What is a Trope?


For all you avid romance readers do you know about ‘tropes’? Have you ever realized that a romance novel is driven by one or more tropes?

Tropes are plot devices used to bring together the two heroes.

I’ve written a few romances and more are in the works, but I still have a problem defining a trope to use to drive my novels. My tropes develop as I’m writing the story. I can never decide on one and then write a story around it.

Here are some commonly used ones:

Opposites Attract. We all know what that’s about, and it does make for an enjoyable read because the heroes are so different from one another.

Second Chance. We all know the saying, everyone deserves a second chance. Even in love people deserve a second chance. It would be a sorry world if we could only fall in love once.

Crush from the past. It’s always fun when the hero meets his high school sweetheart. Or vice versa.

Friends to lovers. It’s always a favorite of mine, so much so that the other night I watched Mansfield Park for the nth time.

We also have tropes like accidental pregnancy, amnesia, best friend’s sibling, billionaire… and the list goes on.

According to those who outline, my problem arises because I don’t outline. I know where the story starts and I know where I want it to end. Many authors will say the best way is to outline. I tried it once and couldn’t even finish using the outline; it took the joy out of my creativity, my imagination, all inspiration gone. The joy of writing a book is listing to the characters and where they take the story. Sometimes they even surprise me.

Is it important to have a trope defined before sitting down and writing? Or, should you let the story define the trope. Authors will continue to argue on these points, but what matters is the end product–the romance.


About Annamaria

Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.
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