In the world of fiction, a trope refers to a commonly used plot device or character archetype that has become well-known and frequently used within a certain genre or medium. For a long time, tropes were often viewed as a negative aspect of a novel, making the story predictable and unoriginal. However, in recent years, readers have started to embrace tropes and even look forward to seeing them used in their favorite books.
The reason for this shift is that tropes can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort to readers. When we recognize a trope, we know what to expect and can settle in for an enjoyable reading experience. Tropes can also help to establish genre conventions and create a sense of community among fans of a particular genre. They allow readers to connect with one another over shared expectations and experiences.
Some popular tropes in fiction include the “chosen one” hero, the love triangle, the coming-of-age story, and the “damsel in distress” plotline. While these tropes have been criticized for being overused and cliché, they continue to appear in many popular books and media.
In fact, some authors have even started to intentionally use and subvert tropes in their writing, creating fresh takes on familiar stories. For example, Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows” series features a group of young criminals who must pull off an impossible heist, a trope that has been used in many heist stories before. However, Bardugo adds her own unique twists and turns to the plot, making it an exciting and fresh read.
While tropes were once viewed as a negative aspect of fiction, they have now become an exciting aspect of storytelling for many readers. Tropes provide a sense of familiarity and comfort while also allowing authors to put their own spin on familiar plot devices. So, the next time you pick up a book and notice a well-known trope, try to appreciate it for what it is – a beloved convention of the genre.