Tropes and Why I Love Them

Not everyone knows what a trope is, and that’s okay. Thankfully, there’s an entire site devoted to them you can get lost in for hours. But before you do, here’s a nice definition of tropes from the website:

“A trope is a storytelling device or convention, a shortcut for describing situations the storyteller can reasonably assume the audience will recognize. Tropes are the means by which a story is told by anyone who has a story to tell… Tropes are not the same thing as cliches. They may be brand new but seem trite and hackneyed; they may be thousands of years old but seem fresh and new. They are not bad, they are not good; tropes are tools that the creator of a work of art uses to express their ideas to the audience. It’s pretty much impossible to create a story without tropes.”

Whether you’re an author or avid reader, putting names to some of the tropes you’ve encountered or want to use can be highly entertaining. Personally, I like to take a few of the more traditional tropes and turn them on their heads. In Bad Unicorn, the Early World Librarian Connection wrote: “Fans of speculative fiction, fantasy adventure, classics like Narnia and modern stories of warlocks and witches will howl with laughter as readers recognize old and new tropes of the genre.” Now that’s the kind of review I’m happy to take. And in case you’re curious, there are over 30 tropes that deal specifically with laughing. Ha!