Saturday, November 26, 2011

Trope of the Week: A New Feature

Hello everybody, I hope you all had as wonderful a Thanksgiving week as I did (sort of, Tuesday sort of sucked at work, but this blog isn't about griping about work so I'll stop right there). I didn't get nearly as much writing as I'd hoped, mostly because I was lazy and didn't want to. I'm conceding NANO now, because in order to finish on time, I'd have to to write about 7200 words a day and, I assure you, I don't have that in me. I'm going to do some writing tonight and possibly do a "finish the book by Christmas Eve" challenge. It worked once for me, so maybe it'll work this time. Anyway, I was, as I often am, thinking of the process of writing and had a thought.

I've made decent progress on The Point Guard and the Space Princess. I'm over 20k total words and have a feeling that like Sisters of Khoda this book is going to get bigger than I thought it was going to get. Some things are already happening that are bulking up what I'd originally planned. Not that I'm worried if it does, I think the story is solid. But as I was writing, I realized I was writing something I'd seen in a different variation several times before. I was playing with the "training montage" trope.

Now, one of my favorite websites on the ENTIRE intraweb is Television Tropes and Idioms. If you are not familiar with this site, then shame on you but good for you too. It is perhaps the largest time sink in the history of the web, especially for nerds and geeks. I can, and have, spent literally hours perusing the pages, leaping from one trope to the next. I did this several times in the last few days as I was wallowing in my Thanksgiving break lethargy. (That and Madden when I could pry the TV away from my 3 year old and reading.) As I was thinking about it, I realized how valuable a tool this page is to me as a writer.

I know what you are thinking, how can a webpage that is admittedly a total time sink be a valuable tool? Simple, bouncing around that website, you can research the tropes you are playing with (and, folks, as original as we all think we are, all we've done is create a new version of a toy that was created a long time ago) and see if you are crossing the line from "trope" to "cliche," which is a fine line. Ask any genre writer with longevity how hard a task that is. Plus it might give you some new toys to play with.

A new weekly feature (starting Sunday) I'm going to do on my blog is going to be my "Trope of the Week." I will discuss the trope, examples of the trope from beloved sources in my experiences and, most importantly," how and why I used that trope OR why I LOVE that trope.

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