This is when I ventured over to tvtropes.org and never came back out again I am still there send food send help

There's the glory of the slap-slap-kiss
And then the shut up kiss which *dreamy sigh*
Which is all part of belligerent sexual tension, which is my most favorite romantic sitch of ALL TIME

To quote TV Tropes:

There's a couple, usually a sometimes sweet, sometimes grouchy female paired with a secretly-kind jerk, who are not able to admit their feelings. At the top of their lungs.



Vlad: An unspoken attraction!
Dmitri: To that skinny little brat, have you lost your mind?

Double bonus points if Opposites Attract. Bonus bonus if it's a Well, Excuse Me, Princess! dynamic

OH NO, THEY'RE ONTO US! WE MUST HIDE...BY...PUTTING OUR MOUTHS TOGETHER! For reasons
Aka Fake-Out Make-Out, in which "both people are faking the kissing in order to cover up that they're united in trying to do something nefarious." These Vicious Masks has an awesome one. Just sayin'. (Also a certain TV show I've been shrieking about ad nauseam...) I also enjoy the Kiss of Distraction.

#NotAllBadGuys
Even Evil Has Standards.

The Affectionate Nickname.
Like, idk, Gansey calling Blue 'Jane', which is definitely not the cutest continued joke ever and definitely doesn't make my toes go all curly whenever business gets srs and he calls her Blue

A Big Shakespearen Tangled Mess
Love Dodecahedron. He loves her but she loves him who's pining for him who's dating her who just broke up with the first him who loves her and IT ALL ENDS WITH KISSING

Screw Destiny


Loveable Rogue
I cannot resist them. Give me your reformed rakes, your ladykillers in love, your antiheroes, your Jerks with a Heart of Gold. Make them ladies and watch my eyes turn to hearts. Ferocious, surly, possibly dangerous on the outside characters who are marshmallow on the inside.


The Action Girl/Dark Action Girl
What can I say? I really like girls with swords. Especially if they're a little bit evil

Conceal, Don't Feel
I fear my power but I can't save the day until I LEARN TO EMBRACE IT

The Prince and the Pauper
One's popular/famous/royal/the quarterback, one's a geek/nobody/handmaiden/guy on the sidelines. Alternately, the princess and the street rat because I'm all about that Han/Rasa Jasmine/Aladdin Anastasia/Dmitri REALNESS

"But I am the Chosen One" *THWACK*
The Chosen One...BUT NOT


When Villains Become Love Interests 
clearly there is something wrong with me

I SEEK REVENGEEEE
I have come to burn/reclaim/conquer your kingdom/avenge my family/bring back what once was mine


I do bad things for good reasons
Thieves/assassins/sneaky bad people with tragic backstories and grey morality

And he was dead ALL ALONG
The call is coming from INSIDE THE GRAVEYARD

Grand Romantic Gesture
 Give that girl a LIBRARY, attabeast

Will They Won't They?
They will

It's one-two-three, and suddenly, I see it at a glance
Dance of Romance

"I just forgot romaaaaance..."

Unresolved Sexual Tension
EXCEPT THEY NEED TO RESOLVE IT OR MY SOUL DIES

Impossible Task/Theft
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. (Read Six of Crows.)

Ragged band of misfits/found family
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. (No, really, read Six of Crows.)



Heroes That Aren't So Heroic
Villain Protagonist.

"Well behaved ladies rarely make history"
Spirited Young Lady, usually armed with a rapier wit

I can see what's happening and they don't have a clue
Everyone Can See ItTo quote TV Tropes: Beatrice and Benedick. Dear god, Beatrice and Benedick.

I'm a damsel, I'm in distress. Have a nice day
Damsel out of Distress

Being a Badass and Looking Good While Doing It
Kicking Ass in All Her Finery. Pearl-handled pistols. Essentially the Phryne Fisher category.


Ship Teasing and Getting Close 
Almost Kisses. Close Quarters. Held Gaze. Hands On Approach, where you just NEED to show someone how to do something...by touching them...of course...

 
 

I'm sorry what were we talking about again

Any trope that can be remotely attached to Bellarke
Basically.

(btw if you want to have a really fun time, read the TV Tropes section on The Raven Boys MAJOR SPOILER WARNING obvs) (jk don't follow the link you will NEVER LEAVE THE WEBSITE AGAIN)

Tropes I don't love so much:

She was beautiful ALL ALONG
Insta love
It was all JUST A DREAM
Invincible Hero
All Therapists Are Muggles
Too Stupid to Live
So beautiful it's a curse
Rape as Drama
Disposable woman
The Chosen One played way too straight
Fridging
Teacher-Student romance (not for me)
incest (nopenopenopenopenopenopenope not for me)
He hurts me but I LOVE HIM (noooope)
I want to die BUT THEN I FELL IN LOVE AND AM CURED, aka the healing power of lurve on both physical and mental illnesses
Back from the dead for no real reason (i admit i have a dark, secret, cracktacular love for this) (but often it can be a cheap authorly loophole)

What are a few of your favorite tropes? (Also, sorry if you somehow find stuck on TVtropes.com, it's all my fault)

9 comments:

  1. THIS IS THE BEST POST IN THE HISTORY OF BESTEST POSTS

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  2. "the truth is that tropes are neither inherently good nor bad. It's all how you use them" very yes

    On the one hand, I'm a bit tired of the "there's a lost princess and surely it's not our heroine OMG IT IS" books, but I will also always read those books so...

    YES REBEL PRINCESS HOLLA.

    That's my favorite friends to lovers trope, so long as it doesn't involve much pining, which can irritate the shit out of me. But like Catching Jordan? YASSS.

    OR WATTSCROFT.

    Hate to love = best forever. Especially when everyone is shipping them and it just makes them more stubborn. Outside shippers give me great joy; it's almost like I'm in the book.

    GENDERBENDING

    Love triangles can be the best.

    SHUT UP KISS. BEATRICE AND BENEDICK 4 LYF.

    FAKE-OUT MAKE-OUT YESSSSSSSSSS. They are my favorite things ever. Well, also surprise kisses (see: A Room with a View).

    "whenever business gets srs and he calls her Blue" - also it's probably all the classics, but when people use one another's given names for the first time instead of nicknames or last names, that gives me a MESS of feels.

    TANGLED MESS OF SHIPS YES

    Fuck prophecy

    Also hear for rogues always and forever, as long as they're not assfaces.

    fine with conceal don't feel only I'm tired of people with AWESOME FUCKING POWERS being like "I wish I didn't have magic" and I'm like motherfucker what I would have given to go to Hogwarts. (It's different if your magic is like killing someone when you touch them or something bc then kissing HOW? [obviously the answer is the person with opposing powers, the only one who can touch you, who conveniently is also your one true love])

    When Villains Become Love Interests LOGAN AND VERONICA LOGAN AND VERONICA LOVE

    "Will They Won't They?
    They will" correct answer

    omg dance of romance yesssssssssssss

    UST UNF


    Ragged band of misfits/found family - the feels, all of them

    A Villain Protagonist. Oh hey it's also Six of Crows.

    "Well behaved ladies rarely make history" dear god yes and like anyone who's all "but historical women were not usually like this" can fuck right off

    I can see what's happening (WHAT) and they don't have a clue (WHO)

    Damsel out of Distress - YASSSSSSSSSSSS

    Ship Teasing and Getting Close - omg omg omg omg just wait

    It was all JUST A DREAM
    Invincible Hero - these two are like my least favorites (and the latter really ties into the chosen one thing)

    Adding to the list of horrible tropes -
    Friends to lovers where the one friend has been obviously in love for ages and the other friend "returns that love" but has a series of relationships/affairs with other people because they know the friend will wait
    Amnesia - almost never done right - I SEE YOU REMEMBERING THINGS JUST AS YOU MUST TO MOVE THE PLOT ALONG, COLE
    Second love interest syndrome - basically a poorly done love triangle WHERE SHE SHOULD END UP WITH DAN GODDAMNIT
    Corollary to the chosen one - when there's a powerful heroine and no other strong ladies
    Gay best friend with no other diverse rep
    Romances with huge age gaps (there's nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't get my heart racing, unless it's Daine and Numair)
    MPDG

    Not adding any favorites bc let's be real it's your list and hmmmm I wonder if this is why we agree so often...

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  3. I love LITERALLY (literally) LITERALLY all of the tropes that you do. CANNOT RESIST, GOOD GOD. I mean, the Anastasia and Swan Princess ones alone. Gimme gimme gimme. Partners in crime is so Jake and Amy btw. Lost princess, rebel princess, all the princesses. Okay I don't ship Cap and Natasha at all but the kiss of distraction in Winter Soldier still made me squeal (bc the only thing wrong with those movies is the lack of kissing). Belligerent. Sexual. Tension. Yes. Affectionate nicknames killlllllll meeeeeeee. Loveable rogues (HI GEORGE), the prince and the pauper, omg the call is inside the graveyard you are my favorite, grand gestures :D All of this, forever and ever, amen.

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    Replies
    1. Bottom line, I adore this post. Adore. Adore. This is why I read anything you deem worthy hahahah.

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  4. Oh dear... ALL THE TROPES I LOVE ARE THEREEEE!!

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  5. Oh God I love this post - I spend way too long on TvTropes particularly. Although I've really gone off the lovey-dovey ones lately...when did a dance maketh a couple?! ;)

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  6. TVTropes is one of the best and also worst timesucks on the internet. I remember being lost there for days and wanting to drag friends over to read so I could talk about "remember in that one book this happened??"

    Ahahah anyway. This post is perfection and your taste in tropes is a. hilarious b. on point c. proof I will preorder your first novel.

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  7. I AGREE WITH LIST ON SUCH A PROFOUND LEVEL. I loved this post like A LOT and also Gillian did you know? ~whispers~ The Raven King comes out in sixteen days ...

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