Monday, 3 August 2020

Tropes of romance

The topic from Long and Short Reviews this week is actually my favourite tropes, but I've decided to subvert this a little bit, because I don't particularly like tropes. Romance, including my own field of erotic romance, is full of them and they drive me up the wall. And my least favourite is one which you'll all be familiar with, that of Tears Before Bedtime.

It was something I learned to grasp with pinpoint accuracy when I was reading romantic fanfiction as a starter to my writing. About two chapters before the end of the story some calamity would happen which is supposed to make the reader think that things might not end happily. If you're reading Nicholas Sparks it may well not do, but for the most part we expect romance to have a happily ever after ending, so very few people are going to be convinced that things really are doomed. But we do it anyway, because...plot.

I got very sick of writing these dramatic moments since, nine times out of ten, it could all be resolved if our romantic leads would just talk to each other. So whenever I can, I try to subvert this and have the catastrophe be something that isn't character-based. In Photograph I had my heroine get shot, for instance. Nice and dramatic and doesn't rely on a ridiculous misunderstanding.

And I subvert it as well in my new short Spiritwalker, which is out on 20th October (pre-order 8th September), but you'll have to see for yourself how I do that. 


Tamar Steele, a successful medium for a paranormal investigative team, should be happy with her life—but life seems to be against her. Her psychic field is being mysteriously blocked, causing her physical pain and, worse, making it more and more difficult for her to come, creating stress in her relationship with long-term boyfriend Jason.

But then, during the filming of a paranormal TV show, Tamar picks up on Leslie, the recently murdered sister of her co-worker Hana—who later tells her the murderer was in the room with them. Knowing the best way to enhance her psychic ability is through sex, Tamar must rekindle her troubled relationship with Jason and rebuild their passion as she fights to solve the murder. Can she find the killer in time?

So what are your favourite or least favourite tropes?

15 comments:

  1. I like the fact you fight the tried and trued formulas. https://pmprescott.blogspot.com/2020/08/wc-080520.html

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  2. Good for you! I don't like it when conflict is driven by miscommunications either.

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    1. I've had to do it on occasion, but I've never liked it.

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  3. Yes, that's a good point. I'm not wild about Nic Sparks books, and you hit the reason on the head. Thanks! Great post.

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    1. I do hate when ridiculous miscommunications make up the conflict.

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  4. I think it is a great show of creativity to move outside tropes and expectations!

    My post: https://mamaneedsabook.blogspot.com/2020/08/blogging-challenge-truly-thrilling.html

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  5. Oh, I totally agree! Great post. I too try to make my paranormal romances different.. Here's mine post. https://www.tenastetler.com/lsrs-wednesday-weekly-blogging-challenge-my-favorite-tropes/

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  6. Ugh, The Big Misunderstanding annoys me to no end. I mean, they happen, but who the heck lets something like that carry on for so long?

    My post

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  7. For me it's not even necessarily the trope itself, it's when it seems so terribly contrived. But I do like the idea of looking for ways to hit the same writing beats without relying on it at all, since that sort of misunderstanding is so hard to set up convincingly.

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  8. Oh! Forgot to add: my own answer is here.

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