Hey everyone! Today I’m back with a fun blog post about books! I’m collaborating with Emily Mundell to bring you a fun duo of posts: Emily is a writer, and I am not, so we thought it would be fun to share different perspectives on different tropes in the bookish world! I will be talking about My Top 5 Book Tropes I Like To Read on her blog, while she will be talking about the Top 5 Book Tropes She Likes to Write here!
Please welcome Emily as she talks about tropes she likes to write!
Happy Friday, all! Today I’m taking over Hanne’s blog to talk about my Favorite Tropes to Write! If you would like to hear all about her Favorite Tropes to read, swing on over to my blog where she was kind enough to share all about it.
Without further ado…
- The Chosen One
I know that this one is SUUUUPPPEEERRR trope-y, but it’s honestly one of my favorite things, especially when you get to twist it, like Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars for instance. The chosen one idea may be cliche and overdone, but it can almost always be interesting, especially if you bring a fresh new take to the table. Maybe by using more than one chosen one? Or that people messed up who the chosen one prophecy was about? Or even go the Darth Vader route and the chosen one is “bringing balance” in a way that actually makes them the villain instead of the hero. However you choose to do it, reading about and writing “The Chosen One” is almost always one of my favorite story tropes, especially for fantasy and sci-fi.
- Duelling Protagonists
In both of my published works, as well as many of my WIPs, projects, and plot bunnies, I employ the idea of “dueling protagonists” to tell my stories. In The Sorceress and the Squid, Estrella the sorceress contrasts strongly with the human soldier, Jalen. I write from each of their POV’s, going back and forth between their voices to tell the story of their grand and magical adventure.
In Faithless, my recent adult novel, though my female MC Saagar is the only POV character, her husband Damien is also very central to the story, and he contrasts both her experience and her actual character. These are just two examples of many other story ideas of mine, and I don’t know exactly what it is that draws me to this trope, but it’s honestly one of my favorites and permeates nearly every one of my stories. The contrast of a male and female MC telling their versions of their shared story is just so interesting to me. I find that you get such great depth between two protagonists, especially if they are different genders and come from different backgrounds or even different sides of the fight/conflict.
- Grumpy Older Character vs. Soft Innocent Character
There’s nothing that melts my heart like some hardened soldier/warrior/farmer/etc who stumbles upon a young, bright-eyed child who turns their whole world upside down overnight. Anne of Green Gables does a great job of this, and it’s something I like to employ in small doses throughout my own books and novels.
- Young Character with Extraordinary Powers
Is there anything cooler than revealing that the most powerful being in the story is actually a little child who may or may not be a bit out to lunch and possibly a sociopath? Usually plagued with some traumatic backstory, this kid looks cute, precocious and normal, if not a little weird, but they will soon reveal to your audience just how insanely powerful they really are – and it will definitely be epic.
I love this trope because I love underdogs. I love watching those perceived as smallest and weakest come out on top of an exchange with someone who thought they had it all together. In real life, my favorite example of this is my youth group dodgeball team, which is made up primarily of small 13 year old girls, going up against other youth groups who rely on only the male players on their teams and do not realize just how stacked our team actually is, since nearly every one of our players is strong in their own right. This feeling of satisfaction carries over to my fiction, where I have several small but mighty characters in the works in future projects.
- The Love Triangle
Another super cheesy one, but love triangles can actually be really, really fun to write – or maybe I just love drama too much. In my fantasy epic, one particular subplot of the first book revolves heavily around the MC, his young fiancee, and his cousin, and the relationship between the three of them that is confusing at best, and full of more than a little rivalry and bad feelings. However, what I enjoyed doing with this love triangle is giving the central female the true romantic affection for only one character, while feeling simply like she is trapped into doing her duty to the other. It makes for a lot of fun angst and that is what I am personally all about when writing. xD
- Enemies to Lovers // Enemies to Friends // Friends to Enemies // Lovers to Enemies
However you want to slice this trope, I find it practically irresistible (hence why you’ll probably find some version of it in every one of my books, lol). There’s just something about the crazy emotional rollercoaster that your characters and readers go on when such drama afflicts a relationship. Any time there’s feelings this powerful and complex involved in a story, you know it’s going to be good.
There are a lot of voices in the book community who speak out against tropes and cliches, for valid reasons as they are usually overdone and uninteresting. However, I think almost any trope or cliche can be fresh and exciting with the right spin put on it, and that’s one of my favorite parts of crafting a new plot, character, and book!
What are your favorite tropes to write all you authors out there? Let me know in the comments! And of course be sure to go check out Hanne’s favorite tropes to READ on my blog here!
Emily Mundell is an INFJ, a farmkid, an artist, and an indie author, with two current published works. She likes to ride ponies, climb mountains, take photos, and create/absorb new worlds and stories. Find her at:
Thank you to Emily for collaborating with me today! It was super fun! And definitely make sure to go check my post on her blog out!