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For Readers: Tropes We Hate

Secret Baby

Today’s reader topic comes from QSFer Angel Martinez:

We’ve talked a lot about the tropes you love (and when I say trope I mean story component/ archetype, not cliche.) What tropes are guaranteed to make you walk away from a book, and why?

Writers: This is a reader chat – you are welcome to join it, but please do not reference your own works directly. Thanks!

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2 thoughts on “For Readers: Tropes We Hate”

  1. I’m not on Facebook, so I can’t actually participate in the discussion. But I can offer my USD .02. (I’m known for freely scattering pairs of pennies.)

    The answer is: None. (Well, so long as we’re talking about MM…or multiples thereof…romance.) My book buying decisions are pretty much based on the blurb for a heretofore unknown author, or blurb plus consideration of how well I’ve liked previous books if I’m familiar with the author.

    I never thought I’d enjoy an mpreg book or a “tentacles” book…yet tried them both, and have found books that I’ve enjoyed in both those categories. (Are these tropes?) They don’t represent the majority of MM romance books I’ve read, but I won’t automatically reject any type of book just because of its “type”.

    Uh…maybe I white-lied there. It just occurred to me that since my stomach doesn’t deal well with blood and gore, I’m less likely to check out a zombie blurb or a horror blurb.

    So there you have my tuppence-worth.


  2. Full Definition of trope
    a : a word or expression used in a figurative sense : figure of speech
    b : a common or overused theme or device : cliché
    : a phrase or verse added as an embellishment or interpolation to the sung parts of the Mass in the Middle Ages

    I had to look this up. I’m assuming we’re talking about 1 (b) – although 2 is interesting.

    Tropes that I’m over:

    1. Friends (one usually straight) who become lovers through extraordinary circumstances: trapped on a desert island, trapped in a snowstorm, trapped in a cave, trapped just about anywhere. Hey, they might die, so why wouldn’t they suddenly fall in love and fuck?

    2. The pole dancer, secretly a member of Mensa, who falls in love with a client who is a Russian crime boss. Or something along those lines.

    3. Cop/Detective in love with a suspect. Or vice versa.

    4. The anti-hero (the guy with the dark hair and brooding expression) – who the protagonist is convinced is a bad guy – turns out to be a good guy, saves the protagonist from the clutches of the pretty blue-eyed blond (who the protagonist was in love with and thought was a good guy), and protagonist suddenly realizes that he/she was really in love with Mr. Broody Expression all along.


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