View Full Version : Whore For Tropes

10-23-2004, 08:19 AM
That's me. I'm a whore for tropes. I just finished a fantasy novel that was decidedly subpar. The lead character was actively annoying for the first 450 (of 750) pages. When the story switched to the supporting cast, I found the story tedious and unoriginal. And it took sooooo long for the story to get started. Cripes!

But hey, magic swords with a will of their own! Princes betraying each other! Flights through the wilderness! Supernatural evil stirring in the eas--I mean, north! Fell armies on the march!

And so on. The parts of this book that were good were very good. The bad parts were pretty bad. But the trope-laden story made me want to read book two in the trilogy.

Cripes, redux! Is there anyone else as in love with the tropes of genre as I am?

10-23-2004, 08:28 AM

Yay for tropes! :jump

(And parodies of same... :b )

10-23-2004, 05:44 PM
Oh, Yesh, how I wish I was joking.



aka eraser
10-23-2004, 10:20 PM
I tripped on tropes in the other thread, the one about what you want in a SF/F story. :)

And HConn, I think I know what book/trilogy you're referring to. I'm glad you managed to claw your way through the first and hope you enjoy the second more.

If not, I'd have to recommend that you take further recommendations from the same source with a heaping helping of salt.


10-23-2004, 11:04 PM
Maybe I've been reading fantasy too long, because tropes usually just make me tired, unless they're somehow twisted, punctured, or inverted (for instance, I just finished Ian Graham's Monument, in which the hero of the quest is a really, really bad man who does truly nasty things to others throughout the book, and the object of the quest turns out to be a total figment). Tropes treated straightforwardly are one of the main reasons I stick a fantasy back on the shelf these days, or can't summon up the interest to read Book 2 of a trilogy, even though I liked Book 1 okay.

- Victoria

10-24-2004, 12:45 AM
eraser, I am talking about that same book. I decided not to read the sequel, even though I put in a hold on it at the library. I went to the author's site and read his comments on the book, and it sounded like more meandering and dawdling, so I cancelled. The best cure for the urge to read a unsatisfying book is to read a terrific one (In this case, Where is Janice Gantry? by John D. MacDonald).

Victoria, I haven't read as much fantasy as you have, I expect. I read a lot of mystery/crime lately. Traditional fantasy tropes are like returning to a fun place I haven't visited in a while.

11-01-2004, 08:39 AM
I'd agree with Victoria, tropes are fine if you do something with them (not necessarily as radical as the example you quoted, but something) but they can be tedious if the author does nothing but trot out the same thing, simply because it's traditional. The other word for it, in that case, is a cliché.