Monday, April 23, 2012

What's Your Favorite Trope?

One of the keys to writing a fresh category romance is to take a well loved trope and give it a twist. My favorite example of this is to combine the secret baby trope with the amnesia trope. What's the twist? The heroine is the one who doesn't know she has a child. This storyline was most recently executed in Strangers in the Desert by Harlequin Presents author, Lynn Raye Harris.

Here's a list of tropes found in romance writing that I hope will inspire you when it comes to plotting your next book: 
  1. Accidental Pregnancy: forces hero/heroine to face their fears.
  2. Amnesia: hero or heroine has lost their memory temporarily or permanently.
  3. Beauty and the Beast: hero or heroine is physically marred.
  4. Betrayal: Heroine has intentionally hurt the hero or made a mistake in the past that has hurt the hero or vice versa.
  5. Business competitors: hero and heroine compete for high business stakes only one can win.
  6. Cinderella: rags to riches story.
  7. Class: a class difference sets a couple apart.
  8. Family feud: e.g. Romeo and Juliet.
  9. Friends to Lovers: a hero and heroine’s friendship becomes more.
  10. Kidnapping: hero kidnaps heroine or heroine kidnaps hero.
  11. Marriage of convenience: arranged/forced marriage.
  12. Masquerade: hero, heroine or both pretend to be someone else.
  13. Mistaken Identity: hero or heroine isn’t who he/she appears to be.
  14. Opposites attract: good girl/bad boy or bad girl/good boy.
  15. Secret Baby: heroine falls pregnant but doesn’t tell hero about it.
  16. Secret: hero or heroine keeps a dark secret.
  17. Stranded: hero and heroine are forced together.
  18. Twins: hero or heroine has “evil” twin, hero or heroine masquerade as twin etc.
So, what's your favorite trope? And which one/s are you using in your current WIP?


Amalie Berlin said...

Oh man, I like too many of these, so I'm picking 3! I'm a rebel like that.

I pick... marriage of convenience, betrayal, and opposites attract. Not necessarily in that order.

Maya Blake said...

I really enjoyed LRH's Strangers in the Desert and I agree, it was a fabulous twist on the usual amnesia trope! Reading through your list, I realise I love them all, lol.

Must say though, the writer has to work quite hard with a mistaken identity/turns out one of them's the boss trope to win me over (which is saying something since I've written one of those, lol!)

Nas said...

I loved reading Lynn Raye Harris's STRANGER'S IN TEH DESERT as for the first time it was the heroine who was unaware she had a baby!

I have Annie West visiting and she's done a Beauty and The Beast in her latest UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH. She's talking on that here:

Caroline said...

Forced relationships - like ship wrecked on a deserted island - plus a good cinderalla story works for me! Caroline x

Jennifer Probst said...

I have to read Lynn Raye Harris's book - it sounds SO good. And I just adore trope, but my all time fave is the marriage of convenience. Can't get enough of them so I write them - lol! I do love the beauty and the beast theme too, my 2nd fave!

Scarlet Wilson said...

Lilian Darcy's The Mommy Miracle which was out last year as a Harlequin Special Edition and in the UK as a Cherish had the same theme. Woman in accident with amnesia doesn't realise she's had a baby. It was really well done, I'd recomment it too!

Teresa Ashby said...

Twins are one of my favourites - and the Beauty & The Beast, rags to riches, masquerade, stranded, mistaken identity - am I being too greedy in choosing so many?
Great post :-) x

kari23 said...

determined but willing. Also the masquerade type as well. There's too many choices.

Aimee Duffy said...

3 & 17 are my favourites, but I love them all.

Sally Clements said...

I quite like the forced together trope, but I realise I've been missing out on some great ones.. must consider them for my next ms! Thanks for the list, Lacey!

Lacey Devlin said...

I have a hard time picking a favorite too! Today I'll go with the secret trope. I love a tortured hero :)

Madeline Ash said...

Ooh, I like Friends to Lovers the best! A great shortlist though Lacey, I'll have to come back when planning my next story! Just reading the list got the ideas forming :)

Natalie Charles said...

Great post, Lacey! I love friends to lovers, but in the right hands, it's all good! Thanks for the inspiration. :-)

Unknown said...

Oh wow, that really helps Lacey, cheers! I didn't even know what a damned trope was!! LOL. But like the other rebels, I have a few twists and tropes that are twining together for the Medical Fast Track! cheers Lacey, Serena. x