Romance Tropes: Find Your Favorite!

So I’m finally done with revisions (let’s pretend this will really be the last time I’ll revise that WIP, okay?). And, I’m thinking about writing a new book. And thinking about tropes.

Admittedly, I’m a tiny bit obsessed with them. Which is funny, because I don’t tend to write thinking about the common tropes. You might remember an old post about tropes, Tropes: Love Them, Loathe Them.

Anyway, today I wanted to give you a list of some of the most common romance tropes. These can be thought of as storylines / ideas / situational patterns that commonly show up in stories, romances in particular.  I searched for one before, and had trouble finding it, so evidently I didn’t enter the right sequence of words. This time I did, and I found a couple of other author sites that have a fabulous explanation (I’ve shared them below).

Bottom line: many fiction genres use different kinds of tropes that continue to resonate with readers, and somehow seem inherent to that “type” (or genre) of story. It’s what the author does with the tropes, their own personal spin, that can make the story something new and special, even if it makes use of tropes we’ve seen many times before.

  • Secret Baby
  • Reformed Rake
  • Friends-to-lovers
  • Best friends-little-sister-grew up
  • Teacher / Student
  • Billionaire boss
  • Taming the Untameable
  • Alpha hero
  • Enemies to lovers
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Opposite side of the tracks
  • Boss / employee
  • Friends with benefits
  • Unrequited love
  • One night stand turns into something more
  • Forbidden love
  • plain / average gets the hottie
  • opposites attract
  • marriage of convenience
  • offer she (he) can’t refuse
  • bad boy (or bad girl) with strait-laced
  • reunited lovers
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Cinderella
  • Big Misunderstanding (like Pride and Prejudice)
  • fairy tale re-tellings
  • mutual unrequited love
  • insta-love
  • fated mates
  • amnesia
  • second chance at love
  • secret romance
  • first love
  • rescue
  • stranded
  • eccentric family
  • virgin and the rake
  • wounded hero
  • nerds / betas
  • twins
  • twins/ look-alikes impersonating each other
  • woman pretending to be a man
  • blackmail
  • make-over
  • sudden inheritance
  • instant baby / parenthood
  • revenge
  • runaway bride
  • pretending to be married

For most romance readers (and writers too), we have some favorite tropes we return to, intentionally or not. For me, I can’t resist a good marriage of convenience. 🙂 I also really like the wounded hero, Beauty and the Beast scenario (where the Beauty is able to “tame” and help heal the Beast), and unrequited love (often with best-friend’s-sister-grew-up tied in.) There are also tropes that I’m not a fan of, like: secret baby, revenge, and friends with benefits. Still, I’ve read books (and written them) with these tropes, because sometimes it seems to matter more HOW an author employs them than the original trope itself.

On my hunt today, I also found two fabulous lists of tropes that I wanted to share with you. These authors also provide a bit more of an explanation for some of the tropes that are a bit less obvious.

Mindy Klasky has a very complete and fabulous list of romance tropes.

Amalie Berline also has a nice list, which she’s also sorted / categorized, which is an interesting and informative way to consider tropes.

So now it’s your turn: do you write considering different tropes, or do you only see how your story might fall into those tropes after the story is complete? Are there some big tropes I’m missing from my list? What are some of your favorites and least favorite?

Thanks for reading, and wishing you all a great week. Happy writing out there! 🙂

The Journey to Publication, Writing

Priorities: Is it time for re-ordering them?

Do you have your priorities in order? Do you even know what your priorities are? When was the last time you assessed them, and considered whether you lived according to these priorities?

My priorities are fairly simple. Family. Writing. Friends. Everything else (and yes, housework is somewhere way down the list).

The top three are, to me, the most important ones, though even as I write this, I find myself switching them around a few times, adjusting. Because let’s face it: if we put them in order of priority, it means at one point or another, one of them will “win” over a lower ranked priority.

It’s not a very nice thing, is it? To consider that we’d choose our career over our friends? For some people, perhaps career ranks the highest for them. For me, sometimes this is the case. Which is where this post comes from.

Is your priority list shifting? Do you allow it and yourself that freedom, or hold yourself to a more rigid standard?

Last month, I was desperate to finish Christmas presents galore (I make most of them), get the house prepared for my party, AND finish the rewrite on a novel so I could get it submitted to a contest and have it out of my head for holidays. I wanted to achieve it all simultaneously, which is impossible. And to get it done, I had to shift around the priorities a little bit. Writing moved up higher on the list, and I had to sacrifice some of my time with my family to get things done. BUT, using a shifting priority list, I DID get it all done.

Keeping track of your priorities also means that on your writing day, sometimes you have to say no to other offers and possibilities – because that day, writing may outrank other priorities (like friends or fun). Whatever the case, I try to assess what’s most important to me at that time, and set my priorities and actions accordingly. Usually it’s the first three that continue to shift and dance amidst the positions, and remind me what I want, what I need to do to get it, and where I need to go.

So what about you? Do you think priorities must be set in stone, or are yours shifting as you need them, too?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.