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Talking Tropes

I didn't know about tropes until I started writing books.

May 15 Blog Pauline Baird Jones

When I first started writing, I knew nothing about tropes. I knew I liked certain types of stories, but I didn’t know I liked them because I liked the authors’ tropes.

What is a trope?

something such as an idea, phrase, or image that is often used in a particular artist’s work, in a particular type of art, in the media, etc. : Human-like robots are a classic trope of science fiction.

Other tropes are such things as secret babies (in romance fiction) and brooding heroes with secrets (in gothic stories). 

So looking back, I realize now that I did have favorite tropes and that I brought them into my own books. My favorite trope is called the fish out of water trope.

Basically, that is taking a character out of their normal and causing them all kinds of problems. I launched this trope in my first novel, The Spy Who Kissed Me. My heroine drives into a mystery and can’t seem to get out—or stop wanting to kiss the cute spy. 

I have also used enemies to lovers (in the sense they fall in love, not hop into bed), friends to lovers (same as before), slow burn (where they don’t realize they are falling in love), and opposites attract. 

There are probably more tropes in my books, but I don’t really think in tropes. Characters show up in my head; they want me to write their story, I hose them almost to death, and I have a book at the end of it. 

So, if you’ve read my books, do you see tropes in them that I don’t? Because I wouldn’t mind knowing. Lol

Perilously yours,


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