Saturday, 6 August 2022

To trope or not to trope

 I learned a few things yesterday.

 The word Trope began to collide with me at every corner.

As an English Lit student, I equated it with Theme.

The dictionary takes it further - "a metaphorical or ironic use of a word." I hunted further still and discovered that a trope establishes a predictable character, setting or scenario in fiction, such as :

Orphan, best friend, kidnapped, road trip, secret identity, secret baby, politics, protector, violence, lost heir – all tropes. 

There are many more. You might think, like me, that they are nothing more than stereotypes and clichés, so I read on and found I was wrong. It seems the way the trope is used makes it far more than a cliché or stereotype.

I got onto this by listening to one of the many videos teaching people how to sell more books. I knew about sub-genres like the Ingenue, the Secret Baby, the Arranged Marriage from using the Amazon website.  I also recall trying to please Harlequin a decade ago  (I never did please them!) - they used the terms such as the Billionaire Oil Sheik and Marriage of Convenience back then. 

Perhaps they invented the tropes! It is food for thought, and as I hesitate on beginning a new book, I am at a very good place to put the ideas into practice.

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