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Friday, August 22, 2014

Have tropes become too trite?

Are tropes too trite?
For those of you who don't know, a literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clich├ęs in creative works. For a time, old 70-80s TV programs had a list of standard tropes - the identical twin to one of the heroes, one of the heroes (there were only heroes then) goes blind, or develops amnesia.
In fantasy one of the tropes is the young hero on a quest or becoming the savior of the world. In mystery novels it's the lead characters problem with alcohol or love of esoteric music (especially jazz), and the uptight woman who melts for him but turns out to be the murderess. There's also the Sherlock type hero, or the brilliant psychopath as the enemy.
In romance it's the HEA or HFN (happily ever after or happy for now) ending, and the 'misunderstanding' or
downright deceptive hero who doesn't tell the heroine something important.
That's where I'm at right now. In my current WIP it just happens that the hero has a good reason for withholding information from the heroine... but it's a commonly used trope, but it works for the book.
But has that trope been overused?