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