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.