Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite Tropes

Good morning, welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday on SWB! I must admit this week’s prompt is one that really got me racking my brains, it’s not something I think about very often, it’s definitely the toughest prompt I’ve done in a while!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme currently hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


My Favourite Tropes

A literary trope traditionally is the use of figurative language for artistic effect, for example using a figure of speech. The word has more recently also begun to be used to describe commonly recurring literary devices.

I think the word trope in this latter sense has a bit of a negative connotation around it, tropes can sometimes be considered clichés but I think like everything its success depends on how it is done. Some books can contain common tropes and be amazing, and others less so, it’s less the trope and more how it’s written. After all if they were all so terrible nobody would be buying the books and the ideas wouldn’t have become popular enough to be considered tropes!

So onwards to ten of my favourite tropes! Word of warning some of these contain examples which may be slightly spoilerish

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The orphan who is the key to everything but knows absolutely nothing

I guess this is a very specific incidence of the Chosen One trope. My most obvious example of this would be Harry Potter, the boy who is key to defeating Voldemort but doesn’t even know he’s a wizard until he turns eleven and a giant turns up to tell him. Another example, forgive me for moving away from books briefly, would be Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. Another orphan who has no idea of his history and his significance in the world.

Enemies to lovers

I’m so picky about this one, I’m not talking about some sort of InstaLove™ , I want to see a journey here, whether it’s character growth, or the gaining of a deeper understanding about a past event. For example in Everless Jules cannot stand Liam to begin with, but over the course of two books she comes to understand that her memories from childhood were slightly tainted, and that her impressions of him weren’t necessarily accurate… It certainly changed their relationship. Also I’m putting it out there now is Rey ends up with Kylo Ren in the last Star Wars I for one will not be disappointed.

Love triangles

I say I love a good love triangle done well, but right now trying to think of an example to give you my mind is blank! I want my love triangles to be believable, and don’t make it obvious from the start which two of the three end up together, leave me questioning it for as long as possible. Also I’m all up for some diversity in my love triangles, I don’t particularly care about a cheerleader trying to choose between football players, mix it up a little bit, a protagonist who is choosing between a male and a female… I feel I am not explaining this well…

Fake dating that leads to something real

I’m trying to think if I’ve read this recently in a book and I can’t think of an example, I have been reading a lot of fanfiction recently and it’s something that’s come up a couple of times that I’ve enjoyed

Seemingly unrequited pining

As long as the one doing the pining isn’t too annoying I am all for this. Despite being all dark and twisty myself I do enjoy seeing the protagonist realising that they were wrong and their feelings are returned after all

Stuck in the wilderness

I’ve not read enough of this to know if it really counts as a trope, but I did love Ally Carter’s Not If I Save You First so I am all up for reading more people stuck in the middle of nowhere. If they are also on the run from would be kidnappers even better!

Villain with a redemption arc

I feel like I have not titled this particularly well. I do enjoy well thought out villains, whether it’s a villain with a redemption arc or a villain with some history so I can understand why they are the way they are. I also quite enjoy being confused by my characters, make me second guess if they are a villain or not… The Jardine brothers in the Dark Gifts trilogy are the perfect example of this, Vic James certainly messed with my head in those books!

Action girl

I adore a book where the female lead can take care of herself, she doesn’t need a male to look after her. In fact bonus points if the female is actually taking care of the male character. I’m going back to Not If I Save You First for this one, also a series from my teenage years I absolutely adored called Fearless by Francine Pascal, it was about a teenage girl who was born without a fear gene and she kicked arse on a regular basis!

Unlikely partners

This comes from my love of crime – both books and TV series. Two characters who work together to solve cases but you wouldn’t think the relationship would work, think Cormoran and Robin from the Strike books of Inspector Morse and Lewis (this latter one is definitely based on the TV series I’ve not actually read the Morse books)

Alternative Universe

I think this is rather more based on the fanfic I read more than published works but I do quite enjoy seeing characters I’m very familiar with in different situations, for example Star Wars characters where rather than taking part in space battles they work for rival law firms in New York. In published fiction it’s probably something like the Charlotte Holmes series where you have a twist to a familiar concept, in this case the central character is not the familiar Sherlock Holmes but his granddaughter. I must confess while I own the first in this series because the idea appealed to me I’ve not actually read it yet!

There are my ten favourite tropes – well the first ten I thought of at least. Do you enjoy reading any of these? Let me know in the comments!

18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – My Favourite Tropes

  1. goldenbooksgirl

    Ooh these are all good choices! A few of them made my list too, like faking dating and love triangles. I’m super picky about enemies to lovers too. I’d recommend Starry Eyes and Tell Me How You Really Feel though 😊
    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica at Booked J

    Honestly yes to so many of these. I don’t think I’m ever going to tire of these tropes, if I’m being perfectly honest. Also, side note, I love how you referred to/titled the chosen one trope. It fits perfectly with the version of that trope I am most keen on.


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