#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on this page, and link back to their three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.
Ahhh, tropes. They really are everywhere--I mean that's why they are considered tropes, right? The basic definition is just a recurrent theme or motif (well, I know there's another definition--that of shifting the meaning of words or using literary devices to add layers to stories, however that's less fun, so I'm going with this aspect of tropes). Despite this, they are often viewed as poor writing and lumped with cliches. No, I'm not suggesting using them, but I do think that sometimes tropes have their place. They are archetypal storylines and ideas that most everyone knows and it resonates for a reason: often they are powerful and make people identify with the story and characters. I think of the Hero's Journey as a classic one that if often used in fantasy/sci-fi. We've all seen it so many times, and yet, it's still used because it works.
Other tropes that tend to crop up in fantasy and science fiction are the classic good versus evil battle. I mean, isn't that the basis of about every novel you've read lately? :) Okay, maybe not every, but it's certainly pretty prevalent. I keep thinking of Harry Potter and it's abundance of use of these ideas: the Hero, the good versus supreme evil, the quest to find the missing object that will defeat the evildoer, and many times the Medievalism that's used in some shape or form (helllo Hogwarts). This forms the foundation for so many worlds in the fantasy realm that I'm sure we can all think of plenty of examples.
There are other tropes, too, of course. The HEA ending in Romance could be considered one. The feisty heroine who wins the day and the man in chic-lit. There are so many. And yeah, while I definitely like the new and refreshing ideas that I come across, these tried and true tropes have their place. It's all about the execution, right? The ability to put a fresh spin or face on these ideas, to make them interesting and fun. And of course some great characters to bring them to life. This is definitely what I think about every time I see one of the Star Wars films :)
What about you? What are your thoughts on tropes?