Tropes in your own writing

11 years ago | grantcravens (Member)

I'm a big fan of TV Tropes, a site devoted to cataloging all the conventions (or tropes), negative or positive in popular entertainment. I've been digging through the site, and finding Tropes that fit my own stories. Examples:

Cast Full of Gay, or Bi, as mine usually turn out to be, at leasti n 7 Days. That just kind of happened.

Six Student Clique. Also just kind of happened.

Anyone else stumble into any of these?

Boat Story: kidnapped kids, mysterious maps, debt, tropical storms, pirates, sea monsters, family, tea.

Read responses...

Page: 12


  1. Sora (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Anime Hair and Eyes, Cat Girls (or people with animal ears), some other familiar anime tropes that don't come to mind. I know most of all the characters fall into some type of archetype which was intentional (granted, I was 14 when I started this concept). I actually don't mind the tropes because as I've gotten older, I've been able to evolve the story beyond what it started out to be, but I did keep in some of the tropes so I can write parodies, which are always fun. I take writing the story very seriously, but sometimes the parodies are just really fun to write.

  2. Frances Gonzalez (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    TV Tropes is amazing! I've wasted entire afternoons on that site. Sometimes when I see things I have planned or am executing on the site, part of me cringes. But the other part of me goes "Hell yeah that's exactly why I'm doing things that way."

    For mine (that I'm willing to divulge):

    Don't You Dare Pity Me
    Bad Dreams
    Parental Issues

  3. Janoda (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Why did you guys put that on here??? Now I'm even more procrastinating!!
    There's just so many of them!

  4. Tahjir (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Wow, that site really sucks up time. Talk about a procrastination tool...

    Anyway, I found a couple that fit:

    -One Man Army
    -Beware The Nice Ones
    -Brainwashed And Crazy
    -Deal With The Devil

    Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy
  5. grantcravens (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Tahjir: It's like Wikipedia for nerds (well, more so). I do love it so. One more I noticed, I have a few Wrench Wenches, but they're a little more complicated than just that. I'm not so embarrassed by that one.

    Boat Story: kidnapped kids, mysterious maps, debt, tropical storms, pirates, sea monsters, family, tea.
  6. NiSp (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    i shall avoid going to look. i shall defeat the evil Procast. i already know the minions he has already put in my fortress and i shall slay every last one of them...

    can someone see if there is something a trope thingy about all your characters having their mothers die? just wondering...

  7. grantcravens (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Maybe Missing Mom. I feel like there's one, because hey, look at half of all Disney animated movies, but this one seems to fit the bill overall.

    Boat Story: kidnapped kids, mysterious maps, debt, tropical storms, pirates, sea monsters, family, tea.
  8. NiSp (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    damn! i went to look...
    happily, i think only my one character fits that disney profile and in only one way... *phew*

  9. Pete Tzinski (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    I'm aware of some of mine, but either I actively fight their recurrence, or I don't think about them. It's all fine and good to know that, you know, you tend to write introspective novels about one man against a multitude of others, or that you are always writing a classic variation on Joseph Campbell's Hero Journey...but sometimes, it's best not to know about it. You might trip yourself up.

    Well, it's true of me, anyway. I try not to think "Ah, THIS scene will enhance my ongoing multi-work themes of the exploitation of the working class" or whatever. I'd rather just write it and then, in forty years, someone can do a thesis that points out my common tropes and leaves me going "Bugger, I am uncreative."


  10. Reyben (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Oh, Gods, not Tvtropes... last time I stumbled on that site, it took about forty-five hours of my life away. It's a shameful feeling to realise that it's four in the mourning, and you've spent the entire preceding night looking up the trope list for "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" And then you start integrating tropes into everyday conversation, followed by your general universe outlook, followed by... madness! Ahaha! Mad Scientist is a trope!

    Anyway, I'd like to think I try for subversions wherever I can, but of course they count as tropes in their own right. I'm sure I've caught myself using:

    Stable Time Loop.
    Knight Templar.
    Ensemble Darkhorse.
    Timey Wimey Ball.
    No Psychiatrists anywhere.
    Enemy Mine.
    Downer Ending.
    Big Bad.
    Affably Evil.
    Xanatos Gambit.
    Xanatos Sucker.
    Diablos Ex Machina.
    Harmless villain.
    Break the cutie.
    Kick the Dog.
    Shoot the Dog.
    Rape the Dog.
    The Dog Bites Back...

    ...And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head! And now I have to stop, before I loose another two days of my life to... oh no, I've started opening tabs. Too late.

  11. Murazrai (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    These are my tropes used, despite that I'm trying to be as original and revolutionary (I know nothing about tropes, but from the posts I assume it is the concepts commonly used in literature):
    Demons are in the way
    Search for the holy items
    Mission to obtain the holy weapon
    Main characters' love story
    Aura (I haven't see any of this concept used yet)
    Scientific Magic (I bet there is no one dared to use this concept)
    Magic circle
    Hero and Heroine

    Perhaps I can add up new tropes in the next novel.

    Chaos Fighters...the fantasy of the scientific magic.
  12. Frances Gonzalez (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Well, what I like about TV Tropes is that it's really a celebration of story mechanisms, characterizations, and plot devices that I can say with confidence every story employs. It's not really so much a laundry list of cliches to avoid.

    So if you find something you're doing on TV Tropes, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just a reminder to do the trope well, so people can forget that it's been done before, or at least mind a little bit less.

  13. MeiLin Miranda (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Of course there are tropes in my stuff. There's tropes in everyone's stuff. That's why they're tropes! :)

    "An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom"
  14. Sayer (Member)

    Posted 9 years ago


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