Tropes are not the main plot, they aren’t always the main focus, but they certainly do add a bit of life to a book and sometimes, they can inspire a book. Though they can go under the radar, they can make or break a reader’s attention and a writer’s inspiration. Choose the wrong one, and your readers will be just as bored and annoyed as you, no matter how good the overarching plot is.

Here I am going to break down my top five favourite tropes that you are more than likely to spot in my books. And if you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for my newsletter for free chapters, exclusive sneak peaks of backstories and other bonus content, as well as updates on my life and books, early reveals of the covers for my future books, links to my books when they’re released, and links to my blogs when they are posted. 

  1. Found Family

Starting off strong with my favourite trope of all time. It really tugs at my heart strings and reminds me of my own found family who became aunts, uncles, and grandparents without any relation required. This trope is packed with compassion, understanding, interpersonal connections, and loyalty that knows no boundaries. To quote Grey’s Anatomy, “Biology doesn’t matter, love matters.” Sometimes, this trope may be on the back burner of my books and hard to pick out, but other times it will inspire a 500-page novel. A few of my favourite examples from books and films/shows are Leo and Piper from The Heroes of Olympus, Harry and Hermione from Harry Potter (the movies), Justin and Clay from 13 Reasons Why (the show), Joey and Chandler from Friends, Clyde and Minnow from Love and Monsters, and I’m sure a million more that I can’t think of right now. 

  1. The Underdog

I know this is a common one, but when done right, no one cares how much they have seen it. I don’t think you realize how many of your favourite characters had this trope. I use it rarely and only to dive deeper into their internal conflict, and I don’t always have them coming out on top as some super powerful hero. They don’t have to be the best in the world at something; they just need to feel understood and seen. My personal favourites, again in books and films/shows, are Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus, Merlin from well… Merlin, Po from Kung fu Panda, Brandon Burlsworth from the movie Greater based on a tragic true story, and the list goes on. I’m a sucker for this kind of trope. It gives me hope. 

  1. Redemption

Whether they are getting redemption for a fault, mistake, or unforgivable act, it is always fun and exciting to watch and read. It is kind of like the underdog trope in the sense that it instills hope, but this one is fixing a wrong and the other is defying odds. Because of this trope, so many villains become one of the most loved characters in a book or film/show. An obvious one is Loki from the Marvel universe. But this trope sometimes frustrates me because often others still hate the character, while I’m gushing over them. Some of my favourites are Negan from The Walking Dead (the show), Steve Harrington from Stranger Things, Alex Karev from Grey’s Anatomy, and more. I know those were a lot of film and show examples, but right now I am blanking on book examples. 

  1. The Anti-Hero

They always seem like such a good and trustworthy character to the viewer, their actions somehow feel justified, and we get such a thrill when they do something bad for the greater good, even if it is only for their own benefit or self-interest. This is because it doesn’t always mean they are a terrible person. They lack heroic traits but still feel like the hero or a good ally for the hero to have. My favourites are The Weeping Monk from Cursed, Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jason Bourne from The Bourne Identity.

  1. The Fallen Hero

I’ve finished writing a book with the fallen hero as the protagonist and I am currently planning the second. It is a lot of fun to write this kind of trope because it really gets you thinking about what leads a person to do bad things. That’s the secret to writing satisfying and full-rounded characters. As a writer, you have to make sure you understand their morals, motives, thought process, and mental state. Why have they given up on their heroic ideals? Fallen heroes are fun because they are villains but to me feel like the good guys that are just hurting and misunderstood. Maybe that’s a red flag lol 😉

Perhaps there is a common theme amongst all these tropes; compassion and understanding… or hope. That’s all we really need. Peace is another thing. While it’s not always achieved, it is in one way or another the goal, whether that’s inner or outer peace. Keep an eye out for these tropes and themes in my books and practice compassion in your daily life. You Never Know what might happen.

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