I’ve been on an editing break for the last 36 hours and it’s been wonderful! After I gave the broad strokes of what I look for in a book I decided to try and drill it down into something a bit more specific. I then got side-tracked with TV Tropes and so here we are! These are some of the tropes that I adore (when written well).
From hate to love.
I love this so much when it’s done well! The two characters who constantly snipe at each other and hate each other but slowly come around to loving each other. 😍 The Magpie Lord did this so wonderfully. I’m not usually a romance reader, but ah that book is fantastic. Anyway! I love that snark and that tension, it’s hilarious and sweet. Oh Soulless book 1 in the Parasol Protectorate did that really well too, it was fantastic fun to read.
Asshole who’s a sweetheart when you get to know him.
Now I don’t mean a bigoted racist dick. I mean one of those dark, brooding, he’s been through the wars, kinda characters. You know the type I mean! One of those really closed off, kinda moody, characters, then when you get to know them they’re actually a complete sweetheart and you can’t help but melt.
The antagonist who really felt they were doing the right thing.
This closely links to my love of the heel-face turn trope. Prince Zuko from the Avatar show was a great example of this. The heel-face turn is where the bad guy turns good. I adore watching that character progression and development, the mental shifts and aahhh so good! I like the similar thing when the antagonist feels they’re doing good. Every villain is the hero of his own story after all. This is a concept I’m playing with Shattered God. When they genuinely, without a shadow of a doubt, feel that they’re making the world a better place. I like seeing them starting to see other points of view, that moment when it dawns on them.
Shifters – Our Werewolves Are Different & Related Tropes.
I absolutely adore predatory characters. I well-written shifter, with realistic, understandable predatory instincts is just too much fun. I hate that whole faux-alpha, in your face, paranormal romance thing. But! A well-written shifter is something I really love.
I can’t be doing with fluffy giggly fae. I adore the tricky, snarky, sharp-toothed, will rip your heart out and claw your eyes out fae. A lot of fae are bloody scary in the old myths! They’re just too much fun to be ignored.
Fantasy kitchen sink
This idea that every myth is real is wonderful to me. It can take a lot of handling, but the sheer scope and potential there is just too much to resist. I can completely ignore the implausibility and just revel in the myths, legends, and wonderfulness there.
Battle to end all battles complete with big rallying speech.
When this is done well it can have my heart in my mouth and put me on such a high! That moment where the odds are completely stacked against the hero, where they pull together their little band of misfits and have a fantastic rallying speech. I love it.
I’m such a sucker for things bouncing off the Alice In Wonderland thing. There are quite a few books that borrow ideas and twist on the original. I love them! I can’t even quite explain what it is.
The morally dodgy protagonist – thief or some such.
What can I say, I love that morally grey area. This is another one I’m playing with in Shattered God. A character who doesn’t play by the rules, they twist and bend the expectations of those around them. Ah it’s so good!
Maybe this is my beliefs coming through, but the put-upon character who’s a plaything for the gods is just too good to resist. They know the gods are screwing with them, they know there’s nothing they can do about it. Again, it’s a scope thing. There can be so much world and character development done with this idea.
Now your turn! Tell me all about the tropes and cliches you just can’t get enough of!