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4 minutes ago, Grey_Skies said:

I've heard this term but I guess I never really understood it.  So what is it, how does it relate to writing, and how do I avoid it?

 

You should absolutely not avoid it. You must use it at every opportunity.

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Posted (edited)

I want to say something like isn't a trope a groop of fyters who march into batle?  But I won't.  I had to google it.  I think I know, but I'll probably use a different word for it.

 

Edited by Paul but not THE
left out a word --oops
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1 hour ago, Grey_Skies said:

I've heard this term but I guess I never really understood it.  So what is it, how does it relate to writing, and how do I avoid it?

I think of a trope as a plot that's been used many times. For example, a marriage of convenience in a romance novel.

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Here's the definition: A literary trope is the use of figurative language, via word, phrase or an image, for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.

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4 hours ago, Grey_Skies said:

I've heard this term but I guess I never really understood it.  So what is it, how does it relate to writing, and how do I avoid it?

 

In my studies, tropes are vital. There are entire websites devoted to listing and understanding them. We use Masterworks of a genre as a launching point to quickly guide us when writing our own works. When people talk about avoiding tropes, what they usually mean is to avoid cliche', tropes which are hackneyed, overdone. Instead, by looking at the wealth of stories which have been told before, you can try to do take a fresh approach, do something a little clever, a little different. 

tl:dr: Tropes, good; cliche's bad.

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@Johne summed it up nicely. I would also say that a bunch of tropes strung together make for a cliché story, but you can't really write without using at least some.

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It's like a jewel that plugs into a socket in your characters chest giving them new powers and/abilities. At least that's what it is in The Dark Lord Bert by Chris Fox. 😄

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Thanks everyone.

 

I'm glad I finally learned what it is.  I kept thinking somehow that it was a bad thing ... hence my asking about avoiding it.

 

I appreciate all your help and input. God bless!

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A "trope" is what everyone says they hate, and you should never write stories that include them.  This is despite the fact that the very same people will gush over stories that use them in excess.

 

Writing.  It's...it's..."complicated."

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8 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

very same people will gush over stories that use them in excess

Tried to find that youtube spoof on Hallmark Christmas movies.  Saw lots and lots of spoofs and satires, but not the one I wanted.  Oh well.  Anyway, it gushed over how predictable the 'new' movie is.

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18 hours ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

Trope...Rope, dope, hope, pope.

 

It is not dope that the pope had hope to find a rope.

 

Artistry has been achieved.

That's dope, Ky_GirlatHeart👊

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17 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

A "trope" is what everyone says they hate, and you should never write stories that include them.  This is despite the fact that the very same people will gush over stories that use them in excess.

 

Writing.  It's...it's..."complicated."

Yup, so now I'm confused because literally everyone else said they are a good thing and I need to use them.  Just ... use them in the right way.

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11 minutes ago, Grey_Skies said:

Yup, so now I'm confused because literally everyone else said they are a good thing and I need to use them.  Just ... use them in the right way.

 

Trope is a big, wide term that covers all kinds of things. Metaphor is a trope, and it can be used well, or poorly. Rather than simply using tropes, it may be best to learn the vast array of kinds of tropes, and then learn to use them well, one at a time.

 

As an analogy, there are many things that fall under the classification of food. Some are good and some not so much. Some are good in moderation. But the term is so broad, that lots of broad declarations aren't as meaningful as we'd like. The word trope has similar problems.

 

May all your tropes be tasty to your readers... 😀

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22 hours ago, Grey_Skies said:

Yup, so now I'm confused because literally everyone else said they are a good thing and I need to use them.  Just ... use them in the right way.

 

Ignore them.  You should only watch YouTube writing videos...

 

 

(Sarcasm Alert!)

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To add on to what everyone already said, think of a trope as an archetype or pattern. Trousers (or pants, as Americans call them) all have two tubular openings to put your legs into, and a fastening around the waist. Yet, the variety of trousers out there is enormous, from jeans to basketball shorts, to dress pants.

 

It's the same with a trope. You can reduce the basic pattern to a simple description, but it can be spun out into countless variations, based on the author's creativity and skill.

 

Here's a well-known trope. Orphaned child raised in humble and humdrum circumstances has no idea that he/she is the special chosen one whose destiny is to defeat a powerful evil overlord.

 

The legend of King Arthur, Star Wars: A New Hope and Harry Potter use this trope but are very different stories. (I've not read Harry Potter, but I understand this is the basic trope it follows) You could use the exact same trope, for your own story, but bring something fresh to it, so readers will recognise the pattern they love, but enjoy a new take on it.

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Tropes are living organisms. They love to band together to form lists.

 

https://www.writerswrite.co.za/101-sci-fi-tropes-for-writers/

https://www.writerswrite.co.za/101-fantasy-tropes-for-writers/

https://goteenwriters.com/2015/12/16/145-romance-tropes/

https://www.writerswrite.co.za/101-romance-tropes-for-writers/

https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1808-48-mystery-and-thriller-recommendations-by-trope

 

Bad tropes are like cancer - they spread. That's where the Trope-ic of Cancer came from.

 

It's like the old American Express commercial: Don't leave home without them.

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On 6/4/2021 at 9:14 AM, paulchernoch said:

Bad tropes are like cancer - they spread. That's where the Trope-ic of Cancer came from.


Somebody stop Paul-his puns are atropeious. 😉

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On 6/5/2021 at 3:06 PM, Johne said:

Somebody stop Paul

 

Too late. My daughter and I have been watching the Netflix series "Sweet Tooth". It is full of so many post-apocalyptic adventure tropes, that I knew we had entered the "trope-osphere".

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