TROPE: (noun) a convention or device that establishes a predictable or stereotypical representation of a character, setting, or scenario in a creative work.
Romance books often have a main trope that is the main storyline of the book, but often times there are MANY tropes included in a written work. One thing that I have noticed lately is that there are times when authors rely heavily on the tropes to tell the story. While, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing readers want a story that is plot driven or character driven; not trope driven. Using the tropes as a tool is useful, and we LOVE our tropes but sometimes we want more out of a book.
Have a trope you love to use as an author? Take it and run with it a different direction. We recently read a book with the fake relationship trope built in… but the hero and heroine of the book were not in the fake relationship. This was different than any other book I have read with this trope and I loved that the author changed up the dynamic of the story.
One thing about romance readers is that we have certain tropes we love, and some that we don’t. But it’s all in how you treat the tropes as well. For example, I love a siblings best friend… but sometimes the storyline doesn’t work because the way in which the siblings react.
If a question arises as to what trope designation fits your story, you can ask your editor, beta reader or critic partner for assistance. You can also reach out to us at Bookcase Media.
You do not have to fall into the must have a trope ideal either… write the book and the tropes will follow. Have a trope that you want to write about but aren’t sure how to get there… we can help to brainstorm those ideas. Also make sure that if you look to the finer part of the story to make sure that the trope you are using as an anchor to sell the book is in actually in the story.