The Disciple Discusses…tropes!

Posted March 25, 2017 in Discussion Tags:

Hey everyone! So, today, I want to share my thoughts on tropes, and get your thoughts on tropes! Which ones are AWESOME and which ones need to die? I think that so much of what I love and what I hate are influenced by my own personal experiences and fears. Why I hate something is usually directly tied to something in my own personality that I have always had a fear of happening. What I love I tend to love because its idealistic and ‘fairytale’ like, where you know everything will end well and everyone will be happy.

Tropes I love

Well, I should mention that on some of these, I am totally in the minority. So, lets start there….

Insta-Love/Fated Mates: Yep. I said it. I love insta-love. I will include this caveat though: there has to be a story with it. For example, I read an insta-love story where the characters were so idiotic I couldn’t buy it. I love insta-love when it is questioned by the characters. When they admit to themselves there is a pull, but also recognize the insanity of it. That makes for a good story! I think it works better in the PNR genre because as a reader, you are more apt to accept the idea because of magic. Whatever the reason, when its well written, it is probably my favorite trope! My favorites in this trope: Shielding Lily by Alexa Riley, The Hurricane by RJ Prescott (also a bit of secret identity and damsel in distress!), Significance by Shelly Crane

Best Friend’s sibling: So, I have brothers, and I have never been attracted to any of their friends. This trope totally eludes me, but I love it!! I think some of it is due to the fact I used to tease my best friend mercilessly about how attractive her brother was. She would get so uncomfortable! So, in reality, I don’t get this trope at all, but in books? I think its great! My favorite: The Boy who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window by Kristy Mosely, The Consequence of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken

Military/Law Enforcement: I think because this trope almost always adds some suspense, its my favorite. There are so many different ways for an author to take this trope (PTSD, protector, hunting a killer, etc). I think this is probably the one trope I won’t ever tire of because it can be taken in so many different directions. My favorites in this trope: Bleeding Love by Harper Sloan, At Any Cost by Mandy Baxter

Damsel in Distress: Yep, here is another one that I think I am in the minority…I think that this trope gets a bad rap because it someone implies that the woman is incapable of handling her own shit. But, I don’t think that is the case. Anyone can use some support sometimes! To me, needing help doesn’t make the heroine inept and moronic. And, yes, okay, I love Disney. All those old Disney movies I grew up on were damsel in distress tropes! Did I think any of the Disney princess were idiots who couldn’t handle their own shit? No! But it was nice to see someone who cared enough to help them.  My favorites in this trope: The King series by TM Frazier 

Secret Identity: I love when a character doesn’t recognize another. Maybe they don’t watch sports and don’t know that the hero is a famous player. Maybe the heroine is a rockstar who isn’t recognized. Maybe the heroine is simply hiding under a different name on the run from her past. Perhaps the hero is a shifter and the heroine has no idea! Whatever it is, I love when the identity of a character is known by the reader, but not by one or more of the other characters. My favorites in this trope: My Commander by Alanea Alder, Emphatic by Kaylee Ryan,

Tropes I loathe

Love Triangle: Seriously, nothing pisses me off more than this. Its just used to create unnecessary drama. I prefer the tension in a story to be outside of the main couple. Anytime a book is built on the will they/won’t they drama only, I get irritated and give up quickly. Love triangles thrive on this. Who will she choose? What will she do? I can’t stand that. First, I feel bad for the person who gets left behind. Second, if I were in the situation, I would never be able to trust my significant other because I would always wonder if they would change their mine. I have major trust issues in case that isn’t obvious! The book that made me hate this trope: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams (seriously, I am still pissed about that book!)

Teacher/Student: Ok, I am a teacher and this isn’t a trope, its a CRIME! There are some seriously popular authors and books that include a high school student falling for his/her teacher! WTH people?!? I get it-a senior in HS is 18 and a first year teacher might only be 21 and that doesn’t seem like a big age gap (and it isn’t). Its not about that. Its about the professional issue created. A teacher cannot be involved with a student in their charge because its wrong, and it puts children at risk. Period. Its not okay. I get very upset when authors try to make it okay. I have worked in a school where a high school teacher was having an affair with a student. She was just out of college, he was a senior. It was exactly like these books. But, it wasn’t okay. She is in prison now and the rest of his high school experience was destroyed by the affair and the implications and gossip and drama that followed.

Tropes I don’t hate but am really getting sick of

Step-siblings: I have read some great books with this trope; I have read some AWFUL books with this trope. Like anything, I think some authors did a great job with it and through no fault of their own, everyone has jumped on this wagon. Now the whole trope has just gotten a bit played out.

Manwhore: Seriously, for a while, it seemed like every book I read was about a hero who was a slutty, slutty man whore until he meets the heroine. Not my favorite trope to begin with, it got really old, really fast. I am thankful that it seems to appear less frequently in the books I have read lately. Or maybe I am just picking different books to avoid it? My favorite from this trope: #Nerd by Cambria Hebert


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16 responses to “The Disciple Discusses…tropes!

  1. I think the only ones I disagreed with you on were: Insta-love and Damsel in distress ones. lol! They make my “no” list. But I agree with every other one you posted. I HATE love triangles! I feel like it’s way too much drama but also that I can’t root for one couple to make it because there was almost another person involved so they aren’t as “in it” as the other person. Did that make any sense?? lol! I like the teacher/student theme but only if it’s a college professor and student, the high school student one just really grosses me out. Best friend’s sibling is one of my absolute favorites! It sort of falls into forbidden romance territory. I have a lot of siblings but never had a things for any of their friends so I’m not sure where my love for them comes from but those ones make me instantly say yes.

    • I know most people don’t like the insta-love and damsel in distress. I am in the minority on those for sure!! I think I love them because those are the stories my mom loves and that we both share with each other when we find a good book with those tropes!
      I like the best friend’s sibling thing too and like you, I have no idea why!! So strange! But, it totally works in books 🙂

  2. Awesome post, Sam. Very interesting.
    Same with you, I LOVE military based stories. Mostly because I love military men. 😉
    Oh No, you’re not in minority, Sam. I love Damsel in Distress mostly because there is always an alpha man ready to rescue his girl in these kinds of stories. Oh come on, who doeesn’t want to be rescued by a hot, handsome, badass man? 😉 haha
    About love triangle: I love it when it has been kinda obvious from the start that the heroine and her boyfriend (before the hero comes) are not a good matched. Something has been missing in their relationship, although they both were not aware of it. However, if the heroine and her boyfriend have been a happy couple for a long time before the third person comes, I’m most likely not gonna like it. I’ve read a few books with these kinds of stories before. I ended up hating the heroine’s new relationship; I felt bad for her ex-boyfriend/husband.

  3. I agree with what you said on many of these here. The Teacher and Studen, I have only read one. And it was college oriented, so the heroine lost her job. I knew a teacher in high school, I was pretty close to him actually. And yeah he went to prison for quite a few years and is still there. The law takes it very very seriously and I have no idea why it would be something authors would write about.

    I don’t mind love triangles in HR, but rarely do I see them as one character loving or caring for both. Normally its an arranged marriage or something, but the character loves another and I like seeing them find a HEA.

    I like the fated love or insta love, and it does work best in paranormal. Otherwise, it needs to be written just right. I love that you listed the ones you loved here that aren’t the most popular. I like most tropes, and I don’t think I hate any of them.

    • I don’t really consider it a love triangle if the original couple is BAD together. Like he is abusive or something. For some reason that doesn’t feel like a triangle to me because its obvious who she will end up with.
      I’m glad I am not the only one who is not okay with the student/teacher thing. I just don’t get it at all!

  4. A great topic to discuss. I’m with you on some of these and hate others that I avoid them like the plague. I can get behind insta-love if the author does it right. I agree it works best in PNR and I agree it feels more real if the characters question the feeling they have. I’m not found of Love Triangles and will try to avoid those in my reading. I also don’t like the teacher/student, nor do I care for step-siblings and man-whore.

    • Yes, I think I love PNR so much because it makes the whole insta-love thing seem totally plausible. I don’t know why I love it so much, but I really do! And I never really liked the man whore trope to begin with, but it was in every book there for awhile! I was like “Dude, can we just have 1 hero who hasn’t slept with every female in the entire state?!”.

    • Right!? Its just creepy and illegal! I love a good best friends sibling book. I think because usually the love starts as kids and grows over time, which is sweet!

  5. I’m not usually a fan of instalove but if done right it’s not a dealbreaker. I also believe in love at first sight (or some form of it) and while I know not everyone does, I believe it can and does happen for some. Damsel in distress does seem pretty tired but if done right it’s okay, just because something has been done a lot doesn’t mean it has to be terrible.

    Love triangles are not usually a favorite of mine. Teacher and student= bad news, agree. Manwhore lol. I haven’t come across that one since I don’t read romance but yeah I can see that being a little off. 🙂

    • I love that you believe in some form of love at first sight! Thats awesome. I think lots of the tropes are okay if they are done right. Except student/teacher. There is no way to do that one…ewww!

  6. What a great topic! I admit to not being a fan of insta-love, but then, I just got finished reading a trilogy full of insta-love and didn’t have trouble with it. Both can work in the hands of a good writer–or situation. I completely agree with your about the damsel in distress trope. Just because a woman may need rescuing now and then doesn’t mean she is weak or incapable of taking care of herself. It really depends on the circumstances.

    I can’t do the step-sibling trope, I’m afraid. There’s an ick factor there for me that I can’t get past. Particularly if they grew up together in the same household. If they are adults who meet as adults, it’s a different matter. The teacher/student thing bothers me too. And boss/employee situations can be iff-y for me, although it depends on how it is done.

    Love triangles can be tiring and are definitely overdone.

    I have trouble with the prisoner/kidnap situation turned lover trope, but admit there are times when it can work.

    I probably accept a lot more in paranormal romance than I would in contemporary romance. That might be something for me to examine more closely . . .

  7. I am so with you!! I’m not so much with insta-love as it’s really got to be handled well, but yes on the rest. I really, really dislike love triangles. They so rarely work and it’s an instant turn-off for me. Great post!

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