Thursday, November 15, 2012

The comfort of the familiar.

So I've been noticing tropes lately. Now, here's the thing. I LIKE a good trope. Like...the romance where the girl falls for her brother's best friend. Or the fantasy where a peasant boy has to do something crazily epic. In my mind, those are tried and true and they WORK.
So what's my problem? Well....they turn a bit predictable. And I'm NOT a fan of predictability. I'm widely read, so I'm not easily surprised. But when I can tell what's coming literally 100 pages before it happens? It's annoying. It makes me want to put the book down.
But look, my point is this: you can use a trope and still give it a fresh twist. Make the peasant with a crazy destiny the bad guy (destined to enslave a kingdom). Kill the best friend and have her fall for...uh...the funeral director? K, AWFUL example, but you see what I'm doing right? I'm taking a familiar story and changing it. And making it UNIQUE.
Because, in the end, inst' that what we all want. Something familiar enough to be comforting, and unique enough for us to sit up and take notice?
So you tell me, guys. What's a trope you've been seeing a lot of lately that your tired of and could stand to see in a new way?


  1. Yes, twists are essential. Writers need to surprise their readers.

  2. This is so true. One thriller writer is getting way too predictable for me; each book is like a copy of the others, with the same bad guy being so obvious if you've read his other works.

  3. I absolutely love when a book surprises me...because I too have a hunch and then blam it is right...except most recently with Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Boys, that one gave me a few surprises...and the -ergent series by Veronica Roth...that had some good loops. Happy weekend :)

  4. Yep, the orphan/peasant is the "one" is getting really old in my book. I just finished reading Cinder this week, and while I enjoyed the story I knew at the first mention of a lost princess that Cinder was our girl. It made the ending anti-climactic.