Monday, November 9, 2015

in defense of "the tropes"

I read a ton of posts about how we should break cliches and write against the grain. Honestly, I am all for breaking cliches. There are those who want to break more than just stereotypes, they want to break the genre tropes. Again, I think that's good. But just because the tropes are tropes and used often, does not necessarily they are wrong or should be frowned upon.



I like fantasy. I mean, I write the stuff, so obviously I like it. But you see I also like the tropes of fantasy. I like the exiled/lost princes, the heroics,

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 the revolution, the chosen ones (yet the chosen does often get abused in an irrational manner), the underdogs, the QUESTS,

The Hobbit, Gandalf:
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 and the SWORDS.

Thranduil, gif
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 THE DRAGONS!! Evil, or good, talking or otherwise. Dragons. Rule.


Bard vs. Smaug:
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I like these things. Therefore fantasy appeals to me. The tropes, or fantasy cliches, are what draws me to fantasy. 

I don't so much like the cliches in the romance genre. The mushy parts, the plot revolving completely on romance, the kissing (again? someone please make them stop), the sex scene which seems to now be a must in this genre. I don't like those things. So I don't usually like books in the romance genre. But people who do like romance, usually like the tropes that define the romance genre. 

I am not saying that we can't be different. I think it's cool when authors break out of the genre's norm and do weird stuff with it. I love different.


Elven internal monologue
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But maybe the tropes are there for a reason. The tropes are what the established readership of that genre enjoys. Do we want something different every now and then? Yes. Please. But the same time, I still love the pure epic fantasy with all the tropes attached. To me, it's like coming home.


Farewell, Master Burglar!:
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I'm just saying that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge and point fingers when a novel does use the genre's formula. It's not a completely bad thing.

What do you think? What are some of the tropes in your favorite genre that you adore or could do without? More importantly, who is your favorite dragon?!

second breakfast:
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14 comments:

  1. I love fantasy tropes, I like the lost people thing, I LOVE THE DRAGONS. Of course, I have to add a dragon in every fantasy story I right, because, come on, DRAGONS. Thank you for this, I think a lot of people need to understand how tropes can be a good thing.

    p.s: did i mention DRAGONS

    ~Noor

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    1. Yes! I love the whole lost people concept in fantasy. Just everything fantasy. I agree.

      DRAGONS! Alwayses dragons.

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  2. I don't think tropes are bad at all!! I mean, they exist for a reason right?!?!? And like I see some people rant that dystopians are all the same because of the fake perfect society and corrupt government, blah blah, etc. And I just think "Um, that's like the BACKBONE of a dystopian. You need them.." So I think tropes can be really important for the genre!! They just need to have a little spice added so it makes it your own right?! :P

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    1. Thank you so much! I was kind of afraid I'd have a ton of people wondering what in the world I was talking about.

      I do hear that a lot about dystopian. And I can't stand it, because they don't know what they are saying. Those things are the very things that make dystopian, well, dystopian. Tropes are like the skeleton of a genre, it's just up to us to put a face on it and flesh it out.

      Was that a weird metaphor or what? :P

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  3. I like the orphan child, who ends up being the chosen one. If it's done right, I can really enjoy it and you're right it's like coming home. Because it's what I read and wrote growing up.
    Smaug is my favorite, with Sapphira being a close second. Dragons are wonderful!

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    1. I like them too! I know orphans are really prevalent in fantasy. But fantasy worlds are usually dangers and full of war. So it makes sense that there's a lot of orphans.

      Smaug is everything an evil dragon should be. He's good for bad. ;) Who is Sapphira though? I must read/watch this dragon!

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  4. Right, you definitely have a point! I mean, sometimes when I decide to subvert a particular trope I realise I'm falling into yet another trope. And the combination of a certain set of tropes begins to define a genre, doesn't it? I think it should, as always, be done in moderation and with your own style. I mean, the 'orphan child' trope can lead to Harry Potter or Tom Riddle, right? So how you approach a trope is far more important than the trope itself.

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    1. Exactly! It's all about the way you handle the trope. You put your own twist on it and turn it into something different, still the same but with different decor this time.

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  5. I agree! Sometimes you want to read something different and other times you just want a dose of what you've always loved. Tropes are tropes for a reason! I think it's really more about whether the tropes are well done. If it's not, I'm going to roll my eyes, but if it IS and it's one I like, I'm gonna read the shit out of it.

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    1. Right. You love it so you want more. You just don't want it in the same generic way all the time. We don't want our tropes in their skeletal forms. When the author fleshes them out and makes the tropes their own, is what makes it awesome!

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  6. I see your point, tropes do make stuff awesome. (The swords and the dragons, THE SWORDS AND THE DRAGONS!!!) But I think it's all a balancing act. If you have too many tropes then you risk being cliché, and if you don't have enough then no one will read it. And sometimes that balance is really hard to get right.

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    1. Hm, I never thought of it that way before. But you're right. If there's too many tropes and the author can't make them ALL snazzy enough, then the readers can tell that it's a little overdone. But if you don't have enough of the tropes, well, you have to at least reach the genre requirements, right?

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  7. I agree with you, fantasy tropes are some of the best. :) Not so keen on the romance either.

    By the way, I've nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award!

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