Chat Between Chapters: Tropes – Love ’em or Loathe ’em

May 10, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 20


  Tropes: Love ’em or Loathe ’em? Tell us what you think about the idea of tropes in general.

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I think tropes are fine the first few times you read the same one, but then after multiple books doing the exact same thing with their plot or characters – it just gets old. I love an original book that isn’t predictable and can’t be described by something like “a young ordinary girl finds out she is an extraordinary creature and gets caught up in an ancient war”. Seriously, I’ve probably read a dozen blurbs that sound like that within the past month. It sometimes seems like a shortcut is taken by using tropes. Still, some overused plot lines can be made interesting when there is something else unique about the story or characters.



Tropes are in books for a reason, I guess. And I’m sure most of us pick up books because of them. Tropes seem to be especially prevalent in the romance genre. I don’t know about you, but I want the girl to end up with the boy. I read historical fiction to imagine what it was like to live in those times, even if the books are not entirely accurate. What I really enjoy, though, is books that toss the tropes out the window. It’s great to read an original book. And I think these are the types of books I search out. I’m looking for the book about the self-rescuing princess, the female president, or even a male lead, if he is a feminist. I’m ok with tropes. So long as they are not over-used. And more so if a book isn’t all tropes. 

Rose review avatar Rose:

I agree with both Lynn and Julie, tropes are essentially what make me want to read a book. I know what story lines and characters I am interested in and so I choose books based on these preferences. However, I also get tired of reading the same thing over and over again. I want an author to make an existing trope new and exciting to me. Because I prefer character driven novels, I think this is totally do-able for an author. The more realistic the characters seem to me, the more interested I become. Even if I can already predict the plot, I am still interested because I am emotional invested in the characters’ plight. That is when I know I have a new favorite author. 

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20 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Tropes – Love ’em or Loathe ’em”

    • Julie

      I think that is a general consensus – authors need to find new ways to turn old ideas interesting.

    • Julie

      I’m with you. It is so hard to find an original idea these days though.

  1. Elizabeth

    I am in the process of writing a review that has what I am calling the All About Eve trope, the assistant going after the boss’s job. I really liked the writing and the author’s twist on the theme, but I knew what I was getting in to when I decided to read it. Some of these tropes go back hundreds of years, there really are only so many ways to put some things together.
    However, I really like it when a book deviates and gives me a little thrill at the end, when the couple decide to remain friends but separate or the evil narrator of the story turns out to be the sweet protagonist he was describing. It makes me feel like this author has an amazing, original mind.

    • Julie

      Agree, a little deviation from the expected formula is such a fun surprise 🙂

    • Julie

      Yes, a unique spin on a tried and true trope would be great. I wish we saw more unique spins.

    • Julie

      So with you on the love triangle. It isn’t realistic so it just gets annoying.

  2. Ramona

    I think people naturally gravitate toward the familiar, which is what tropes are. However one can reach a saturation point. Of course, the execution makes a lot of difference. A skilled author can take an old idea and turn it on its head, making it fresh. It’s all very subjective I think. To sum up, I guess it’s up to the writer to wow me – with new or old, it doesn’t really matter as long as I’m blown away 🙂
    Ramona recently posted…Writer Earnings

    • Julie

      I think a lot have passed that saturation point, so I’d love to see more fresh spins on the tried and true.

    • Julie

      It does have to be done right, that is true, but if it is done well but just too similar to another book done well that I recently read, the second one won’t impress me as much.

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