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Jedi Knight Muse

Overused tropes that you're totally using anyway

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I made this post on the NaNo forum in the fantasy section and it got a lot of responses! So I decided to start it here and see if we could do the same thing. This could be for your NaNo projects or non-NaNo projects, doesn't matter which.

Here are mine that I listed for my NaNo:

-Girl who discovers she has magic abilities and has to go on some kind of a journey
-Prince who's in disguise/under a spell and has to reclaim his throne
-Mysterious mercenary-rogue-type who helps the girl as she goes on some kind of journey (and also helps the prince). Mysterious mercenary-rogue type also has magic that he keeps hidden.
-Fairies
-In the current draft I had the MC (girl with magic abilities) having to go after some kind of magical stones or whatever buuuut that's not being kept (or at least, not in its current form)
-Elemental magic

There might be more that I'm not thinking of for it at the moment but I think that's it for now.

For Storms of Magic:

  • MMC #1 discovers that he has magic (and is also half-fairy)
  • MMC #2 is a mage. He's quiet, smart, more of an observer, and prefers spending time with his books and a select few friends. (Basically, he's me but is a guy and has magic.)
  • Both MMCs are BFFs. One is the smart, quiet, massive bookworm who also has magic while the other is the less quiet, totally non-bookworm character.
  • One of the MMCs is in love with the queen whom he's known since he was a teenager, and she (possibly) loves him back, but it's most likely never going to happen.
  • MMC with magic/who's half fairy is accused of murdering someone
  • MMC #2 has to watch his father die after he's executed (in a very Ned Stark kind of way), and then watch his older brother die.
  • FMC is forced into an arrange marriage for alliance purposes but she doesn't love the guy she's being forced into marrying and actually loves MMC #1, whom she's been best friends with since they were kids but she knows nothing will probably ever happen.
  • Preeeetty sure there's some kind of a mage council that MMC #2 will have to answer to for his dumbass actions in trying to save MMC #1 after he's accused of murder.

Um...I think that's about it.

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Ooooh. I like this question 😄

THE MARTYR QUEEN

  • Lost princess
  • Otherworldly being brings a message, MC tries to avoid getting drawn back into the main conflict
  • Mad king
  • Dashing pirate/thief with a heart of gold / princess who's been betrayed and had her heart broken before
  • Good guys being related to bad guys
  • Elemental magic
  • Quest to find/reclaim home

SAPPHIRE DREAMING

  • Instant connection between two of the MCs
  • Elemental magic
  • Quest to find/reclaim home 
  • Mentor with bushy beard/hair
  • Evil witch = bad guy
  • Witch is charming/sensual and manipulates people to get what she wants
  • MC is thief with a heart of gold (mostly)

Uhhh, I'm sure there's probably more but that's all I have at the top of my head!!

Both of your stories sound wicked interesting 😄 I love all of those tropes. 

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Finished MS 1 has The Most Left Justified of left-justified fantasy maps. Add to that Rags to royalty, Magnificent Bastard - it's all there. To a point it is quite hard to avoid tropes. But I have tried to subvert them when I can - for eg the LJFM will have a land bridge (and there's probably a trope for that too!). I do tend to enjoy writing to the Hearing Voices and related similar tropes and I do it alot; it is just an interesting subject, to me.

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5 hours ago, bdcharles said:

Finished MS 1 has The Most Left Justified of left-justified fantasy maps. Add to that Rags to royalty, Magnificent Bastard - it's all there. To a point it is quite hard to avoid tropes. But I have tried to subvert them when I can - for eg the LJFM will have a land bridge (and there's probably a trope for that too!). I do tend to enjoy writing to the Hearing Voices and related similar tropes and I do it alot; it is just an interesting subject, to me.

Now I'll have to actually go through TV tropes and see what I've used.  I'll see everyone in a year or so.  😛

On a more serious note: I don't often think of my stuff in terms of tropes, so I would have to look at my stuff more carefully.

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49 minutes ago, Mynoris said:

Now I'll have to actually go through TV tropes and see what I've used.  I'll see everyone in a year or so.  😛

On a more serious note: I don't often think of my stuff in terms of tropes, so I would have to look at my stuff more carefully.

I wouldn’t burn too much time on it. Tropes are tools and not necessarily to be avoided.

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51 minutes ago, Mynoris said:

Now I'll have to actually go through TV tropes and see what I've used.  I'll see everyone in a year or so.  😛

On a more serious note: I don't often think of my stuff in terms of tropes, so I would have to look at my stuff more carefully.

I once spent a summer at a slow summer job trying to work my way through TV Tropes categories... I never did find the end of things.

But I DO think knowing all these tropes has allowed me to look at media in a different way, see the pieces that go together. Not in a bad way, more in an 'Oh cooool, they are pulling THIS trope, I love it!'. Makes you see things in a different light. I want to say its helped my analysis abilities but I don't know for sure.

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Priestess of the Lost Colony

* Bad guy is a tyrannical warlord who wants to take over the world, and the protagonists essentially have to stop him.

* One of the good guys (not the protagonist though) is a "farmboy" who has royal ancestry.

*  Intercultural tension between African and European people (OK, this one isn't so common in the fantasy genre, but it's a common theme for almost every book or movie about race relations in America).

* One of the male leads (actually the "farmboy" from the second bullet point) has the hots for the heroine and wants to win her over.

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The big one in Ashes Fall Down would be the enemies-to-lovers romance. I'm really excited to play with that trope a bit.

As for Traitor... rebellious, privileged female protagonist reacting against sexism, former slave who has to be a hero, convicted murderer saves the world... (is that a trope? I have no idea.)

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12 hours ago, bdcharles said:

I wouldn’t burn too much time on it. Tropes are tools and not necessarily to be avoided.

It's not that I feel I have to, or that I need to avoid them.  But I really suck at identifying the tropes and now I want to know.

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18 hours ago, mathgnome said:

The big one in Ashes Fall Down would be the enemies-to-lovers romance. I'm really excited to play with that trope a bit.

As for Traitor... rebellious, privileged female protagonist reacting against sexism, former slave who has to be a hero, convicted murderer saves the world... (is that a trope? I have no idea.)

1

 

I have a bit of enemies-to-lovers going on too, although its spread over the course of three books (if I ever get the first one finished). I'm definitely looking forward to the progression of it though. I'm planning on having the romance in the last book, but I think I'm more excited about just developing the relationship between them as they become friends. 

I'm trying to invent some in-universe myths and legends that should tie in with the story, so I'm looking to emulate the slightly odd narrative structure a lot of myths seem to have. There's a load of tropes that appear again in again through lots of myths IRL that I'll be making use of, particularly Be Careful What You Wish For . Also fish. The Scots love their fish related myths. 

My main plotline may also be leaning towards Wrongful Heir To The Throne as the rebels are trying to get a child on the throne. The heir also falls into Heroic Lineage though the plan is to subvert this a bit. 

 

Edited by CaptainStrat
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The enemies-to-lovers trope is one I don't think I've really tried doing before, so honestly I think it's something I'd like to pursue in a future project.

I finished going through the responses in the NaNo forum version of this post and writing the ones that stuck out to me down, and...well, there's definitely some specific things that I'm mostly drawn to.

I love the idea of writing about a mismatched/ragtag group of heroes who have to journey together and become family. I think I kind of tried to do that with my trio of characters in my NaNo, but I don't think I fully pulled it off (largely because I feel like there's a severe lack of relationship development i it. Like...Alana and Derric are supposed to basically start having romantic feelings for each other, and Alana is supposed to question where Derric (Ivar) runs off to each night and then she confronts him and that scene was...not a very good one. Then later on, the romantic feelings are kind of starting to emerge a little bit more and Derric asks her to dance, but I feel like right now it's kind of out of the blue. It's a sweet moment, but it definitely needs more work) that well. That's mostly due to it being for NaNo and really just wanting to get the bare bones written, though.

It's been a loooong time where I've tried to write a story where the central character is a princess being forced into an arranged marriage (other than in Storms of Magic, but technically that character isn't a point of view/central character at the moment), so I'm kind of tempted to try and do that again at some point, just for the fun of it.

I also love stories with animal familiars. I have an ooold, terribly written story where the main character has a talking tiger that's her familiar, and it basically turns out that he's her older brother (and a prince) under a spell. That was fun to write, even if it was terribly written and the MC was probably a Mary-Sue.

I'm a sucker for royal ball scenes, especially when the dark, mysterious, masked stranger approaches the (princess) and silently offers his hand to dance. There's an old RP I did where that happened, only in that case the mysterious stranger was her older cousin who was supposed to be off doing war-type-things but had come home to surprise her due to her engagement announcement. (Actually, that would be another fun thing to write again, too. Hmmm.)

...and these are only a few examples of what I ended up writing down, haha.

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@Jedi Knight MuseOooo, thanks for bringing up the Princess being forced into an arranged marriage; I know for sure I've done that one! 🙂  I don't have a royal ball, or a masquerade, but there is a dance that is semi-pivotal in my Winter Lord story.

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On 12/8/2018 at 2:17 AM, Mynoris said:

@Jedi Knight MuseOooo, thanks for bringing up the Princess being forced into an arranged marriage; I know for sure I've done that one! 🙂  I don't have a royal ball, or a masquerade, but there is a dance that is semi-pivotal in my Winter Lord story.

Haha, you're welcome! I've definitely done it a lot, probably more often than I really should admit between role playing and just regular writing. 😛 There's an arranged marriage in my main story but it's kind of a sub-plot compared to everything else, so it would be fun to try and write something with the arranged marriage being a little more centralized.

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On 12/8/2018 at 3:20 AM, Jedi Knight Muse said:

I love the idea of writing about a mismatched/ragtag group of heroes who have to journey together and become family. 

Oh this is my absolute fav!! I think it's why I enjoy playing D&D so much, but I've also never successfully been able to write about it without it seeming to cliche, or just not working altogether. I'm a huge fan of reading any sort of works with cliche's or tropes, especially if they end happy because I just want to see all my favs get what they want. I've used the teenage girl works against the force of government with the help of her friends" MANY a time, which I suppose is because that's what I liked to see when I was younger.

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The ragtag bunch becoming a family is a major theme in my heist novel, found families are great.

Is double cross with a change of heart a proper trope? Where someone betrays the team then changes their mind and comes back at the last moment to save the day? If it isn't it should be, because I'm using it 😛

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I have a lot of prophecies in my novels.  I don't care that they're over-used in the fantasy genre.  I love prophecies, especially the tricky ones that come from ancient times and are difficult to interpret in the current era.

Racial tension - yes, plenty of that.  No need to go into details.

Arranged marriages - tons of them.  In several of my cultures, it's an ancient tradition for the usual reasons, cementing alliances and sometimes keeping enemies closer.

People of low social status finding out that they're actually of higher birth than they've always been led to believe.

The idiot-savant - one of my favourite tropes.

People from opposing factions falling in love.

Quests, journeys and similar challenges.

Ancient artefact of power that has been lost for centuries turning up unexpectedly.  (In one novel, such an artefact could have saved an important character's life, but it didn't turn up until a later novel).

Sorcery duels.

Characters finding out that the person they distrusted was on their side all along.  Takes a tragedy to realise that.

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22 hours ago, Xanxa said:

Sorcery duels.

Ooh, this is another one! I've had WIPs where I've planned on this kind of scene (like, where the MC has magic and goes up against the bad guy/villain/whatever and they have this epic duel with magic (a la Harry Potter or Star Wars) and then there's a big explosion (but it's not really an explosion where it blows them to bits, it's just made to look that way somehow) and the MC's companions see the explosion from afar and assume that she's dead but she eventually comes back. (I know this is another thing that people prefer not seeing- characters who are brought back to life, i.e. through resurrection, but there's a difference between them actually being dead VS being alive and being unable to go back to their friends for some reason, like being captured by said villain.) Hopefully this is one that I can eventually actually write out. I can't remember offhand but I THINK I had it planned for my Mageborn story, so I'll have to try and make sure I can work it in somehow when I eventually rewrite that story.

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On 12/10/2018 at 6:06 PM, Xanxa said:

People from opposing factions falling in love.

GAH I freaking love this one. That's why Reylo is my shame pairing (I know it doesn't entirely make sense in story but MAN I love it for the fanfic)

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